CINCINNATI -- As Reds reliever Amir Garrett reflected late Tuesday night about his part in starting a bench-clearing brawl with the Pirates, he noticed kids on social media were celebrating his actions in the fight.
On Wednesday, Garrett wanted all kids to know that what he did wasn’t cool. The left-hander felt remorse.
“When I see kids, I don’t want to set that kind of example,” Garrett told MLB.com. “That’s not the kind of person I am. I don’t condone violence. I don’t like for stuff like that to happen and for kids to be amazed by stuff like that and think it’s cool -- because it’s not.
"At the same time, it shows you have to stick up for yourself sometimes. But you always want to do the right thing and do as much as you can before it gets to physically harming somebody. I could have done a better job of keeping my composure and let all the [Pirates] comments roll off my skin.”
Tensions were already high after Pirates reliever Keone Kela intentionally threw a fastball up and in on Derek Dietrich in the seventh inning. Players on both sides were exchanging words and both benches were warned.
Garrett was on the mound in the ninth inning of the Reds' 11-4 loss when he heard Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams yelling at him from the visitor’s dugout. Garrett then charged the dugout and basically tried to fight the entire Pirates team.
“It won’t happen again,” Garrett said. “We’re athletes and kids are very impressionable. We want to set a good example for them. That’s not something you want them to see as part of baseball. I feel bad about it.”
Garrett watched the replay of the fight.
"I don't know what to say. When I got in there, I thought to myself, ‘This might not have been a good idea,'" he said. "It happened. I got out of character. That's not my character. I don't pretend to be a tough guy. I don't want anybody to be scared of me. At the end of the day, we're all human beings. We all have emotions. Sometimes things get out of hand.”
Major League Baseball had yet to issue discipline Wednesday morning ahead of the three-game series finale. Garrett fully expects to be suspended.
“I know what’s coming. You’ve got to handle it and take it,” he said. “For every action, there is consequence. I tell people that you can do anything in this world, but there are always consequences -- good or bad. I will accept whatever I have, move forward and it will be all right.”
Before Wednesday’s game, the Reds activated right-handed reliever David Hernandez from the 10-day injured list. Hernandez had been out with right shoulder fatigue since July 18.
What’s next in right field?
Ervin has been hitting well for much of his time back in the big leagues. VanMeter has come on strong as well, and has hit all four of his homers since the All-Star break.
“The good thing is, all those guys can play all three outfield positions,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We’ll continue to find, mix-and-match and turn it into a positive for us as a team and them individually to get more playing time.”
Ervin came in batting .457 in the second half, but much of his success and playing time has been when matched up against left-handed pitching. Bell did not view him as a platoon player.
“He has been a little bit more so to this point, but we don't see him that way,” Bell said. “We don't see limiting him to that in any way. With this happening, it'll open that up, the possibility for him to play more against right-handers.”