As Gomez was showboating, catcher Brian McCann started barking at him and soon after Freddie Freeman joined the noise. Gomez yelled back as he rounded the bases, only to be met by McCann five yards in front of home plate. They jawed at each other face to face and thus, the bench-clearing brawl. Braves outfielder Reed Johnson even came in and tried to land a blow to Gomez who, along with Freddie Freeman and Gerald Laird, were ejected from the game. Surprisingly, Johnson was not.
You can check out the video here.
Major League Baseball suspended Gomez and Reed for one game and fined McCann and Freeman following the incident. I understand why Johnson was suspended as he clearly tried to hit Gomez in the face. But the suspension of Gomez isn’t as clear, nor is the reason why McCann isn’t suspended.
The Brewers centerfielder was wrong in watching his homer and showing up Paul Maholm, who was pitching. But those two have a history. Maholm has hit Gomez more than once in his career and the most recent occurrence, in June of this year, seemed intentional. And that would make sense. Gomez owns a .450 batting average with three home runs against Maholm. Maybe the Braves pitcher was finally fed up with being crushed.
According to Gomez, that history is why he watched his home run and looked angry throughout the at-bat.
But when the benches cleared and the fracas began, I didn’t see anything from Gomez that warranted a suspension. He didn’t hit anyone and he pushed Braves players only after he was pushed. The fact that McCann wasn’t suspended is an absolute joke.
Let me take you back to earlier this month when Miami Marlins rookie sensation Jose Fernandez hit his first career home run. He, like Gomez, watched the ball soar, and guess who the Marlins were playing? Yup, the Braves. McCann became upset and third baseman Chris Johnson chased after Fernandez while he rounded third. You can see the incident here.
Was Fernandez suspended? No. Was McCann or Johnson suspended? No. Here are two identical situations with two completely different rulings by Major League Baseball. Essentially, Gomez was suspended for hitting a home run and looking at it for too long. He didn’t start the brawl – McCann did.
It seems to me, that McCann has a problem with almost everyone and Major League Baseball is just fine with that. Maybe when Bud Selig retires in 2015, McCann will be named the new commissioner. The Braves apparently have a problem when someone hits a home run off of them and aren’t afraid to throw a hissy fit.
Maybe Gomez deserved to be ejected but a suspension? No way. Especially not with only a week left in the season. What are you thinking, Major League Baseball?