PDA

View Full Version : How the MLB sorted out the brawl



10xWSChamps
08-15-2010, 07:52 PM
Thought this was an interesting article about the process of the suspensions/fines


Frank Robinson went to the movies all day Wednesday.

Actually, Robinson watched the same flick "over and over and over and over," sometimes from different angles and at different speeds.

When Major League Baseball appointed the Hall of Fame outfielder as its senior vice president for on-field operations, it was a fancy way of announcing that Robinson gets to clean up messes like the one that spilled behind home plate Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.

Robinson and vice president for on-field operations Bob Watson assigned discipline for the seven-minute fracas that transpired between the Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds. The action included a seven-game suspension for Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto, two games each for managers Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker, and fines for Cardinals Chris Carpenter and Yadier Molina and the Reds' Brandon Phillips and Russ Springer.

"What we want to do is try to be fair," Robinson explained Saturday. "We don't want to punish anyone who doesn't deserve to be punished .We try to keep the players on the field. When it's warranted, we suspend. There is a lot of back and forth and a lot of time involved."

There typically exists a gulf in perspective as well.

The Reds saw Molina instigate a verbal exchange with Phillips at home plate and heard Carpenter challenge Baker in a profane exchange that extended the incident.

The Cardinals insist Phillips baited Molina by twice tapping his shin guards after making public, unflattering comments that had sharpened an edge within the showdown of two NL Central contenders.

The visiting clubhouse also became enraged over Cueto wildly kicking Carpenter and backup catcher Jason LaRue, raising scars on Carpenter's back and leaving La Rue with a mild concussion and severely bruised ribs that sent him to the disabled list Friday.

Robinson and Watson determined the incident would not have escalated without the heated rhetoric that arose between Baker and La Russa. Baker at one point told Cardinals third-base coach Jose Oquendo to 'shut up." La Russa forcefully told Baker not to yell at his coaches.

"We hold the managers and coaches to a higher standard," Robinson said. "They aren't supposed to say or do anything to incite the situation. Clearly the managers did that in this case."

When Carpenter dropped a string of obscenities on Baker, tempers flared even hotter. Baker engaged Carpenter in a cluster of F-bombs as Reds third baseman and former Cardinals teammate Scott Rolen rushed at Carpenter. Rolen was both protecting his manager and trying to defuse the situation. "We're not going to let this happen! We're not going to let this happen!" Rolen yelled while grabbing Carpenter and pushing him toward the backstop.

Many on both sides interpreted Rolen's sudden rush at Carpenter as a hostile move and sprinted toward the pair. The ensuing crush of humanity pinned Carpenter against the screen within easy kicking distance of Cueto, who claimed self-defense while being restrained by teammates.

"We're trying to determine who is being aggressive, very aggressive and who physically escalates an incident with force," Robinson said.

Robinson defined those who may have verbally incited the situation as aggressive.

"What separated Cueto was he was kicking and he continued to kick and made physical contact with two players," Robinson said. "He was the No. 1 culprit."

Cueto's role remained at least partly hidden to Jeff Kellogg's umpiring crew, which received high marks from Robinson as well as both managers for not ejecting players. Indeed, the Cardinals would have faced an untenable predicament had an overly zealous crew decided to evict Molina and Phillips, since LaRue's injuries would have left them without a catcher.

Umpires are told to take notes during such a scrum rather than act as bouncers. "They did an outstanding job showing good judgment and restraint," Robinson said.

Molina and Phillips "kind of disappeared after their initial situation," Robinson said. "The reason they only got fined, there were no punches thrown. Nothing got out of hand."

Robinson classified Carpenter as "very aggressive" but withheld suspension because "he made no physical contact until Rolen kind of tackled him to get him out of Dusty's face."

Carpenter on Friday reiterated his displeasure with Cueto but also admitted his own actions likely fed Tuesday's escalation.

"He had something to say. I had something to say," Carpenter recalled of his heated exchange with Baker. "Unfortunately, it got out of control.

"The hard thing was trying to explain to my son, who saw it 17 times, why is Scott Rolen attacking me? Why is everyone pushing me into the net? Why were they doing that? Why is your back messed up? Why is that guy kicking Mr. LaRue in the face? And you can't explain to a 7-year-old that at a baseball game that happens."

Cueto, an 11-game winner this season, did not appeal his suspension and fine, immediately leaving the Reds to play a man short for its duration. Cueto, in essence, misses one start.

The Cardinals argued strenuously for stronger discipline against Cueto. Asked what he thought about MLB's ruling, LaRue responded Friday with a terse "no comment." La Russa offered little more.

Robinson underscored that his office acts within a narrow framework intended to be both thorough and expeditious while relying heavily on precedent. Robinson spoke with the umpiring crew, Watson with both managers, and the commissioner's office was forwarded interviews conducted between the Players Association and some of those players involved. (MLB may not directly interview players without union consent.)

Robinson and Watson used as precedent a 1999 incident in which Texas Rangers pitcher Chan Ho Park launched a flying kick at Anaheim Angels pitcher Tim Belcher.

In that instance, Belcher remained in the game, relatively unscathed; Park was ejected and eventually received a seven-game suspension.

"We did what we could to Cueto," Robinson said, noting even an eight-game suspension would have been "pushing the envelope."

(San Francisco Giants ace and future Hall of Famer Juan Marichal received an eight-game suspension and was heavily fined for clubbing Los Angeles Dodgers catcher John Roseboro twice in the head with a bat in August 1965.)

The process worked against stiffer action against Cueto as Robinson admitted he was unaware of the extent of LaRue's injuries before announcing discipline. La Rue did not see team medical supervisor Dr. George Paletta until almost 24 hours after MLB levied the suspensions and fines. An agreement between the commissioner's office and Players Association stipulates punishment for on-field incidents should be handed down within 48 hours.

"Sometimes we may miss something like (LaRue's case) because of that," Robinson said. "If we had not acted, it would probably have been more severe. But as is, we really can't take a starting pitcher beyond five, six or seven days because this individual may hurt himself being laid off for a longer amount of time. We didn't know the extent of LaRue's injuries until later on."

Added Robinson: "We may have added another game and gone against precedent. It's more likely we would have increased the fine."

Robinson and Watson played a combined 40 seasons in the major leagues and believe any comparison of MLB's code of justice to other leagues such as the NBA and NHL is inappropriate.

"The fans aren't there to see us. They're not there to see the umpires. It's about the players," Robinson said. "Players have to understand that they should play baseball. This is our sport. People don't come to the ballpark to see fights."


http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/article_81f43b72-d7a8-5846-8950-68bf6e5c28f8.html

zacharync
08-15-2010, 08:01 PM
Frank Robinson is a class act. IMO. His quotes are all cool with me. Classy guy.

Vottomatic
08-15-2010, 08:35 PM
Robinson may be a class act, but they did a lousy job of handing out punishment. Cardinals got off easy as usual.

bounty37h
08-16-2010, 11:51 AM
Carpenter on Friday reiterated his displeasure with Cueto but also admitted his own actions likely fed Tuesday's escalation.

"He had something to say. I had something to say," Carpenter recalled of his heated exchange with Baker. "Unfortunately, it got out of control.

Uhm, this isn't exactly admitting his own guilt and role in this at all IMO.

TStuck
08-16-2010, 01:07 PM
I give high marks to both Robinson and Watson for their handling of this. The explanation really makes a lot of sense. I already really respected both of these guys on the basis of great playing careers - that's multiplied more now after reading this article. I think they effectively identified each of the instigation and flashpoints. Everyone named in the article played some role in starting, fueling, or escalating the fire during the scrum. I REALLY respect them for recognizing Rolen's true role and actions in the mess.
The only question I'm still left with is how Springer managed to come out of this with a fine? Maybe I've overlooked it, but I've never seen anything definitive on what he actually did during the situation. The others were obvious.

mattfeet
08-16-2010, 01:13 PM
TStuck - Springer is on the DL. You can't as much as set a foot on the field without receiving a fine...and that's exactly what he did. It had nothing to do with the fight itself. Sucks for Springer, but rules are rules.

-Matt

JoseRijo059
08-16-2010, 01:52 PM
TStuck - Springer is on the DL. You can't as much as set a foot on the field without receiving a fine...and that's exactly what he did. It had nothing to do with the fight itself. Sucks for Springer, but rules are rules.

-Matt

Ok, this id off topic, but does OCab face a fine for being the "bat boy" while on the Dl then?

HalMorrisRules
08-16-2010, 01:56 PM
I understand that this was written from a St Louis perspective, but I dont know that the article could be any more one-sided than it is. The Cardinals were saints apparently.

GIDP
08-16-2010, 02:01 PM
Ok, this id off topic, but does OCab face a fine for being the "bat boy" while on the Dl then?

Good question honestly, but the rule is probably worded that they dont want players on the field during game activity. I think handing balls and picking up bats count as game activity as an in game fight does.

bounty37h
08-16-2010, 02:05 PM
I understand that this was written from a St Louis perspective, but I dont know that the article could be any more one-sided than it is. The Cardinals were saints apparently.

Well man, it is Saint Lisa, so they couldn't have done anything wrong.

TStuck
08-16-2010, 03:03 PM
I understand that this was written from a St Louis perspective, but I dont know that the article could be any more one-sided than it is. The Cardinals were saints apparently.

Hal - looking only at the direct quotes from Robinson, I guess I don't see them making the Cards out to be saints. In fact, he charactarized Carpenter's role as "very aggressive" but differentiated it from Cueto's role solely on the basis of (lack of) physical contact. Johnny was going to get suspended one way or another regardless of his motive. Even as a diehard Reds fan, I saw that coming. But they did stop short of labeling Cueto's actions as malicious - evidenced by the comparison to Marichal vs. Roseboro and the precedent 8 game suspension it got. In practicality, Johnny got a 1 game suspension plus a bigger hit in wallet due to actually making physical contact with other players.
I don't know that the amount of the fines has been publicized (?) but it's entirely possible Carpenter's fine was bigger than the other players (except most likely Cueto)
Maybe the rest of the article's filler made it slightly StL slanted, but I didn't see Robby painting it that way.
To me, it breaks out like this:
Brandon didn't have to do the 2nd tap on Molina, but did = $fine$
Molina could have just stayed down and shut up, but didn't = $fine$
Baker & LaRussa yelling at each other rather than calming their teams = $fine$ & suspension
Carpenter reignites brawl when he starts up yelling after umps have things calmed down = $fine$
Johnny made physical contact with opposing players which resulted in some injury = $fine$ & suspension.

Don't get me wrong...I'm still a bit sore and ticked off over the whole ordeal. I really had no love for Carpenter or Molina before and have even less now.
But, given all circumstances along with the MLB rules, I think they handled it about as well as it could have been. Just my opinion though....anyone is free to disagree with me.

swaisuc
08-16-2010, 04:04 PM
Still think they handled it ok, but Carpenter comes across as a tool with his quotes.... again.

757690
08-16-2010, 04:39 PM
I understand that this was written from a St Louis perspective, but I dont know that the article could be any more one-sided than it is. The Cardinals were saints apparently.

It's from a St. Louis paper. So the home town tilt is to be expected.

But imo, Robinson's remarks are not biased at all, just the article itself.

I think with the exception of Carpenter not getting suspended, it was handled quite well, especially by the umps at the time.

As I said before, I don't buy Robinson's explanation that since Carpenter didn't hit anyone, he shouldn't be suspended. No one can convince me that Carpenter didn't intentionally try to re-start the fight after it had calmed down. What he did was much worse than what Baker and LaRussa did, since the fight was over, and everyone was headed back to the benches before he started yelling obscenities at Baker.

Coming into a calm or calming situation and elevating the fight, even with words, is a suspension in Basketball, Football and Hockey, and for good reason. No one gets hurt if Carpenter doesn't open his mouth.

Dawg
08-16-2010, 08:41 PM
Almost no one was headed back to the dugouts when Carpenter yelled at Dusty and Dusty was still running his mouth. I will admit that Carpenter didn't help matters at all but he isn't as guilty in all this as a lot of you are making him out to be.
As to the Cueto suspension, does anyone here want to comment on how funny it is that the only players he spiked were from the Cardinals when he got pushed up against the backstop by Reds players? Not one player from the Reds has came forward to say he got spiked by the "scared and panicked" Cueto. He got off lucky.

bshall2105
08-16-2010, 08:58 PM
Almost no one was headed back to the dugouts when Carpenter yelled at Dusty and Dusty was still running his mouth. I will admit that Carpenter didn't help matters at all but he isn't as guilty in all this as a lot of you are making him out to be.
As to the Cueto suspension, does anyone here want to comment on how funny it is that the only players he spiked were from the Cardinals when he got pushed up against the backstop by Reds players? Not one player from the Reds has came forward to say he got spiked by the "scared and panicked" Cueto. He got off lucky.

Noboday was pushed into a fence before Carpenter yelled. Nobody was getting kicked in the face before Carpenter yelled. Nobody would have been suspended if it ended before Carpenter yelled.

Krawhitham
08-16-2010, 09:04 PM
Thought this was an interesting article about the process of the suspensions/fines




http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/article_81f43b72-d7a8-5846-8950-68bf6e5c28f8.html

My take on the article


You can crack a guy in the head twice with a bat and only get an eight-game suspension, that is amazing

757690
08-16-2010, 09:04 PM
Almost no one was headed back to the dugouts when Carpenter yelled at Dusty and Dusty was still running his mouth. I will admit that Carpenter didn't help matters at all but he isn't as guilty in all this as a lot of you are making him out to be.
As to the Cueto suspension, does anyone here want to comment on how funny it is that the only players he spiked were from the Cardinals when he got pushed up against the backstop by Reds players? Not one player from the Reds has came forward to say he got spiked by the "scared and panicked" Cueto. He got off lucky.

Cueto got the second longest suspension for fighting in the history of baseball. The only guy who got one longer, was Marichal who got 8 games for clubbing a guy with a bat. Cueto got what he deserved.

It's been posted many time before, but here it is. Watch it.

At around the one minute mark, everything has settled down, in fact Rolen is talking to Molina in a very friendly manner, and the umps have separated Baker and LaRussa, when Carpenter jumps in and says something to Baker that draws everyone's attention, including the umpire who warns Carpenter to shut up. Carpenter keeps barking and it is then than the fighting really takes place. Again, no one gets hurt if Carpenter keeps his mouth shut. He deserves to be suspended for that.

Krawhitham
08-16-2010, 09:05 PM
Robinson may be a class act, but they did a lousy job of handing out punishment. Cardinals got off easy as usual.

They suspended the only player to punch or kick basically ONE game, not all that bad

Dawg
08-16-2010, 09:06 PM
Noboday was pushed into a fence before Carpenter yelled. Nobody was getting kicked in the face before Carpenter yelled. Nobody would have been suspended if it ended before Carpenter yelled.

Nobody would've been brawling if Phillips kept his mouth shut too.

Krawhitham
08-16-2010, 09:08 PM
Nobody would've been brawling if Phillips kept his mouth shut too.

winner winner chicken dinner

757690
08-16-2010, 09:13 PM
Nobody would've been brawling if Phillips kept his mouth shut too.

We can play this game all day. No one would have been have been fighting if the Cardinals didn't accuse Arroyo of cheating, or didn't complain about the rubbing of the balls.

There is a difference between direct and indirect causation.

Phillips' words indirectly caused the fight. Carpenter's directly caused the fight to escalate, and he knew they would when he said them.

bshall2105
08-16-2010, 09:16 PM
Nobody would've been brawling if Phillips kept his mouth shut too.

Making comments to writer and cussing at a manager are not in the same category.

Dawg
08-16-2010, 09:32 PM
You guys keep telling yourselves whatever it takes to excuse the Reds players in their part of this, everyone outside of Reds fans knows the truth. Pretty much every Cardinals fan, including myself, will admit Carp didn't help matters, why can't you guys admit Cueto went WAY to far. And when does Reds fans whinning about someone elses whinning become more annoying?

lidspinner
08-17-2010, 08:25 AM
Cueto went to far.....there you go Dawg....

now, will you Cardinal fans ever admit that Chris Carpenter is a punk and without having the Cy Young arm that he does, he would probably be eating dinners through a straw. No way this cat has friends.....I still say that when a few years go by after Chris's departure from MLB, we will hear stories about how he was hated by his own team.

If you ever listen to Sirius Radio, channel 210, in the afternoons, I suggest you listen to some of the inside the clubhouse stories that they give ya.

Vottomatic
08-17-2010, 09:15 AM
How did Phillips words cause the fight? Are the Cardinals babies or something and sticks and stones will break their bones but words DID HURT THEM? What a bunch of babies.

Fact is, Phillips went to the plate, tapped Molina's shinguard and turned and began taking warmup swings without saying A WORD.

Molina opened his yap. Here's where the hypocritical Cardinals fans and players come in. If Phillips words were the cause of all of this............then so were Molina's. Because Molina was THE FIRST PLAYER to say anything on the ball field. NOT PHILLIPS. So if Cardinals fans and players say that Molina was just standing up to BP's comments, then BP was doing the same thing when he took off his batting helmet and went toe to toe with Molina. Obviously, Phillips was making peace by tapping Molina's shinguard, and Molina was being Geronimo and causing problems.

You can't have it both ways, or you're a hypocrite.

Molina started it. Carpenter extended it.

If Marichal only got 8 days for injuring a player with a bat, then next time the Reds need to really do some damage worthy of 7 days. What a crock.

And Larue isn't really hurt. That's all a con. I saw him immediately after the kicking incident, behind Rolen holding back Carpenter, trying to brawl with someone else. You don't do that if you're hurt. This is just Larussa's way of trying to make the Reds players look bad and his players look like saints. But nearly every article I've read since has painted Carpenter and the Cards as babies. So it backfired. Hilarious.

GIDP
08-17-2010, 09:54 AM
Cueto basically got a 10 day suspension because of the 2 off days, and got suspended a day after the fight.

Dawg
08-17-2010, 12:13 PM
Phillips should've said sorry on the field instead of doing his normal tap, that any non retarded person would know would be taken the wrong way...and then be dumb enough to do it a second time after Molina kicked the bat away.
I do not know any Cardinals fans who can't admit that Carp and Molina share some blame in the brawl but saying LaRue wasn't hurt because he was doing stuff right after getting kicked is wrong. Have you ever had a concussion? If you had you would know that you can function pretty normally, even if you have no idea what's going on and will not remember a lot of it.
So I ask again, why have no Reds players came out and said they also got kicked by the "scared" Cueto? Only the two Cardinals players got kicked,

TheBigLebowski
08-17-2010, 12:18 PM
Phillips should've said sorry on the field instead of doing his normal tap, that any non retarded person would know would be taken the wrong way...and then be dumb enough to do it a second time after Molina kicked the bat away.
I do not know any Cardinals fans who can't admit that Carp and Molina share some blame in the brawl but saying LaRue wasn't hurt because he was doing stuff right after getting kicked is wrong. Have you ever had a concussion? If you had you would know that you can function pretty normally, even if you have no idea what's going on and will not remember a lot of it.
So I ask again, why have no Reds players came out and said they also got kicked by the "scared" Cueto? Only the two Cardinals players got kicked,


Like he's really going to come to the plate and tell Yadier Melissa he's "sorry."

double2gap
08-17-2010, 12:21 PM
I have a good friend who works in baseball and is a huge Cardinal fan (very knowledgeable and honest). I wanted to hear his take on the fight, so I asked him what he thought. His comment was "Capenter is an a--h---, great pitcher, but a first class jerk". He was aware of one incident that started all this (the slick ball comments), but was not aware of the Rasmus comments about Arroyo. He totally understood Phillips comments, though ill-timed. He also knew about Phillips "first at bat ritual" and thought, maybe that was one time he shouldn't have done it or maybe just tap the umpire.

Just thought I'd share some opinions from a true Cardinal fan...

As for myself, I don't know which I dislike worse....Cubs fans or Cardinal players and manager.

jules2
08-17-2010, 12:35 PM
I have a good friend who works in baseball and is a huge Cardinal fan (very knowledgeable and honest). I wanted to hear his take on the fight, so I asked him what he thought. His comment was "Capenter is an a--h---, great pitcher, but a first class jerk". He was aware of one incident that started all this (the slick ball comments), but was not aware of the Rasmus comments about Arroyo. He totally understood Phillips comments, though ill-timed. He also knew about Phillips "first at bat ritual" and thought, maybe that was one time he shouldn't have done it or maybe just tap the umpire.

Just thought I'd share some opinions from a true Cardinal fan...

As for myself, I don't know which I dislike worse....Cubs fans or Cardinal players and manager.

Also as a cards fan - I'd pretty much agree with that. Carp should stick to pitching. The "explaining to my 7 year old comment" made me cringe. Really?

Ditto if BP wants to say what he said, that's his right, but to go in the next day or so and "make peace" / do the shin tap, not so much. Like you said, just skip it in that case. Can't go calling people names and not expect them to take a little offense to it (not saying justifying a huge brawl though)

double2gap
08-17-2010, 12:45 PM
Thanks Jules2, I rarely have had a conversation with a Cardinal fan that left me shaking my head in disgust. I lived in Atlanta from 90-99 and enjoyed the worst to first season and all the great years after for them, but the fans were soooo arrogant. I feel the same way about most Cub fans, as a whole, I know I am generalizing, but it just seems like a majority have that type of attitude. Cardinal fans tend to see things with open eyes, and will except and acknowledge the bad and good.

jules2
08-17-2010, 01:01 PM
Thanks Jules2, I rarely have had a conversation with a Cardinal fan that left me shaking my head in disgust. I lived in Atlanta from 90-99 and enjoyed the worst to first season and all the great years after for them, but the fans were soooo arrogant. I feel the same way about most Cub fans, as a whole, I know I am generalizing, but it just seems like a majority have that type of attitude. Cardinal fans tend to see things with open eyes, and will except and acknowledge the bad and good.

I chalk up a lot of stuff on both sides (Cards/Cubs) to the rivalry / having some fun. I don't think we're 1/2 as bad as the Bo Sox / Yankees but I probably can't say anything since I've only been to one game. Then again we're a divided house (Yankees/Cards)

Vottomatic
08-17-2010, 01:56 PM
I have a good friend who works in baseball and is a huge Cardinal fan (very knowledgeable and honest). I wanted to hear his take on the fight, so I asked him what he thought. His comment was "Capenter is an a--h---, great pitcher, but a first class jerk". He was aware of one incident that started all this (the slick ball comments), but was not aware of the Rasmus comments about Arroyo. He totally understood Phillips comments, though ill-timed. He also knew about Phillips "first at bat ritual" and thought, maybe that was one time he shouldn't have done it or maybe just tap the umpire.

Just thought I'd share some opinions from a true Cardinal fan...

As for myself, I don't know which I dislike worse....Cubs fans or Cardinal players and manager.

I have a good friend who is a huge Cardinals fan. He's out of work, fat, about 350 lbs., drinks beer and lays on the couch all day...........he says that Carpenter is a jerk and Tony Larussa is a bigger jerk. He also thinks Matt Holliday and Pujols are juicers.

I told him I thought he was taking it just a little too far and he should go easier on his team. He told me to F off. I asked him how he was going to explain what he said to me to his seven year old son.

He said.........

......he was going to have Chris Carpenter explain it to his 7 year old son.

Badda bing, badda boom. :D I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitresses and bartenders!