Amir Garrett appeals 7-game suspension

May 5th, 2021

CINCINNATI -- Major League Baseball issued a seven-game suspension to Reds reliever on Tuesday for his role in a benches-clearing incident Saturday against the Cubs.

Cincinnati opened a two-game series against the White Sox on Tuesday night with a 9-0 loss.

Major League Baseball vice president of on-field operations Michael Hill levied the suspension and an undisclosed fine to Garrett “for inciting a benches-clearing incident” during the top of the eighth inning of the Reds' 3-2 loss to Chicago.

“I had the opportunity to speak with the league, Major League Baseball yesterday, and was able to express my opinion and my take on it,” Reds manager David Bell said following Tuesday's series opener. “For me, it’s just better to have the direct conversation. I’m going to not comment on it, because I did have that opportunity, and I appreciate being able to do that. It’s best if I don’t say anything more.”

Garrett struck out Anthony Rizzo and pounded his chest while shouting at the hitter. Several members of the Cubs took exception, notably Javier Báez. The shortstop jumped over the railing and challenged Garrett, which resulted in both benches and bullpens spilling onto the field.

Garrett, who has struggled for much of the young season, said on Sunday that he was essentially celebrating to himself. He often gets fired up on the mound, but his actions have often roiled opposing clubs.

“I felt my normal self, so when I struck Rizzo out, I let him know. I let him know, 'I'm back. I'm good. I'm here,’” Garrett said. “That's basically all it was. I turn around, got the ball and heard Báez chirping, so I'm going to chirp back.”

No punches were ultimately thrown, and no players were ejected. Báez received a fine but was not suspended for his role.

“He jumped over the rail and stood there and yelled,” Garrett said of Báez on Sunday. “We're grown men. If you want to come and get me, you can come and get me. If I wanted to go and get him, I could've went and got him, but I wasn't trying to take it there. It's a waste of my time and money and all that.”

Garrett was previously given an eight-game suspension by MLB in 2019 for charging the Pirates' dugout and sparking a benches-clearing incident.

MLB has taken a hard line in disciplining players for similar situations.

On Monday, Phillies reliever José Alvarado was given a three-game suspension for celebrating a strikeout of the Mets' Dominic Smith on Friday before he gestured and challenged him to fight. No punches were thrown during that dust-up as well. Alvarado had his suspension reduced to two games after his appeal.

Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos unsuccessfully appealed a two-game suspension for flexing and shouting at Cardinals pitcher Jake Woodford while standing over him at home plate on April 3.