Cincinnati Reds pitcher Amir Garrett received a seven-game suspension Tuesday for “calling for a bench-clearing incident” during Saturday’s game against the Chicago Cubs.
Garrett, who was fined an undisclosed amount, is appealing for the suspension and remains eligible to play during the appeal process. Michael Hill, MLB’s senior VP of on-field operations, announced the discipline.
Javier Báez, who jumped the excavation railing when he shouted at Garrett, was not suspended. Báez received an undisclosed fine.
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The incident started when Garrett knocked Anthony Rizzo out in the eighth inning. Garrett shouted from the mound, pounding his chest several times. The Cubs saw it as disrespectful to Rizzo; Garrett said it was “exalted aggression” from his fights this season.
Several Cubs players, most notably Báez, let Garrett know how they felt by shouting at him from the excavation. Garrett shouted back at Báez as he waited for the next dough, then Báez jumped the excavation railing and gestured for Garrett to come to him. The benches were emptied, but there were no blows and no drafts.
“I felt really good and threw 97 (mph), the slider up to 87,” Garrett said. “I felt my normal self, so when I knocked Rizzo out, I let him know. I let him know I’m back.” I am good. I’m here. That was pretty much all it was.
“I turn around, got the ball and heard Báez chirp. So I have to chirp back. That’s fine. We should not fight because the second we had so much time to get to each other, I can get to him, if I wanted to and he could come to me. We should not fight. We will exchange words, blah, blah, blah. Benches clear, hold me back, no matter what. “
This is the second time a Reds player has been suspended for actions prior to a bench clearing incident this season. MLB suspended Nick Castellanos in two matches, which were maintained after an appeal when he stood over Cardinals pitcher Jake Woodford while scoring on a wild pitch and shouting, “Let’s (explicitly) go!”
Castellanos said the league cited sound protocols and safety protocols for the reason of maintaining his suspension during his appeal process.
Garrett was suspended for eight games when he accused the Pittsburgh Pirates dugout in a fight on July 30, 2019.
“I had no intentions of fighting (Báez), because if I had obviously wanted to, I would have picked him up,” Garrett said. “It was a lot of accumulated aggression from my performance. That’s what it is.”
The benches were cleared between the Reds and the kids on Saturday after Amir Garrett knocked Anthony Rizzo out. Cubs players took exception to Garrett yelling.
Báez and Cubs manager David Ross criticized Garrett for his actions in their post-match interviews on Saturday.
“It’s not like baseball is meant to go, but I think it’s his style,” Ross said. “I do not agree with that. I think it’s rubbish, but he’s not on my team. ”
Báez added: “He needs to respect the game. If he does not respect the game and if he does not respect us, it will happen because he does it against us. He does not do it to pump (up) his teammates. He respects not us. “
Speaking to reporters after Sunday’s match, Garrett said he knew things would not escalate even when Báez jumped the excavation railing and gestured to him.
“Brother, he did not jump over the railing and try to get on me, I can promise you that,” Garrett said. “He jumped over the rail, stood there and shouted. We are grown men. If you want to come and get me, you can come and get me. If I wanted to get him, I could have gone and got him, but I did not try to take it there.It’s a waste of my time and money and all that.
“We can tweet and tweet and tweet anything you want, but we just leave it there because you do not want to go past it. Not with me.”
Javier Báez explains why he was so upset by Amir Garrett’s actions, which led to the benches in the 8th inning on Saturday.