11 members of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers have been punished, by suspension or fine, for their role in the now infamous brawl between the two Major League Baseball franchises three days ago. Ian Kennedy received the largest punishment for his role in starting the tensions between the teams, and both managers were suspended as well.
Ian Kennedy will serve a ten game suspension for his role in the incident. He hit two batters in the head while attempting to pitch hard inside against the batters. The severity of punishment by the league likely stems from the fact that this isn’t the first time that Ian Kennedy has been accused of intentionally targeting the heads of members of the Dodgers.
Just last year he twice pitched up and in with the hard stuff while pitching against ace Clayton Kershaw. He missed up and in with the first attempt, then followed it up with a pitch up and so far outside that it sailed past Kershaws’ back on its way to the backstop. He maintains his innocence, saying that he has never intentionally targeted a player’s head while pitching.
Tensions in the game rose after rising star Yasiel Puig was drilled in the head by a fastball from Kennedy. The melee broke out after Zack Greinke was drilled in the head in the very next inning.
Members of the Dodgers didn’t see the actions the same way that Kennedy did, as put by utility man Skip Schumaker “I’ve never seen a pitcher throw at two different guys’ heads before. It’s dangerous. It’s different if it’s a beanball war. I’ve been part of those before. I get it. It’s part of the game. I like it. It gets guys going, gets the fans fired up. I get all that. I love it. But when you start throwing at guys’ heads, that’s different.”
All in all, five players were hit by pitches in the Dodgers’ 5-3 win that night.
Punishments for the other ten members of the 11 sanctioned by the league probably came in such a high quantity because this wasn’t the first ugly brawl the Dodgers had been a part of this season. The first came early in the season, and resulted in the newly acquired Zack Greinke breaking his collarbone while taking part in the scrum.
Other players and coaches suspended for their roles in the incident include Diamondbacks first baseman Eric Hinske, who received a five game suspension. Dodgers players J.P. Howell and Skip Schumaker as well as hitting coach Mark McGwire earned two game suspensions for their actions. Dodgers pitcher Ronald Belisario also earned a one game ban.
An undisclosed fine was also issued to all of those suspended as well as others, totaling 11 punished in the aftermath of the ugly brawl. Those who were fined, but not suspended include the Dodgers’ Zack Greinke and Yasiel Puig, as well as Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero and outfielder Gerardo Parra.
Suspensions subject to appeal, although both managers will serve their one game suspensions tonight.
The series ended peacefully the night after the brawl, an encouraging sign that the 11 players punished, as well as the rest of the teams, learned their lessons in the aftermath of the ugly brawl between the two ball clubs. They are slated to meet 10 more times this season.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express
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