Whether they deserved to or not, the Arizona Diamondbacks definitely took the brunt of the suspensions handed down by Major League Baseball stemming from Tuesday's brawl with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In the immediate aftermath of that official announcement, several D-Backs, including injured players Brandon McCarthy, Daniel Hudson and Adam Eaton, took to Twitter to let their displeasure be known publicly, but perhaps the most interesting (and straight forward) comments came a little later from their catcher Miguel Montero.
Speaking to the media prior to Arizona's 2-1 loss to the San Diego Padres on Friday night, Montero, who was fined for his role in the brawl, weighed in with his own confusion and anger over the suspensions — which include starting pitcher Ian Kennedy getting 10 games — and then he went a little further when describing his feelings on being Zack Greinke's target for retaliation.
Montero said he did not expect to be hit but also did not want to start anything afterward.
"The last thing I wanted to do was get suspended. I know he’s a little chicken(expletive). I didn’t want to fight,” Montero said of Greinke.
The benches did clear after Montero was struck squarely in the back by Greinke in what was clearly retaliation for Yasiel Puig having an Ian Kennedy pitch graze off his nose, but nothing serious developed.
Obviously, the initial Kennedy plunking was unintentional, but it's a little surprising to hear Montero say he wasn't anticipating some type of retribution. Regardless of intentions, when a player as important and productive as Puig has been since his callup is beaned, a message will often be sent back and that's the end of it.
Unfortunately, though, that wasn't the end of it as Kennedy went too high in plunking Greinke on the shoulder his next time at the plate and all kinds of heck broke loose as a result. That includes Yaisel Puig being clearly spotted throwing a few haymakers in the melee while Eric Hinske seemingly played peacemaker. When it was announced that Hinske had drawn a five-game suspension and Puig was only fined, that would draw the most negative reaction from the D-Backs and especially Montero.
Of Hinske's suspension, Montero said: "The guy was getting punched and he was trying to break the fight down and he gets five games. Really? Come on. The guy Puig, throwing punches all over the place. Every single camera saw him throwing punches. Just a fine? That’s the thing that I don’t understand. I don’t know if they are just trying to cover their eyes when they are looking at that video. I’m very disappointed."
Montero, wearing his catching gear, pulled J.P. Howell off D-backs assistant hitting coach Turner Ward as the Dodgers reliever drove Ward into the railing of a camera well adjacent to the Arizona dugout.
"If I don’t get involved, if I don’t try to separate it, he would get hammered," Montero said.
J.P. Howell only got two games for his aggressive actions.
But wait, Montero wasn't quite done there. He had one last parting take on Clayton Kershaw and MLB's mishandling of the situation. At least in his opinion.
"Then you see video with (the Dodgers' Clayton) Kershaw coming at me throwing punches and nobody mentioned it. Golden boys, I guess. I don’t know what to say. Just really mad and disappointed. I hope they see that again, and hopefully they get a better angle or a better camera. Or they (use) slow motion and go through it one more time and realize the mistakes they made."
While I don't agree completely with everything Montero said, I can certainly understand his frustration. MLB put themselves in a bad position by ignoring evidence that appeared to be very clear, and as a result they look like they may have been protecting one team over another. It's a bad look, too, but maybe they'll do some correcting once the appeals process begins.