ANAHEIM, Calif. – Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners swift and hard Monday with 12 uniformed personnel receiving two teams from a total of 47 games’ worth of suspensions for their actions in Sunday’s spirited melee.
Major League Baseball made its strongest statement by suspending Phil Nevin, the Angels’ interim manager, for 10 games, citing “the intentional throwing by pitcher Andrew Wantz while warnings were in place.” Nevin, who started his suspension Monday evening as his team opened a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox, has only managed 19 games for the Angels since the club fired Joe Maddon on June 7.
Other harsh suspensions went to the Mariners outfielder Jesse Winker (seven games, a large portion of the offense directed toward Angels fans as he exited the field) and shortstop JP Crawford (five games), as well as Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon and an assistant. Pitching coach Dom Chiti (five games each).
The brawl started in the second inning on Sunday but the two clubs had been escalating since the night before, when Seattle reliever Erik Swanson threw a pitch near Mike Trout’s head. Trout, who has 53 career homers against the Mariners – his most against any opponent – voiced his displeasure to reporters after the game.
“If you can’t pitch inside, don’t pitch inside,” Trout said. “If you’re going to hit me, hit me in the ribs. Don’t hit me in the head. “
Shortly before Sunday’s game – an 11-day span between teams in the eighth game – the Angels named Wantz as their “opener.” It was Wantz’s first career start, and it became a suspicious strategy when he immediately threw the ball behind the head of Seattle’s Julio Rodríguez in the first inning, eliciting an angry reaction from Seattle manager Scott Servais. The umpires immediately warned on both benches.
Speaking Monday afternoon, before punishments were levied, Nevin addressed whether he wanted to use as an opener for that specific purpose. “That’s not factual,” he said. “But I don’t want to get into a war of words with that. What’s done is done. Yesterday’s over and done with. “
But it wasn’t, thanks to the suspensions that were still looming.
Wantz stayed in the game after the incident with Rodríguez, and when he drilled Winker into the back end in the second inning, the outfielder reacted angrily and, eventually, moved toward the Angels’ dugout while yelling and gesturing.
The benches and bullpens quickly emptied, delaying the game by 18 minutes. Rendon, who is out for the season following surgery on his right wrist, was one of the first players to engage Winker. MLB said Rendon’s suspension was for “an incident during his actions and for leaving the dugout while on the Injured List. His suspension will be served when he returns from the Injured List. In addition to the suspension, Rendon is prohibited from sitting on the bench for the Angels’ next seven games. “
Nevin and Chiti were two to five members of the Angels’ coaching staff to receive suspensions. Others included a bench coach (Ray Montgomery, two games), a catching coach (Bill Haselman, one game) and even an interpreter (Manny Del Campo, two games).
There were so many suspensions that MLB staggered them: Nevin, Chiti and Del Campo began serving their suspensions on Monday night, when they watched the Angels beat the White Sox, 4-3, in an upstairs suite at Angel Stadium. According to Montgomery and Haselman, the MLB will begin serving Chiti returns from its suspension.
In addition to the staff and Rendon, Wantz was suspended for three games “for his intentional throwing at Jesse Winker of the Mariners while warnings were in place” and two other Angels relievers were suspended as well, Ryan Tepera (three games) and closer Raisel. Iglesias (two). Tepera and Iglesias are appealing so their punishments will be delayed until after their hearings.
The three suspended Mariners’ players – Crawford, Rodríguez (two games) and Winker – were 1-2-3 in the lineup for Monday night’s 9-2 loss to Baltimore at T-Mobile Park, as their suspensions are subject to their appeals. Servais, the Mariners’ manager, was ejected during the brawl, but he was not suspended.
In addition, the Mariners placed backup catcher Luis Torrens on the 10-day injured list Monday with left shoulder inflammation, an injury that occurred during the fight.
The penalties were not announced by the MLB until about 40 minutes before the Angels played the White Sox here and about an hour before the Mariners faced the Orioles in Seattle.
“It’s part of the game that I’m not very proud of, quite frankly,” Servais told Seattle reporters before Monday’s game. “I think we should be better than this. I know people like to see it, but it’s not hockey. It’s uncalled for. “
Trout, who was not available to the media after the brawl on Sunday, declined to discuss the fight.
The teams next meet for three games in Seattle beginning on Aug. 5.