ANAHEIM, Calif. — Fallout from baseball’s nastiest brawl of the season hit the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners swift and hard Monday with 12 uniformed personnel between the teams receiving a total of 47 games in suspensions for their actions on Sunday in a 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 managed the Angels for only 19 games since the club fired Joe Maddon on June 7.
Other lengthy suspensions went to Mariners outfielder Jesse Winker (seven games, most likely in large part for the obscene gesture he directed toward Angels fans as he exited the field) and shortstop J.P. Crawford (five games), as well as Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon and the assistant pitching coach Dom Chiti (five games each).
The brawl started in the second inning Sunday, but tensions 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.”
There had also been a scary incident on June 18, when Mariners outfielder Justin Upton was hit in the head by a Michael Lorenzen pitch, which both teams seemed to understand at the time was an accident. Lorenzen was emotional after that game, blasting the baseballs being used in games this year for being too slippery. Coincidental or not, three days later, M.L.B. moved to standardize how the balls are prepared before games and sent a memo to each team detailing protocol.
Shortly before Sunday’s game — the eighth game between the teams in an 11-day span — 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 warned both benches.
Speaking Monday afternoon, before punishments were levied, Nevin addressed whether he had used Wantz as an opener for that 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, because of the suspensions that were looming.
Wantz stayed in the game after the incident with Rodríguez, and when he drilled Winker in the rear end in the second inning, the outfielder reacted angrily and eventually moved toward the Angels’ dugout while yelling and gesturing.
The benches and bullpens emptied, delaying the game by 18 minutes. Rendon, who is out for the season after surgery on his right wrist, was one of the first players to engage Winker. M.L.B. said Rendon’s suspension was for “his actions during the incident 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 of 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 M.L.B. staggered them: Nevin, Chiti and Del Campo began serving their suspensions Monday night, when they watched the Angels beat the White Sox, 4-3, from an upstairs suite in Angel Stadium. Montgomery and Haselman, according to M.L.B., will begin serving their suspensions after Chiti returns from his.
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 in Seattle, as their suspensions are subject to their appeals. Servais, the Mariners’ manager, was ejected during the brawl, but he was not suspended.
There were at least two injuries as a result of the fight. The Mariners placed the backup catcher Luis Torrens on the 10-day injured list Monday with left shoulder inflammation, and the Angels placed the right-handed reliever Archie Bradley on the 15-day I.L. Tuesday with a fractured elbow. The team believes Bradley’s injury occurred when he jumped over the railing of the dugout to join the brawl, MLB.com reported.
The punishments were not announced by M.L.B. until about 40 minutes before the Angels played the White Sox in Anaheim 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 isn’t hockey. It’s uncalled for.”
Trout, who was not available to the news media after the brawl on Sunday, declined to discuss the fight.
The Angels and the Mariners next meet for three games in Seattle beginning Aug. 5.
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