The New York Yankees could be without Gary Sanchez for a long time, with rumors that the slugger will be facing a hefty suspension after delivering two separate sucker punches during the team's brawl with the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.
Both benches and bullpens quickly emptied into a scrum around home plate, and Cabrera and Romine were ejected - with Romine screaming at umpire crew chief Dave Duncan before leaving the field.
Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez has received a four-game suspension for fighting, including throwing punches.
Besides Sanchez and Cabrera, Tigers reliever Alex Wilson was also suspended for four games, Yankees catcher received two games and Detroit manager Brad Ausmus got one. He said he expected to receive a hefty suspension, but was angry that the Yankees were not also punished. Additional fines were issued to Yankees manager Joe Girardi, bench coach Rob Thompson, outfielder Brett Gardner, pitcher Tommy Kahnle, first baseman Garrett Cooper, outfielder Clint Frazier and Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias. Kahnle and Yankees manager Joe Girardi were ejected, and after Aroldis Chapman had completed his warmup, Cabrera and Romine had words and the first of three bench-clearing incidents commenced.
The Yankees hoped to be able to stagger the suspensions so they didn't lose both catchers at the same time.
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If the players accept their suspensions, they will begin immediately, meaning the suspended Tigers players would miss the opening game of their series against the Chicago White Sox on Friday, while the Yankees players would miss Friday night's game against the Seattle Mariners.
Though Kahnle missed, his attempt was standard retaliation stuff, throwing at Cabrera at hip level as a response to Michael Fulmer plunking Sanchez.
Wilson essentially acknowledged he drilled Frazier on goal to "take care" of his teammates and "make a stand".
All the punches have been thrown, but now the pain really starts.
Torre, meanwhile, resisted public pressure to suspend Betances, and while Tigers' fans, among others, are going to scream he's looking out for his old team, I have more respect for his integrity than that. (Judge) is going to get away (with it)?
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Unlike most pitchers, who deny intentionally throwing a batter even when it is obvious, Wilson took full responsiblity after the game.
"I was defending myself", Romine said.
"With me hitting a guy in the leg, it's what I have to do and that's what I did", Wilson said.
In any case, home plate umpire Carlos Torres seemed to understand it wasn't a objective pitch, and didn't toss Betances until crew chief Dana DeMuth stepped in, probably because he recognized the Tigers were frothing at the mouth at that point.
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