Gregg, Gonzalez appealing suspensions
Showalter misses Thursday's tilt; Boston's Ortiz gets four games
BALTIMORE -- Orioles closer Kevin Gregg, reliever Michael Gonzalez and manager Buck Showalter were issued fines and suspensions Thursday for their involvement in the incidents that took place between the Orioles and Red Sox in last weekend's series at Fenway Park -- disciplinary action that many in the Baltimore clubhouse didn't view as being entirely fair.
Gregg and Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz -- involved in Friday's benches-clearing brawl after taking offense to a trio of inside pitches and Gregg shouting at him to run out his sacrifice fly -- each received a four-game suspension, with Gregg slapped with a $2,500 fine as well.
Gonzalez was fined $1,500 and suspended three games for throwing behind Ortiz in Sunday's game -- which automatically got Showalter tossed -- after Red Sox manager Terry Francona and rookie starter Kyle Weiland had already been ejected. Francona was not suspended because Major League Baseball ruled Weiland, who was making his debut, didn't have intent in hitting a pair of batters, whereas Gonzalez did.
Red Sox pitcher John Lackey, who hit a pair of batters without immediate repercussions in Saturday's start, was fined an undisclosed amount. Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Orioles reliever Jim Johnson (fined $500) were both ejected following Friday's fracas.
"I definitely think they need to go back and do their homework," Gonzalez said of the punishment, which both he and Gregg are appealing.
"[The series] was definitely frustrating. They lead the league in batters hit. Obviously, a few of those seemed intentional. They're hitting our star guys and you're going to get frustrated as a pitcher. Those are your guys. It's kind of a family thing and they were getting hit. Anyone's going to be pretty mad about it."
"It's pretty steep," Gregg said. "You break down the situation. [Ortiz] actually came out at me twice. I defended myself. To get the same time, suspension, I don't agree with it."
In the bottom of Friday's eighth inning, Gregg threw three straight inside pitches toward Ortiz, who stared angrily before popping the fourth pitch of the at-bat into shallow center field. Gregg didn't take kindly to Ortiz's baserunning and let him know, and the big designated hitter turned and charged the mound. The pair exchanged punches --none of which landed -- and a benches-clearing incident ensued.
Lackey hit both Nick Markakis and Derrek Lee on Saturday, which didn't sit well with Showalter. Boston's right-hander was officially fined for the latter, but he was not ejected or suspended.
"It gives me the idea that they were looking at more than one game," Showalter said of Lackey's punishment. "That's the first I've heard of that. I think [hitting Lee was] obviously intentional."
Showalter, who is not allowed to appeal his suspension, served it on Thursday night. Bench coach John Russell served as skipper for Baltimore's series opener with Cleveland. The Red Sox face the Rays on Friday in St. Petersburg, but Ortiz plans on appealing his suspension.
"They've hit 55 guys on the year, we've hit 18," Gregg said. "We hit one guy with a changeup, and they hit the guys that they hit. So, I don't know. I don't agree with it. I don't.
"They seem to get more hit batters than we did. The way the process went down with the umpires, you know, it's their job to handle the games, keep them under control. That's their job. I will appeal my suspension and see what happens."
Gregg and Gonzalez are eligible to play until their cases are resolved.
"Take a look at the finished product when the appeals are heard, what is reduced and what's not," Showalter said. "We've seen in the past that what's initially handed down and what gets served are two different things in a lot of cases. So, we'll let the process play out."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.