CINCINNATI -- In the wake of Sunday’s bench-clearing incident between the Reds and Pirates at PNC Park, Major League Baseball doled out disciplinary action.
Archer may decide to appeal his suspension, which would not begin until the Pirates' game Wednesday night. Puig elected not to appeal. By rule, managers may not appeal suspensions.
The Pirates had a scheduled off-day in Chicago on Tuesday and neither Archer nor other members of the club were available for comment.
During the second inning of Pittsburgh’s 7-5 victory over Cincinnati, Dietrich hit a two-run home run that landed in the Allegheny River. Then, he admired the drive from the batter’s box for a few extra moments. When Dietrich batted in the fourth inning, Archer fired a fastball behind him in apparent retaliation. Home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg issued warnings to both benches but did not eject Archer from the game. That incensed Bell, who ran out of the dugout to argue with Kellogg.
“I think MLB did a good job of identifying the fact that Archer did intentionally throw at our player, did intentionally try to injure him, and he was suspended for five games,” Bell said. “At the time, my only course of action was to get their pitcher ejected. I was told that he would have been ejected if he had thrown at his head. To me, that’s a dangerous approach.”
The Pirates mostly denied any sort of motive behind Archer’s pitch, but Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez said they did not appreciate the way Dietrich admired his home run.
“I think it was a little too much. He can look at it and start running. Don’t stay in there then start walking,” Vazquez said on Sunday. “We all knew it was going to be far, but you don’t have to wait until the ball hits the ground then start walking. You’re not supposed to do that.”
Following the game, Archer told reporters he had no intent to hit Dietrich and noted he simply “yanked” the pitch and “missed my spot.”
Archer is known to be a demonstrative pitcher. Last season Archer, then with the Rays, danced off the mound following a strikeout of Dietrich when he was with the Marlins.
“I don’t know what those [unwritten] rules are,” Bell said. “All I know is this is pretty simple. Our hitter hits a home run and he didn’t do anything against Major League Baseball rules or umpires and anyone else’s rules. Everyone in the ballpark knew he was going to stand up there and get hit with a fastball and that very easily could have hit him in the head. That would have done damage and that was OK because it was supposedly not aimed at his head.”
As Bell went to argue with Kellogg, it initially appeared that he might be going to have words with Archer and that brought some Pirates players on the field and eventually both teams’ dugouts and bullpens emptied.
“At first, it kind of looked like [Bell] was coming toward me. I really didn’t hear what he said,” said Archer on Sunday, noticeably wearing a shirt with that read When you play Pittsburgh, you play the whole city. “I was just trying to get a new ball from the umpire. I don’t know what he was saying.”
Just as things settled down, Puig made a charge at several Pirates near home plate and that brought pushing and shoving but no punches were thrown. Reds lefty reliever Amir Garrett was also ejected for his part in the incident but received no additional discipline.
“I’m suspended two games and nobody from both teams threw a punch,” Puig said. “We hit a home run, we look at the ball a little bit too much or do backflip and the other team is going to be pissed off at us. The next AB, the pitcher, the catcher, with the manager and the pitching coach want to hit us, and we don’t have any chance to hit him back because we’re not pitching, you know. We react like that, like we reacted two days ago.
“The pitchers [are] going to be suspended for five days, that’s not costing him nothing because no matter what he’s going to rest for five days. It costs me two games and I can’t help in any way my team to win these games.”
Bell said he did not intend to cause a bench-clearing incident on the field by arguing with Kellogg about Archer.
“I actually went out with every intention to avoid that. My intention was to get him ejected so we could move on to the rest of the game,” he said. “That to me was the only thing that could have been done to make that situation right.”