Aroldis, Boone on suspensions: 'No intention'

September 2nd, 2020

NEW YORK -- is appealing the three-game suspension levied upon him by Major League Baseball, the left-handed closer saying that there was “no intention” behind a 101 mph pitch that buzzed the Rays’ Mike Brosseau in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 5-3 Yankees victory.

Chapman also received an undisclosed fine for his actions, which sparked an on-field incident immediately following the game’s final out. Rays manager Kevin Cash and Yankees manager Aaron Boone were disciplined with one-game suspensions and fined; both skippers will serve their bans during Wednesday’s series finale.

“There was never any intention to hit anybody,” Chapman said through an interpreter. “There’s a lot of back and forth; teams competing for first place. There’s a lot of tenacity between the teams, but it’s understandable when you’re in a race.”

Boone said he spoke with Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, following the announcement. Boone does not believe the suspensions were warranted for Chapman or himself.

“I don't think I should be sitting out tonight, nor Chappy,” Boone said. “I also do respect the process and the thoroughness and the care that they gave to walking through this. I accept it, but I certainly don't agree with it.”

Boone added that he believes Cash’s postgame comments were “reckless and inflammatory.” Cash closed his remarks by saying that the Rays have “a whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98 mph, period,” while also critiquing the Yanks’ “poor judgment, poor coaching, poor teaching.”

“Tonight will give me time to reflect on that a little bit and maybe tighten up my coaching techniques,” said Boone, who said he felt no need to speak with Cash about Tuesday’s events.

Chapman’s high-and-tight pitch to Brosseau was the latest installment of a Yankees-Rays drama that dates at least back to September 2018 at Tropicana Field, when CC Sabathia plunked a batter in retaliation for a fastball near Austin Romine’s head. Since the start of 2018, the Yankees had hit 19 Rays and the Rays had hit 14 Yanks entering Wednesday.

“Even though there's been a few of these incidences where the blood gets boiling and tempers flare, I think both teams are smart enough and good enough to realize that it's about getting the job done on the field,” Boone said. “Hopefully this is something that can all be behind us.”

The Rays also believed that right-hander Masahiro Tanaka intentionally hit Joey Wendle in the first inning on Tuesday. Boone said the Yankees have been upset by several pitches up and in on DJ LeMahieu this season.

As for Chapman, he said that his fastball command has been an issue following a delayed start to his season, stating that there have been times where he has had to sacrifice velocity for command. Tuesday marked Chapman’s fourth appearance of the year and his first save.

“I want to make this clear: I had no intention of hitting anybody at all,” Chapman said. “If you look at my career, the years that I have playing in this league, I've never had any issues or ever been in a situation where I've hit anybody on purpose. Of course there are pitches that are close to hitters, but there was never any intention to hit anybody.”

Gleyber: 'Almost ready'
is scheduled to report to the Yankees’ alternate training site on Thursday and hopes to rejoin the active roster during the upcoming four-game weekend series against the Orioles at Camden Yards.

Torres has not played since Aug. 20, when he sustained strains to his left hamstring and quadriceps while running to first base.

“I feel pretty good -- almost ready,” Torres said. “I did what I needed to do during the rehab stuff; bases, exercise, everything. I just need a few at-bats to see real pitchers. I think that is what I need to be back with the team.”

This date in Yankees history
Sept. 2, 2001: Mike Mussina comes within one out of a perfect game, surrendering a pinch-hit single to Carl Everett with two outs in the ninth inning at Fenway Park. Mussina completes his gem with 13 strikeouts and no walks in the Yanks’ 1-0 victory.