Blue Jays Notebook: Suspension Edition

By: Bob Elliott

Canadian Baseball Network

John Gibbons was doing his daily pre-game meet the press briefing in his office Tuesday afternoon. On the flat screen TV with the sound down MLB Network showed highlight of the bench-clearing brawl on Sundayagainst the Kansas City Royals.

Gibbons, who had been ejected by plate ump Jim Wolf, was watching and returned to the field earning him a one-game suspension, while reliever Aaron Sanchez was handed three games.

Host Brian Kenny had Steve Wilkos, host of the Steve Wilkos show (a Jerry Springer offspring) discussing the Royals-Blue Jays dust up when someone asked if Gibbons had ever been on that show ... just as a clip from the Wilkos show was shown with guests swinging chairs at each other.

“You mean on the MLB show or the one with the people throwing chairs?” asked Gibbons, who accepted his one game wearing the suspenders which put bench coach DeMarlo Hale in charge Tuesday against the Twins. 

“That’s the rule, that’s the law,” Gibbons told reporters, “coaches and manager don’t go out and throw punches -- you go to make peace -- but that’s the rule. So you have to have that: If that’s the rule, you have to follow it. I’m a law-abiding guy.”

Sanchez appeal: Sanchez was suspended for intentionally hitting Alcides Escobar. Wolf, whose brother Randy pitches for triple-A Buffalo, ruled that Sanchez deliberately threw at Escobar in the eighth after both benches had been officially warned in the first.

“You guys heard what I said after the game,” Sanchez told reporters before Tuesday’s game. “Nothing’s changed. I’m appealing this, so I’ll be ready to go.”

Gibbons said that he hoped Sanchez could have his appeal heard and get the suspension “chipped down a little,” adding that’s kind of automatic after warnings, when you get ejected for hitting a guy.”

General manager Alex Anthopoulos, who was surprised at the three games, said that Jays are not part of the appeal process. It’s Sanchez and his agent who are appealing. 

“I understand the fact that with warnings issued that this potentially was going to happen,” said Anthopoulos. “Three games seems (high). It’s at the umpire’s discretion. If he feels that way, it’s not for us to decide. We can have our opinion and go through the appeal process. Three games on our end seems like a lot.”

Money matters? Newly-acquired outfielder Ben Revere is owed $1.367 million on his contract this season, of which the Philadelphia Phillies are paying $1.2 million of the outstanding monies ... The Jays are paying 1/3 of reliever Mark Lowe’s $700,000 contract.

Stars in the crowd: Guy Laurence, CEO of Rogers Communications, was seated behind the Jays dugout Tuesday night.  He was not seated alongside Dave Dombrowski, who was released from his duties as vice-president and general manager of the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday ...

George McGonagle, president of the Jays affiliate the Bluefield Blue Jays and his top aid Marc Meacham were in town to check on Bluefield grads Kevin Pillar and Roberto Osuna ...

Ex-Jays Devon White, Duane Ward, Juan Guzman, Jesse Barfield, Candy Maldonado and Rance Mulliniks are in town for the Honda Super Camp and Tournament 12 evaluations. The next group of T12 players named to the third annual event is listed on the Canadian Baseball Network web site.  

Team President George McGonagle, a former Air Force veteran, has been with Bluefield baseball for more than 50 years. He has held the position of president since 1988. McGonagle has been named the Appalachian League Executive of the Year three times (1990, 1995, and 2007).

He was the General Manager for Bluefield from 1995-2007, and has since served three stints as the Interim GM. In 2012, he was named “King of Baseball” at the annual Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn.