MLB handed down suspensions yesterday for Tuesday’s benches-clearing brawl between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers, with Arizona’s Ian Kennedy receiving a 10-game suspension and Eric Hinske getting five games. J.P. Howell and Skip Schumaker both got two games on the Dodgers’ side of things while Ronald Belisario served his one-game suspension last night.
There was some frustration from the Diamondbacks’ side about the punishments levied by MLB, especially in regard to Hinske, who appeared to attempt to play peacemaker. Zack Greinke ended up only being fined for his involvement, despite hitting Miguel Montero in the back with a pitch in retaliation for Kennedy hitting Yasiel Puig in the face in the previous inning. Unwritten rules can sure be silly sometimes. And as we saw from Kennedy later throwing in the direction of Greinke’s head, they are also potentially very dangerous.
While we’re now four days removed from the brawl, Montero’s comments to Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona indicates that emotions are still running pretty high.
Montero said he did not expect to be hit but also did not want to start anything afterward.
“The last thing I wanted to do was get suspended. I know he’s a little chicken(expletive). I didn’t want to fight,” Montero said of Greinke.
Oh boy. You can listen to the full context of Montero’s comments here. There are some pretty good gems in there, including him referring to Puig and Clayton Kershaw as “golden boys.”
Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:
The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.
The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.
A report from Barry Jackson and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reveals that prospective Marlins’ owners Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman have already initiated several key firings within the organization. While the sale of the team is still pending final approval next month, Jeter reportedly pushed club president David Samson to remove four special assistants this week: Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, Jack McKeon and Jeff Conine.
Hall of Fame infielder Dawson, outfielder Perez and Marlins’ legend Conine served as special assistants to the president. McKeon, who served as team manager from 2003-2005 (and briefly in 2011), was terminated from a 12-year post as special assistant to owner Jeffrey Loria.
The move didn’t come as a big surprise to Dawson and McKeon, Jackson and Spencer noted. It’s part and parcel of dealing with new ownership. But it was disappointing news nonetheless, especially as the long-tenured McKeon might lose an opportunity to return next September to manage one game and cement his status as the oldest manager in MLB history.
Should the Marlins’ sale go through in October as expected, this figures to be the beginning of several cuts. Per Jackson and Spencer:
Jeter also is expected to fire some people on the baseball side of the operation, though it’s believed president/baseball operations Michael Hill will be retained, at least indefinitely if not permanently.
Any replacements for those already released from the team have yet to be announced.