Mets manager Rojas suspended two games for outburst

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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CINCINNATI – New York Mets manager Luis Rojas was suspended Monday for two games and fined for excessive arguing with umpires, an outburst that followed a bizarre play a day earlier at Pittsburgh.

Rojas was to begin serving his suspension Monday night at Cincinnati. He said he was not offered the chance to appeal. The amount of the fine was not revealed.

Bench coach Dave Jauss will take over managerial duties.

“I’m a little upset that I’m going to be missing the next two games,” Rojas said before going out to pitch batting practice. “I missed the team for 8 2/3 (innings) yesterday, not getting to watch from the dugout. But the league’s got to do what they gotta do. We know how sometimes things get heated up.”

Mets starter Taijuan Walker made a huge misplay in the first inning Sunday with the bases loaded and the Pirates leading 3-0. Kevin Newman hit a dribbler down the line and the ball started in foul territory but then began spinning back toward the line.

Walker swooped in and swatted at the ball, trying to make contact while it was still foul. But TV replays showed the ball was touching the chalk when Walker hit it, and plate umpire Jeremy Riggs called it a fair ball.

Walker turned to argue the call as the ball rolled toward the Pirates dugout. No Mets reacted to retrieve it and all three Pittsburgh runners came around to score.

Walker said he didn’t realize the ball was still in play. Rojas immediately ran out to argue the call and was ejected. He said he wanted the umpires to conference to make sure the call was correct, even though the play was not reviewable.

“I got hot because it was a bad call,” Rojas said Monday. “He made an embarrassing play. That’s what led me to escalate the way I did. It’s the heat of the moment, the play. Getting close and arguing. I wanted it to be checked with the other umpires and I was denied. I still firmly believe it was foul. I would love for a play like that to be reviewable.”

Rojas said he would watch Monday night’s game on television. He had to leave the clubhouse after the pregame workout.

“I’ll be rooting for the guys,” Rojas said.

Jones, Maddux, Morris consider Bonds, Clemens for Hall

USA TODAY Sports
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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Hall of Famers Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Jack Morris and Ryne Sandberg are among 16 members of the contemporary baseball era committee that will meet to consider the Cooperstown fate of an eight-man ballot that includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro.

Hall of Famers Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell also are on the panel, which will meet in San Diego ahead of the winter meetings.

They will be joined by former Toronto CEO Paul Beeston, former Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs executive Theo Epstein, Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno, Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng, Minnesota Twins president Dave St. Peter and Chicago White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams.

Three media members/historians are on the committee: longtime statistical analyst Steve Hirdt of Stats Perform, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Neal and Slusser are past presidents of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Hall Chairman Jane Forbes Clark will be the committee’s non-voting chair.

The ballot also includes Albert Belle, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy and Curt Schilling. The committee considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on. A candidate needs 75% to be elected and anyone who does will be inducted on July 23, along with anyone chosen in the BBWAA vote, announced on Jan. 24.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in January in their 10th and final appearances on the BBWAA ballot. Bonds received 260 of 394 votes (66%), Clemens 257 (65.2%) and Schilling 231 (58.6%).

Palmeiro was dropped from the BBWAA ballot after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance in 2014, falling below the 5% minimum needed to stay on. His high was 72 votes (12.6%) in 2012.

Bonds denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs and Clemens maintains he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 following a positive test under the major league drug program, just over two weeks after getting his 3,000th hit.

A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds set the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 homers.

Schilling fell 16 votes shy with 285 (71.1%) in 2021. Support dropped after hateful remarks he made in retirement toward Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others.

McGriff got 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the BBWAA ballot in 2019. Murphy was on the BBWAA ballot 15 times and received a high of 116 votes (23.2%) in 2000. Mattingly received a high of 145 votes (28.2%) in the first of 15 appearances on the BBWAA ballot in 2001, and Belle appeared on two BBWAA ballots, receiving 40 votes (7.7%) in 2006 and 19 (3.5%) in 2007.

Players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose.

This year’s BBWAA ballot includes Carlos Beltran, John Lackey and Jered Weaver among 14 newcomers and Scott Rolen, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner among holdovers.