Miggy suspended 7 games, Sanchez 4 in fracas

Tigers reliever Wilson also suspended 4 games, Romine 2; all 4 players appealing

August 25th, 2017

CHICAGO -- The discipline from Thursday's Tigers-Yankees altercations arrived quickly from Major League Baseball. It did not seem to cool lingering tensions much between the two teams.

Miguel Cabrera was suspended for seven games and fined an undisclosed amount for inciting a benches-clearing incident and fighting with Yankees catcher Austin Romine, who was suspended for two games for fighting and throwing punches. Gary Sanchez received a four-game suspension for fighting and throwing punches in the ensuing fracas.

"I'm not going to feel good about that," Sanchez said before Friday's Yankees game against the Mariners in New York. "That's four games that I'm not going to be able to help the team, and I know that they're going to need me. It's not a good feeling."

Tigers reliever Alex Wilson received a four-game suspension for later intentionally throwing at Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier after warnings had been issued. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus received an automatic one-game suspension as a result of Wilson's actions.

All four players said Friday they're appealing their suspensions. They can continue playing until their appeals are heard. Because Ausmus' suspension is tied to Wilson's actions, his suspension is also on hold pending Wilson's appeal.

All of them were fined undisclosed amounts for their roles, as were Yankees manager Joe Girardi and bench coach/acting manager Rob Thomson, Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner, pitcher Tommy Kahnle and Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias. Yankees first baseman Garrett Cooper and outfielder Clint Frazier were also fined undisclosed amounts for entering the field while not on the active roster.

The discipline stems from three different bench-clearing incidents in consecutive innings Thursday at Comerica Park, where four players were hit by pitches and five players, both managers and a bench coach were ejected. The biggest was in the sixth inning, when Cabrera and Romine traded punches at home plate following Kahnle's ejection for throwing behind Cabrera.

"There was a lot of emotions going on," Romine said. "There was an instigation and some stuff that he was trying to do. It's hard to say. Again, I've got to stick with the appeal process and we'll see how it plays."

Both Cabrera and Romine were ejected. Sanchez, who was hit by a Michael Fulmer pitch earlier in the game that set up the friction, was not ejected, but replays showed him charging in on the dogpile and delivering several punches to Cabrera.

"I figured because it started with Miggy that his would be one of the bigger ones," Ausmus said of the suspensions. "I'm a little surprised at how short Gary Sanchez's is, quite frankly, considering some of the video I saw. I think that one probably shocked me the most. I thought he would get the largest suspension."

The suspension feels plenty long to Sanchez.

"There's video. Things got out of control pretty quickly there," Sanchez said. "I went out there to defend my teammates. That's what it is."

Cabrera did not dispute his suspension, but remained upset about punches he said were thrown at him.

"Major League Baseball can do whatever they want. They have to control the situation," Cabrera said. "But be fair. See the video. See the people throwing punches. See the people go after me when I was on the floor. That's it. I don't ask them to give me less games. But come on."

Cabrera also accused Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge of punching him in the pile, though there seemed to be no clear footage of it on video.

Though Yankees reliever Dellin Betances was ejected for hitting Tigers catcher James McCann in the head an inning later, crew chief Dana DeMuth said after the game that the ejection was more about keeping the game from getting further out of control than about any perceived intention on Betances' part. That was likely a reason why Betances was neither suspended nor fined.

Also not disciplined was Fulmer, who said afterward that his ulnar neuritis, which landed him on the disabled list earlier this month, was the reason he lost command of the pitch that hit Sanchez following his fourth home run of the series.

"Other than Kahnle throwing behind Miggy and Alex Wilson, I don't think any of them were intentional," Ausmus said. "I firmly believe Fulmer did not try to hit Sanchez. He's just not that type of guy. I don't think Dellin Betances tried to hit James McCann. And I clearly don't think David Robertson tried to hit [John] Hicks."

Wilson, by contrast, did little to hide his intention behind hitting Frazier in the left thigh with an eighth-inning pitch.

"At that point in the game, it was something that had to be handled," Wilson said Thursday.

In hindsight, Wilson regretted saying that.

"In this case, I think honesty was not the best policy," Wilson said. "I was surprised -- not by the suspension part, but the amount, I guess."

Ausmus' and Gardner's actions included a back-and-forth between each other during the bench-clearing that followed Wilson's pitch to Frazier. After the game, Girardi accused Ausmus of using an expletive at one of his players, a charge Ausmus denied Friday.

"He's getting his info second-hand, but that is not what happened," Ausmus said.

The announcement marks the second major discipline handed out to the Tigers in just over a week. Ian Kinsler received a reported $10,000 fine last week for his comments about umpire Angel Hernandez, whom he accused of "blatantly" missing calls.