When Carlos Gomez had his run-in with the Atlanta Braves last season, he was quick to apologize for his behavior. Long-standing bad blood with then-Braves pitcher Paul Maholm got the best of him, and his showdown with Brian McCann at home plate cost him a one-game suspension.
A longer ban is likely headed Gomez’s way, but this time he says he has nothing to apologize for and plans to fight any suspension:
“That (Atlanta) game I know I go over (the line). But today I’m not. First of all, I hit a triple – it’s not a double – I’m not flipping my bat because I think it’s a home run. I thought it was an out. I thought it was a fly-ball out, line-drive center field. And I’m kind of like, ‘Oh, I had good contact but I don’t think it’s going out.’ It’s not like I’m pimping a home run.
“I get to third base and somebody’s screaming at me – ‘It’s not your job.’ But everything’s over and Snider comes real angry and talks to me that way, so I responded back, he tried to punch me and everything started there. I don’t know why they’re mad for something like that.
“I’m not apologizing for nothing I did today. I do the stuff I’ve been doing for eight years. Why do people get mad and pissed off for something I do every time? And when they do it nobody get mad, nobody get pissed off? I don’t understand.”
“(Jose) Tabata hit a double, pimped it, we don’t do nothing. (Andrew) McCutchen do it yesterday. Russell Martin did it. We didn’t do nothing. We respect that – ‘You win, OK, enjoy it.’ We hit a double, we hit a triple, they get mad. I don’t think it’s fair.”
The perceived lack of remorse probably isn’t going to help any possible appeals, but he does bring up some valid points, even if you have a problem with the way he reacted to the situation.
He flipped the bat when he homered against the Pirates Friday night. He flipped his bat on a sac fly against the Pirates last week. He came into Sunday slugging .500 against them in the previous six games. It’s entirely possible that Gerrit Cole’s (and the Pirates’) frustration was built up over multiple bat flips (read: getting beaten by him multiple times), and this — the 7th time they’ve played eachother in 10 days — was just the crack in the dam that finally did it after a week and a half of frustration.The Pirates did do their fair share of celebrating during the series, and the Brewers have rarely been ones to retaliate under Ron Roenicke or lecture other teams on How To Play The Game. Gomez got a hold of a pitch in a scoreless game. He got excited. Maybe he tossed the bat aside because he was upset he narrowly missed it, like he says (this part can be hard to believe). Maybe he tossed the bat because he thought he got it all, and didn’t figure he’d be a couple feet short — the ball he hit is out of just about any other park in the National League.
None of which excuses Cole from doing his best Chris Carpenter impression, Travis Snider and Russell Martin coming out of the dugout to throw down, or Clint Hurdle’s “that’s just the way we do things” attitude. Like Gomez said, he’s been doing this his entire big league career. As an eight-year vet, he probably doesn’t feel like getting lectured on the unwritten rules by a guy with 24 Major League starts to his name. With that said, a lot of what transpired could have been avoided if Gomez laughed off what Cole had to say and basically replied with some form of “you mad?”
The bottom line here is that neither side is blameless, and neither side is the devil. Ryan probably said it best on Twitter this afternoon:
@ThreeRiversBlog Carlos Gomez and Garrett Cole had a maturity contest. They both lost.
— RD Topp (@RDTopp) April 20, 2014
The Brewers don’t see the Pirates again until May 13-15. Maybe a month away from eachother will be enough to cool some tempers.