Cabrera suspended 7 games, decries Yankees' penalties

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera isn’t upset at Major League’s Baseball’s decision to suspend him for seven games for instigating the brawl with the Yankees on Thursday afternoon, though he and Alex Wilson (four gaames) are appealing the ruling.

He was expecting that.

But that doesn’t mean he believes justice was served. Far from it.

“My point is, why don’t they say anything about (Aaron) Judge?” he said. “He tried to hit me in the throat. How can he go after me in the throat and not get suspended? A lot of people go after me over there and didn’t get suspended.

“The guy who threw at me (Tommy Kahnle), he says no, he was just pitching inside. Come on. Why don’t you tell the truth? Be a man and say you threw at me. I was OK after that, but they want to be tough and act out because they’re the Yankees. Come on.”

MLB’s Chief baseball officer Joe Torre handed down suspensions and fines Friday afternoon:

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who was shown vividly throwing sucker punches at both Cabrera and Nick Castellanos while they were down on the ground, got a four-game suspension for fighting and throwing punches.

More: Wojo: Cabrera, Tigers hit boiling point with fists of fury

Yankees catcher Austin Romine, whom Cabrera shoved in the initial altercation, was suspended two games for fighting and throwing punches.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was suspended one game, attached to Wilson’s suspension. Whenever a pitcher is ejected for throwing at a hitter after warnings have been issued, the manager also gets a suspension.

“I’m not surprised,” Cabrera said of the length of his suspension. “It’s MLB. They do what they want. I don’t have control over that situation. But be fair. See the video. See the people throwing punches. See the people who go after me when I am on the floor.

“I’m not asking them to give me less. I’m OK with it. I take responsibility. But come on.”

Most of the video shown on MLB Network and ESPN came from the Yankees broadcast. Judge was not highlighted throwing sucker punches. But Cabrera and the Tigers were adamant that he had gone after Cabrera.

“I figured because it started with Miggy, his would be big,” Ausmus said. “I was a little surprised at how short Gary Sanchez’s was considering some of the video I saw. That probably shocks me the most. I thought he would get more.”

Cabrera, Sanchez, Wilson, Romine and Ausmus were also fined an undisclosed amount. Also fined were Yankees manager Joe Girardi, bench coach Rob Thompson, Brett Gardner, Kahnle and Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias.

Yankees Garrett Cooper and Clint Frazier were fined for coming onto the field despite being on the disabled list.

Wilson, who plunked Todd Frazier in the eighth inning, was suspended for four games, while Kahnle was only fined.  Yankees pitchers Dellin Betances and David Robertston, who both hit Tigers hitters, weren’t fined either.

The difference, at least between Wilson and Kahnle, is that Wilson admitted intent.

“In this case, I think honesty was not the best policy,” Wilson said. “I was surprised. Not by the suspension part, but the amount, I guess. It is what it is.”

Ausmus and Wilson both found it odd that Wilson would end up being penalized for doing the honorable thing and admitting he threw at Frazier.

“It’s amazing to me that I tell the truth versus not saying anything and somebody just watching the video sees a difference,” Wilson said. “Obviously, in this case, it’s a lesson learned. … I still don’t think I did anything wrong. I didn’t hurt anybody. I put a bruise on the guy’s leg.

“It was the first (bean)ball that was below the waist on the day. From where I stand, it could have been way worse.”

Michael Fulmer, who hit Sanchez in the fifth, wasn’t fined or suspended, either.

“I firmly believe Fulmer did not try to hit Sanchez,” Ausmus said. “He’s not that kind of a guy. I don’t think Betances tried to hit James McCann and I certainly don’t think Robertson tried to hit John Hicks.”

But, Ausmus said, Fulmer hitting Sanchez after the damage he’d done in the series looked bad.

“Immediately after it happened, I said to Gene Lamont, ‘They are going to hit someone,’ ” Ausmus said. “I completely understand why the Yankees responded the way they did. There’s no ill will toward anybody on the Yankees. They were doing what they could to back up their teammate.”

The Tigers were doing the same thing after Cabrera was thrown at, after McCann was beaned and after Hicks was hit in the wrist.

“Brawls take two teams,” Ausmus said. “It’s not our fault and it’s not their fault. It takes two teams. And it’s not necessarily the umpire’s fault. … I don’t know if I’d say it was handled perfectly, but it takes two teams to brawl.

“The Tigers and the Yankees have to look in the mirror and say we were the two teams. You can’t blame the umpires. We have to look in the mirror also.”

Cabrera was in the lineup and Wilson was available to pitch Friday night while the suspensions are in the appeals process.


Here is a statement from Major League Baseball:

Discipline has been issued to members of the Detroit Tigers and the New York Yankees as a result of the bench-clearing incidents during Thursday's game at Comerica Park in Detroit. Joe Torre, Chief Baseball Officer for Major League Baseball, made the announcement.

* Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera has received a seven-game suspension for inciting the first bench-clearing incident and fighting.

* Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has received a four-game suspension for fighting, including throwing punches.

* Tigers pitcher Alex Wilson has received a four-game suspension for intentionally throwing a pitch at Todd Frazier of the Yankees while warnings were in place for both sides.

* Yankees catcher Austin Romine has received a two-game suspension for fighting, including throwing punches.

* Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has received a one-game suspension for the intentional actions of Wilson while warnings were in place.

All five individuals also received undisclosed fines as a part of their discipline. Others who were fined for their actions during the incidents were Yankees manager Joe Girardi, Yankees bench coach/acting manager Rob Thomson, Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner, Yankees pitcher Tommy Kahnle and Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias. In addition, two members of the Yankees, first baseman Garrett Cooper and outfielder Clint Frazier, received fines for entering the field while being on the disabled list.

Unless appealed, all suspensions are scheduled to be effective tonight, when the Yankees are to host the Seattle Mariners and the Tigers are to visit the Chicago White Sox. If any player elects to appeal, then the discipline issued to him will be held in abeyance until the process is complete. In addition, if Wilson chooses to appeal his discipline, Ausmus' suspension will be effective the same day that Wilson serves his suspension, if any.