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Big League Stew

Brian McCann defends his actions in Braves-Brewers bench-clearing brawl

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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(USA Today)

Brian McCann didn't get suspended by Major League Baseball for his part in Wednesday's scuffle between his Atlanta Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers. But it turns out, McCann might be missing some time.

The Braves catcher left Thursday's game early with a mild groin strain, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that, worst case, he's out until the start of the playoffs. But he could also play this weekend. It's a wait-and-see situation.

Considering the fracas on the field Wednesday night, though, McCann's groin is still secondary on the minds of many fans around baseball. That's because McCann did something most of us had never seen before: He stormed down the third baseline and blocked Carlos Gomez of the Brewers from crossing home plate.

Gomez had homered, showboated and talked trash to a few Braves as he rounded the bases. McCann wasn't having it and got in Gomez's face. The benches cleared. Ejections followed. And then, on Thursday, suspensions were handed to Gomez and Reed Johnson of the Braves.

McCann received a fine for an undisclosed amount. Then he defended his actions, telling Carroll Rogers of the AJC:

“In the heat of the moment, I did what I thought was right,” McCann said. “I stand by what I did. I’m sticking up for this team. I don’t think that’s a part of baseball. Reading what [Gomez] said last night, I think he agrees with it.”

Gomez apologized for his part, both to reporters after the game and in a series of tweets. Here's more from McCann, explaining what exactly set him off:

“If you want to sit there and watch it for a few seconds, I’m OK with that. But to round the bases and yell the whole way around the bases, I just I felt like I needed to say something. I don’t think that’s a part of the game of baseball. I thought he showed up our whole team. So I did what I felt any catcher would do in that situation. That’s sticking up for his teammate. He rounded third base and was still yelling, and I was furious. I don’t even know what happened after that.”

And since MLB didn't think McCann's actions warranted a suspension, McCann might have set a baseball precedent with his sticking-up-for-my-teammates defense.

Is it time to add that to baseball's list of unwritten rules?

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