Rougned justice: Texas Rangers’ Odor and Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista suspended and fined for Major League Baseball brawl
Texas second baseman Rougned Odor was suspended for eight games and fined US$5,000 by Major League Baseball on Tuesday for punching Toronto’s Jose Bautista on the jaw.
Major League Baseball disciplined 14 players and staff for their roles during Sunday’s brawl at Arlington, Texas.
“I knew I was going to be suspended,” Odor said before Texas’ game at Oakland. “I have to follow the rules, and I’m just waiting for the appeal. I want to be with my team all year. I don’t want to be out eight games.”
Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Chavez was suspended three games for hitting Prince Fielder with a pitch. Manager John Gibbons, who returned to the field for the fight following his ejection five innings earlier, was penalised three games for inciting additional fighting.
Bautista, who made a hard takeout slide at second base on Odor, was suspended for one game by MLB senior vice president Joe Garagiola Jnr for his actions and post-game comments.
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus was suspended for one game for aggressive actions and Blue Jays first base coach Tim Leiper for one game for returning to the dugout following his ejection.
“The rules are fair for punishment,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “They are in place for a reason. We’ll live by them and move on.”
Odor, Bautista and Chavez appealed their discipline, which will be held in abeyance pending a resolution. Andrus was to serve his penalty on Tuesday at Oakland.
The amount of Odor’s fine was disclosed by a person familiar with the discipline who spoke on condition of anonymity because the figure was not announced.
Tensions between the Blue Jays and Rangers stemmed from last season, when Bautista hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in game five of the AL Division Series, admired the shot and then dramatically flipped his bat – a breach of baseball etiquette that requires batters to immediately and undemonstratively start running the bases after hitting a homer.
In Sunday’s game, Bautista slid hard and late into the right leg of Odor and eight feet past second base. Odor shoved Bautista with both hands, then threw a punch to the jaw that made Bautista’s head snap back, causing his sunglasses and helmet to fly off. Dugouts and bullpens emptied.
“It was pretty cowardly of them to wait until my last at-bat to do that in the whole series,” Bautista said after the game. “They could have come out and done it, if they wanted to send a message. Again, it shows a little bit more of their colours.”