Odor getting off easy with eight-game suspension

By: Bob Elliott

Canadian Baseball Network

To cut to the chase on the Sunday afternoon suspensions:

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons will be suspended for three games and fined $5,000 US for going onto the field after being ejected five innings earlier for arguing balls and strikes.

And Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor, who punched Jose Bautista after an illegal slide, was suspended eight games and fined $5,000 US.

Let’s get this straight: Odor pops Bautista in the jaw sending sun glasses and helmet flying, which could have given the Jays free agent either a busted jaw or a concussion ... and he gets five more games than a manager who goes back onto the field as peace maker?


Thus Major League Baseball chief baseball officer Joe Torre ruled in all its wisdom on Tuesday.

How calm and relaxed will you Blue Jays fans feel if Odor appeals and the man who threw the punch gets his sentence reduced to five or six games?

“I’m not going to worry about (Odor’s) suspension, I have enough to worry about, I have as much respect for Joe Torre as anyone in the game,” Gibbons told reporters, before serving the first of his three game suspension. “It’s a tough job. Someone is always complaining that they got the short end of the stick.”

While players have their union to protect them allowing for appeals, managers do not, so no appeal for Gibbons.

Allowed his suspension was “a little excessive,” Gibbons said he spoke to Torre Monday and said Torre would be calling later Tuesday to explain his ruling (moments later Torre phoned Gibbons).

Bautista was suspended one game and appealed so he was in the lineup against the Tampa Bay Rays. Bautista said he was not commenting (about his suspension) until he saw the official release from New York. 

Is it fair for a player who popped him in the face to get only five more games than his manager?

“They work off previous precedents,” said Bautista. “I’m not on the discipline committee.” 

Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus was suspended one game and served it during the Rangers game in Oakland. Andrus had thrown a punch at Jays centre fielder Kevin Pillar. 

Reliever Jesse Chavez who hit Prince Fielder -- after Matt Bush had hit Bautista prompting warnings to be issued -- was suspended three games.

First base coach Tim Leiper was suspended for one game for returning to the dugout.

Neither Josh Donaldson, nor Kevin Pillar, who both sprinted to the melee to track down Odor, were suspended. Pillar was fined along Donaldson, and bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who was in charge when Chavez hit Fielder after warnings were in effect 

Rangers Matt Bush, Sam Dyson, coach Steve Buechele, A.J. Griffin and Robinson Chirinos -- the final two for being on the field while on the disaabled list -- were all fined.

Bautista said he would not comment on his suspension until his appeal process had taken place, saying “I’m not appealing for the sake of appealing.”

Looking at the replays of Sunday showed some other facts 

_ Catcher Russell Martin and Texas manager Jeff Bannister, his former coach with the Pittsburgh Pirates wrassled. Reliever Dyson jumped on Martin’s back. Martin threw him off and looked to be applying a choke hold. 

_ Buechele was upset yelling at Jays coaches Dane Johnson and Pete Walker, who had his foot stepped on and threw a shoe in the midst of the mess.

_ Leiper was spotted in the dugout wearing shower shoes. Leiper had been ejected earlier for arguing with first base ump Dale Scott. While MLB suspended Leiper the Jays Kangaroo court may levy a fine for footwear.

_ Both Bannister and Gibbons appeared to be hurling insults at each other as they left the field. What was said? “Ah,” said Gibbons, often accused of being a mumbler, “neither one of us could understand the other.”

Gibbons said as a manager “that’s your team out there, you should go out and try to keep things under control.”

Bench coach Hale will manage the Jays.

“If he goes 3-0 we will switch jobs,” Gibbons joked, before reconsidering. “Maybe even 2-1.”

A number of fans are surprised that Bautista was not ready for Odor’s right cross.

Well, over the years we’ve seen Rangers Nolan Ryan put Chicago White Sox Robin Ventura in a head lock and drop a 1-2-3 knuckle sandwich on him, George Bell deliever a high Karate kick to Boston Red Sox Bruce Kison, Ed Sprague and Los Angeles Angels’ Tim Salmon wrassle.

And we heard about San Francisco Giants Willie Mays and Elio Chacon of the Cincinnati Reds fighting at second, but we’ve never seen a player punch a player in the face at second base.

And ... it only costs Odor eight games.