MLB has handed out suspensions for the Easter afternoon brawl between the Brewers and Pirates. On the Milwaukee side Martin Maldonado gets five games and Carlos Gomez gets three games. On the Pittsburgh side Travis Snider gets two games and Russell Martin gets one game. And they were all fined.
Maldonado receives the biggest punishment–including a $2,500 fine–after punching Snider in the face, resulting in a black eye and a large cut for the Pirates outfielder. Gomez got the whole ruckus going by admiring what he thought was a home run before sprinting for a triple, while Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole avoids a suspension presumably because MLB believes his involvement consisted of screaming at Gomez rather than, say, helping to incite the whole thing.
No word yet on which players plan to appeal the suspensions and/or fines. Martin has challenged Maldonado to an offseason fight in the name of raising money for charity, but Maldonado declined. As a backup catcher a five-game suspension really only means missing one game for Maldonado, who plays sparingly behind Brewers starter Jonathan Lucroy anyway.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.