OAKLAND -- The Rangers are rallying around infielder Rougned Odor as he faces an eight-game suspension for his actions in Sunday's game against the Blue Jays. Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus received a one-game suspension.Odor is appealing the punishment, and the suspension will be held in abeyance until the appeal is
OAKLAND -- The Rangers are rallying around infielder Rougned Odor as he faces an eight-game suspension for his actions in Sunday's game against the Blue Jays. Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus received a one-game suspension.
Odor is appealing the punishment, and the suspension will be held in abeyance until the appeal is heard. Andrus opted to serve his suspension during Tuesday night's game against the Athletics.
"The rules are what they are," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "There are precedents and the rules are fair for punishment. They are in place for a reason. We live by them and move on. You get three strikes and you're out. That's the rules we play by."
Banister isn't happy that he's had to read suggestions that Odor is a "dirty player," as suggested in some of the post-brawl chatter.
"I probably takes those comments harder when I see the words 'dirty player' attached to Rougned Odor," Banister said. "What I know about Rougned Odor, he's such a team player, he runs hard, slides hard, plays hard for the team. It's all about the team. He plays with a passion for his teammates. I know what's in his heart and mind. I know where his competitive fire is at."
There were 14 individuals punished for their actions during Sunday's game. Odor received the most severe punishment.
"I knew I was going to be suspended," Odor said. "I just have to follow the protocol and wait for the appeal. I just want to be with my team. I don't want to be out eight games."
The appeals process will be determined by the Players Association and the Commissioner's Office and could be done in the next week or so.
"Those appeals range from conversations and negotiations over the length of time up to having players actively involved," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "We're not sure what the next step will be. It's up to the union. They try to do this in a timely fashion.
"If anything comes out of this, it's the misconception of Rougned Odor and what he stands for. People who know him know he has the heart of a champion. Anything construed beyond that is unfair. We stand behind him 100 percent. We just wish we had another 100 Rougned Odors in our system."
Odor was involved in an altercation with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista in the top of the eighth inning of a 7-6 win in Arlington, during which Odor landed a hard punch to Bautista's face.
Bautista had been hit by a pitch from reliever Matt Bush and was on first base with one out when Justin Smoak hit a grounder to third baseman Adrian Beltre. Bautista slid hard into Odor at second on the force play, then jumped up and faced off with Odor. Odor first pushed Bautista, then threw a right to Bautista's jaw. Bautista was pulled away by Beltre as the two teams rushed to the scene.
During the resulting melee, Andrus threw a punch at Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar, prompting the suspension. Bush, who was pitching in his second Major League game, was not suspended. Bush, however, was fined for throwing at Bautista. Pitcher Sam Dyson and bench coach Steve Buechele were also fined for aggressive actions. Pitcher A.J. Griffin and catcher Robinson Chirinos were fined for being on the field while on the disabled list.
Bautista received a one-game suspension but is appealing it. Andrus decided not to appeal his one-game suspension.
"I don't think you can get it reduced to a half game," Levine said.
The Rangers held a team meeting before Tuesday's game.
"It's only a distraction when it keeps coming up," Banister said. "We are in the business of playing baseball. Something happened on the field. It's happened before. It's not what any of us wanted. We'll live with the punishment.
"Never will this club ask for, look for or reach for excuses or sympathy. We'll go out and play baseball with whatever circumstances we have to play for."
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.