MLB bails out umps with Freddy Peralta suspension after Brewers-Rays brawl

The league handed down suspensions after Tuesday's chaos
Apr 30, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;  Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Freddy Peralta (51) and catcher
Apr 30, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Freddy Peralta (51) and catcher / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Suspensions were inevitable after the massive brawl broke out Tuesday night between the Brewers and Rays. But it sure seems like MLB is overdoing it to bail out the umpires, who inserted themselves into a third straight game for the Crew.

Home plate umpire Chris Guccione ejected Brewers ace Freddy Peralta in the 6th inning after hitting Jose Siri, who homered earlier in the game, with a pitch on a 3-0 count. Then he got into a heated argument with manager Pat Murphy after he ejected Murph as well. Guccione got the pot stirred and did not issue warnings, jumping straight to ejections.

Then when Siri came up again in the 8th inning, Abner Uribe threw a pucnh/slap at him and a brawl broke out.

MLB handed down the suspensions today. Abner Uribe received a six game suspension, Jose Siri received three games, while manager Pat Murphy received two games. Also, Freddy Peralta gets a five game suspension.

The Peralta suspension is drawing a lot of attention because it seems excessive. There were no warnings issued, it was a judgment call by the umps that he intentionally hit Siri, and that judgment is debatable at best. To determine that quickly and that definitively that Peralta hit him on purpose is a huge stretch.

Yet because of that determination, Peralta receives a five game suspension.

The reason why his suspension is so long is because Peralta is a starting pitcher. Suspending him for two games, for example, does nothing because he wouldn't pitch the next two days anyways. Maybe he loses some game checks, but it doesn't impact him being on the field. A five game suspension causes him to miss one start, or at the very least push his next start back a day if he accepted it.

Peralta, along with Uribe and Siri are appealing their suspensions. Murphy is accepting his suspension starting Wednesday.

What likely also impacted this decision was the fact that a brawl broke out between Siri and Uribe two innings later, which likely reinforced the umpires' judgment that Peralta intentionally threw at Siri, that there was bad blood.

To most, it feels more like a self-fulfilling prophecy, that the umpires instigated bad blood with the ejection of Peralta and Murphy, which led to emotions getting so high. Yet it's unlikely the umpires will receive any punishment from the league or their union for that, because they appear justified in their actions now.

That will also make things harder for Peralta's appeal, because to the outside observer, the brawl two innings later indicates it was an intentional HBP.

Uribe getting six games for throwing the first punch and starting the brawl makes sense. Siri for his response and throwing punches back getting three games also sounds right. Murphy did make contact with the umpires, so a suspension always follows that, but Guccione was going right back in Murphy's face, instigating more contact and anger instead of walking away like he should have.

We'll see what luck the appeals have for these players. Perhaps the suspensions will get reduced but it's unlikely they will be fully repealed.