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Suspensions handed down for Tuesday’s Reds-Pirates brawl

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Major League Baseball handed down eight suspensions for Tuesday night’s brawl between the Pirates and the Reds. Here’s the breakdown, with the verbiage describing the players’ behavior coming straight from MLB’s press release, so don’t yell at me for editorializing about it:

  • Pirates pitcher Keone Kela has received a 10-game suspension for intentionally throwing a pitch in the area of the head of Derek Dietrich of the Reds in the bottom of the seventh inning and for his role in instigating the bench-clearing incident;
  • Reds pitcher Amir Garrett has received an eight-game suspension for inciting the bench-clearing incident by running to the area outside the Pirates’ dugout and throwing a punch in the top of the ninth inning;
  • Pirates infielder José Osuna has received a five-game suspension for his aggressive and inappropriate actions during the ninth inning incident;
  • Reds pitcher Jared Hughes has received a three-game suspension for intentionally throwing a pitch at Starling Marte of the Pirates in the top of the ninth inning.
  • Pirates pitcher Kyle Crick has received a three-game suspension for his inappropriate actions during the ninth inning incident;
  • Cleveland Indians outfielder Yasiel Puig, who was then a member of the Reds, has received a three-game suspension for his aggressive actions during the ninth inning incident;
  • Reds manager David Bell has received a six-game suspension for returning to the field following his ejection; escalating the incident with his aggressive actions; his Club’s intentional pitch at Marte; and his numerous ejections this season;
  • Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has received a two-game suspension for his Club’s conduct during the incident and his Club’s multiple intentional pitches thrown at Dietrich this season.

All the players who got suspensions have appealed, so they won’t miss any time just yet. Everyone who was suspended got undisclosed fines too. Fines were also issued to Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams, Reds first baseman Joey Votto and Reds outfielder Phillip Ervin. Additionally, several other players received fines for participating in the bench-clearing incident while on the Injured List, which is a no-no.

Certainly the most notable one there is Bell’s. And, yes, he was rather aggressive, going after Hurdle and all that. I’m somewhat amused by the reference to his “multiple ejections this season” adding to it. Yes, he has been run an awful lot — he’s on a pace to shatter such records if he hangs around long enough — but it’s weird that beefing about balls and strikes can come back to haunt you in later discipline. Neither he nor Hurdle are allowed to appeal their discipline, so Bell now gets a week’s unpaid vacation.

Also fun is that the Indians will be without Puig for three games for stuff he did in a Reds-Pirates game. Such is life at the trade deadline, I suppose.

Here’s the principal’s, er, I mean Joe Torre’s statement:

“The incidents between these two Clubs remain a source of concern, and it’s reflected by the level of discipline we are handing down today.  Everyone on the field should be aware of the example they are setting for fans, particularly young people.  I firmly expect these two managers and all others to hold their players accountable for appropriate conduct and to guide them in the right direction.”

I would not bet a thin dime that the Pirates won’t throw at the Reds again, by the way.

 

Ahoy, San Diego: 2019 Winter Meetings Preview

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Over the weekend the baseball world will descended on San Diego, California for the 2019 Winter Meetings. Let’s talk about what’ll go down there in the next week.

 

Free Agents

So far this has been a much brisker offseason than the past two, during which it seemed like no one signed between November and February. This year, however, we have already seen top-30 free agents Zack Wheeler, Yasmani Grandal, Cole Hamels, José Abreu, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Moustakas, and Michael Pineda sign, and a handful of others have inked pacts as well.

Still, there’s a lot of work to be done. Top free agent Gerrit Cole has had some heat around him lately, with the Yankees reportedly hot on his trail, and New York has at least had a conversation with San Diego native and resident Stephen Strasburg as well. Beyond them, Anthony Rendon, Madison Bumgarner, Nicholas Castellanos, and Josh Donaldson are all looking for new employers as well.

At the end of October Rotoworld’s Matthew Pouliot ran down the top 111 free agents, from highest-ranked to lowest, to help you get a jump on who is available.

 

Trades

Free agent signings notwithstanding, we are in an age in which a lot of teams are in cost-savings mode. For that reason some big, MVP-caliber names are reportedly on the trading block, including Mookie Betts of the Red Sox, Francisco Lindor of the Indians and, perhaps, Kris Bryant of the Cubs and Nolan Arenado of the Rockies. Beyond them, there has been chatter about the Dodgers dealing Joc Pederson, the Tigers dealing Matthew Boyd and the Pirates and Rockies shopping anyone worth a bag of balls.

Whether any of those big names switch teams, it’s already been a pretty active trading season so far, and it would not be at all surprising of the transaction wire is humming in the next week. We, of course, will have near-instant breakdowns of every deal that goes down, so make sure you keep a window open with this site on it and hit refresh early and often.

 

Managers on Parade

 

Trade deals and free agent negotiations take place behind closed doors, so we can only talk about those once they happen. One of the major public activities of the Winter Meetings is when all 30 of the managers meet and greet the press.

We have a boatload of new managers this year, all of whom have had their happy little press conferences back in their home cities so far. The press availabilities at the Winter Meetings are a bit more in depth and, quite often, feature managers giving more detailed answers to their philosophies and their plans as they prepare for the 2020 season.

New at the little tables and under the bright lights this year: Jayce Tingler with the Padres, Mike Matheny with the Royals, Gabe Kapler with the Giants, David Ross with the Cubs, Derek Shelton with the Pirates, Joe Maddon with the Angels, Carlos Beltrán with the Mets, and Joe Girardi with the Phillies.

And, yes, the tradition like no other continues this year, as I will be ranking all 30 of the current managers on the basis of handsomeness. Here’s last year’s rankings. The new rankings will go up first thing Monday morning. It’s the silliest thing I do all year and, for better or for worse, it’s the thing I’m best known for. What a life I have.

 

Hall of Fame Vote

The Modern Baseball Era Committee — formerly known as the Veterans Committee — will meet on Sunday to vote in, or not vote in, new inductees for the Hall of Fame. For the past two weeks I’ve been profiling the candidates. Here are those profiles:

Committee members get four votes each. If I had four I’d give them to Whitaker, Evans, Simmons, and Miller, but you never know what the real voters will do. We’ll have the results up on Sunday evening once the vote is made public.

 

Major League Baseball vs. Minor League Baseball

One thing a lot of people don’t know about the Winter Meetings is that it’s put on, primarily, by Minor League Baseball as an organization and the vast majority of the people on the ground at the Winter Meetings either run or work for or are trying to sell stuff to minor league teams. Almost every team’s owner comes and brings along some staffers. Coaches, trainers, scouts, and other team employees who spend most of their year out in the bushes as opposed to back at the big club’s home base attend meetings and hobnob with one another.

Normally that’s all pretty routine. This year, however, it probably won’t be thanks to Rob Manfred’s plan to contract 42 minor league clubs and rearrange a great many more of them across levels and leagues.

As we noted earlier today, that scheme has set off a political firestorm and is no doubt the top agenda item and point of concern for every single minor league official and employee at the Winter Meetings. There are, reportedly, already meetings going on in San Diego about all of this. Expect some news about it at any point in the next week. At this point I’d expect anything from Manfred totally scrapping the plan, to him doubling down on it, to reports of general acrimony and possible legal action and everything in between.

 

The Boring Business of Baseball 

Outside of the transactions, the Hall of Fame stuff, the managers and the minor league contraction intrigue, we’ll likely have more mundane Winter Meetings business. Most people at the Winter Meetings aren’t there for transactions. They’re there to network, seek jobs and discuss the business of baseball like any other industry convention. Ever year we hear about a rule change or a proposal for future rule changes at the Meetings. There is no single rule change that everyone is talking about at the moment, but something will likely pop up. Sometimes we’re completely surprised with that kind of stuff.

 

The Rule 5 Draft

The final event of the Winter Meetings is the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place at 8am Pacific time on Thursday morning. You likely have no idea who most of the players who will be selected, but by next summer you may very well know some of them who are either picked or who were made available this week. Max Muncy could’ve been had by anyone a couple of years ago, went un-picked and all he’s done is rake like crazy for the team with the most wins in the National League. Given that even the combined minds of 29 front offices didn’t think he was worth a roster spot last year, you’ll be forgiven for not having any idea about the guys in this year’s Rule 5. But, if you want to at least attempt to be prepared for it, here’s a good place to start.

So, yes, there’s a lot to be done. I’ll be on the scene at the Hyatt Manchester in San Diego — and maybe a few other places around town — bringing you all the best hot stove business we have to offer and, as usual, some more fun odds and ends from baseball’s biggest offseason event.