Major League Baseball today still hadn’t announced the results of Carlos Gomez‘s appeal of a three-game suspension levied for his actions during an on-field incident on Sunday, April 20 in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. So Gomez took the decision out of the arbitrator’s hands.
Gomez, who left the May 13 game early with lower back tightness, decided to drop the appeal of his suspension and begin serving all three games tonight. Gomez had appealed the length of the suspension immediately and finally had his hearing via video conference on Friday, May 9. The decision on whether to uphold his appeal was already several days in as the circumstances were seemingly carefully considered.
Unfortunately we’ll never know if Gomez would have had the suspension reduced. The timing works out for Gomez because even if he only sat out tonight with back spasms and MLB finally levied a reduced two-game suspension, Gomez would have missed the next three games anyway. And then you run the risk that they don’t reduce it or Gomez still isn’t healthy enough to play tomorrow and then he’d miss even more than three games.
Besides, in opinion it would make sense after the suspensions of Travis Snider (two games) and Russell Martin (one game) were upheld in appeal that Gomez wasn’t getting out without at least two games of his own. I didn’t see much of a way that Gomez — a principal arguer along with Gerrit Cole — would get fewer games than Snider despite Snider’s aggressive actions really inciting the physicality of the kerfuffle.
Bottom line, Gomez will miss the next two games against the Pittsburgh Pirates as well as Friday’s series opener at Wrigley Field. As they did when Martin Maldonado served his five-game suspension, the Brewers are forced to play those games down Gomez’s roster spot. They cannot replace him on the 25-man roster while he’s suspended.
So now that all of the fallout from the Easter Sunday skirmish has been meted out, and the teams have met on the field as well, this really should be a thing of the past.
Well, at least until Gerrit Cole gives up a tape measure blast and somebody pimps the hell out of it. I’m personally hoping that Mark Reynolds does the duty if Gomez doesn’t first. (I’m all for a full on Rickey Henderson job too, for the record.)
And if you don’t know what that is, here’s a little taste…
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news.
Some clarification on Carlos Gomez’s appeal. Gomez thought it was Mon., May 5. It is actually Fri., May 9, according to #Brewers.
— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) May 3, 2014
So yeah, basically all that other stuff I said at that link up there? Forget it.
Here’s the new basic fallout surrounding the Gomez appeal.
- Gomez will have his appeal heard during the day on Friday, May 9th
- Any suspension that remains (and it’ll be at least one game, and likely two) will likely begin being served immediately after the hearing.
- That would mean that Gomez would not play on Friday, May 9th against the New York Yankees.
- …and he could still miss the entire series against the visiting Bronx Bombers.
As for the roster situation, the need to get Logan Schafer back isn’t as immediate as it previously seemed. He’s still reportedly “on track” to return Saturday in Cincinnati, but it needn’t be at the expense of Ryan Braun taking a trip to the disabled list yet. Braun still has until that first game in the Yankees series to get healthy enough to play before Carlos Gomez will be lost and the Brewers could be back down to just two healthy true outfielders as they were Thursday night against the Reds.
Assuming everybody else stays at least as healthy as they are right now, then Schafer and left fielder Khris Davis will be starting once Gomez is suspended. If Braun still isn’t ready to play, then one would think that Caleb Gindl would be there to fill in.
Even if Gindl is optioned back down to Nashville tomorrow, he’d be eligible to return if Braun does ultimately wind up on the disabled list. Normally, for those not aware, you must spend a minimum of 10 days back down in the minors from when you are optioned before you’re able to be called back up. The exception is when said optioned player is recalled as an injury replacement.
Therefore, fellow Brewers fans, it’s best not to let the situation worry you and instead just react to whatever ends up happening. After all, this could be put to bed on Saturday if they simply keep Gindl and put Braun on the DL in order to reinstate Schafer.
The bigger worry is just how many games Gomez ultimately serves of a three-game suspension levied as punishment for the Easter Sunday skirmish.
Though, if Gomez gets all three and Braun is placed on the DL (retroactive to Sunday, April 27), then they could both miss the entirety of the series against the Yankees.
And that certainly wouldn’t impact the Brewers chances in a positive way.
Carlos Gomez says he learned after last night’s game that his appeal of his three-game suspension will be heard this coming Monday, May 5.
— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) May 2, 2014
This tweet came over the wire not too long ago. What it means is that during the business day (so before the Brewers scheduled game that night is played), Gomez will have his appeal heard and decided upon. Gomez can be in New York for the hearing because whatever suspension remains — be it all three games or a reduced punishment — will be served starting immediately. Gomez won’t get off without some suspension, so losing the Monday night series opener at Miller Park against the Arizona Diamondbacks is a guarantee. That’s why El Potro can be in New York for the hearing without worry. What it also means is that the entirety of his suspension will be served during the series with the Diamondbacks. That probably couldn’t be better news for the Brewers. The D’backs, who as of this writing at the polar opposite of the Brewers in several respects, only have nine (9) wins on the season against 22 losses. The Brewers were the first (and as of “Publish” time, the only) team in MLB with 20 wins this season. You guessed where I’m going next. The Diamondbacks are the first team to 20 losses in MLB this year and (as of publishing) are still the only. Houston teeters at 19 as faces Seattle next. So whether Gomez misses three games, two, or somehow one, he’ll be back for the start of the Milwaukee stop on the Derek Jeter Farewell Tour on Friday, May 9th. The games on 5/5-5/7 though will force the Brewers hand on something else, in my opinion, if they haven’t already made a decision by then.
If Braun still isn’t available by Mon (and they haven’t DL’d him already), they almost need to. Brewers need Schafer in CF with Gomez out.
— The Brewer Nation (@BrewerNation) May 2, 2014
Put more verbosely than the 140 character format of Twitter allows, I’m saying that if Braun still isn’t healthy enough to play and they haven’t already placed him on the disabled list before Monday, they’ll almost have to do so in order to make sure they have enough outfielders to play all three spots as well as having Logan Schafer on the 25-man roster to start in centerfield.
If Braun goes on the DL after tonight’s game so Milwaukee can activate Schafer on the first day he’s eligible to return, then fine. If Braun thinks he’ll be able to play soon and they option the just-recalled Caleb Gindl to get Schafer back up, that’ll work, but then they’d be playing with only two true OFs if Braun still isn’t ready by Monday.
My point is that Schafer will be on the field on Monday, May 5th one way or the other (unless he somehow reinjures himself before then). It’s just a matter of how the Brewers want to create the 25-man roster space for him. The D’backs are pretty punchless this season, especially with Mark Trumbo on the DL, but the fly ball outs still need to be caught by someone.
For Gomez, though, it looks like he’ll finally have some closure to this Easter Sunday saga…and in time for Mothers Day — and Kyle Lohse Bobblehead Day.
Oh kay sew…
In case you’ve been without access to information for the past 48 hours or so, the Brewers’ Ryan Braun was suspended for the remainder of the season prior to Monday night’s game against the San Diego Padres.
I couldn’t comment on it right away because I was at the visitation (and then funeral on Tuesday) of my father-in-law. Many of you have been very kind in your words regarding that situation and I appreciate you. I got home on Tuesday evening and posted a few words on Twitter finally then. What I said, in paragraph form was this:
I’m still digesting the Ryan Braun news in as much as I have a lot of things read. A more fully thought out take will be on the blog. TBS, three quick points: 1) No hypocritical baseball writer gets to tell me how I should feel. 2) Come Feb ’14, Ryan Braun is eligible to help the Brewers win baseball games which is the reason we’re all fans of the team. Therefore, I’ll support his efforts to that end. And 3) All I ever asked for was for Braun to get the benefit of the doubt. We know Braun was going to be suspended as a result of this investigation, but there is still a LOT we don’t know, most of which matters little if at all. Braun accepted a suspension, IMO, for a handful of reasons. I’ll get into all of those in the blog post.
- MLB felt that they had enough information gained from the testimony of Biogenesis employees to suspend Braun
- MLB felt that any suspension levied would hold up to an appeal
- The 2013 season is a lost one for the Brewers (at least in terms of playoff contention)
- Braun didn’t want this to linger into the 2014 season when the Brewers could once again potentially compete
- He was as worn out by all of this as he said he was in his statement
- His thumb injury won’t heal without rest anyway and if he might have lost these games to the disabled list anyway, then the games were going to be potentially lost regardless
- Games lost in 2014 cost more salary than games lost in 2013
- The off-season can be a fresh start in some ways for Braun and the Brewers
And now in a “stream of consciousness” in dialogue style of writing, I’ll expound more on all of those bullet points.
This is basically a best-case scenario for Braun and the Brewers, outside of his never have been entangled in all of this to begin with, of course. Braun can let his hand heal properly. Braun can enter 2014 completely healthy and ready to contribute to winning baseball games. Braun won’t have to deal with overabundant fans booing him on the road during a season known to be lost.
The Brewers will get their extremely talented baseball player back for a full season of contribution. The Brewers will have plenty of time to develop marketing strategies and other necessary things from a business perspective as they relate to and include Ryan Braun. (Would anyone be surprised if the media guide featured Segura and Gomez on the cover next spring?) The Brewer brass also have plenty of time to decide how they want to publicly deal with the scenario as it has currently presented itself.
Prinicpal owner Mark Attanasio has already stated that he forgives Braun despite his disappointment. Doug Melvin has stated that he’s glad that at least the ballclub can move forward with playing out the 2013 season. Teammates have been weighing in as well (I’m working on compiling a lot of that, just to make it available.) and eventually Braun himself will again speak on this subject. It might not be this month. It might not be this season. It might not be this year. But Ryan Braun will once again address the media and field some questions. It’ll happen.
But between now and whenever then is, we’re left to our own devices. We can speculate, gesticulate, or obfuscate. We can whine, cry, piss, and moan about how “wronged” we were or how “evil” Braun is or how much he owes apologies to every one he’s ever met. We can stand up and shout from the rooftops about game cheating, gummibear eating, and Diamondbacks beating. We can tell everyone how morally righteous we are and how we can’t believe that this could happen. We can scream “abominable”, “unfathomable”, “unthinkable” and stump like we’re somehow better than any other flawed and imperfect human being. We can click our keyboard keys and speak on traditional media airwaves and post on social media. We can let everyone know of our indignation and exasperation.
Maybe we can come out to Miller Park and enjoy the best place to be for six months every year. Maybe we can support the Milwaukee Brewers because, BREAKING NEWS, the active roster has 25 men on it, and the organization has over 150 players in it, all of whom aren’t the current subject of your righteous umbrage. Maybe we can use this as a reminder that the name on the front of the jersey means more than the name on the back. Maybe we can just flat out continue to love the game that we’re already fanatics of.
I don’t want to get into the multiple and independent studies about how the effects of PED use are neglible in the sport of baseball. I don’t want to get into the argument that Ryan Braun never actually publicly admitted to anything other than making some “mistakes” and remind you of the old adage which states “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
Instead, for now and until something changes, I’ll watch this game I love, support the players in the uniforms (as varied as the versions are) which mean they play for the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, and just appreciate the game of baseball.
After all, Everth Cabrera is about to lead off the game I’m at for the San Diego Padres. You know what? He’s on a list from Biogenesis too. You know what else? It honestly doesn’t really bother me all that much. He’s playing and Braun isn’t. Many players are playing right now while Braun serves a suspension with some agreed upon terms. I’m not self-righteous enough or pompous enough or sanctimonious enough to the point where I’ll consider myself “better” than these mortal men who may or may not have made some mistakes.
Oh, and one other thing, in absolutely no way am I going to allow a pack of hyenas to dictate my feelings and thoughts about a subject that I am more than capable of determining those things about for myself. If someone feels that they were personally wronged so strongly because either a player cheated or more so because they were lied to and their outlet for that burning rage is to author columns about it…well, that’s on them, I guess.
I must include one tweet from someone who sums up this part of my post perfectly.
I hate thinking people cheated more than I hate actual cheating & by the widest margin of anyone. I have done it. I am king of the internet.
— Zachary Levine (@zacharylevine) July 24, 2013
I’m not really sure how well all that flows, but it’s there for your consumption.
“As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization. I am very grateful for the support I have received from players, ownership and the fans in Milwaukee and around the country. Finally, I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed – all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization, and my teammates. I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, and I cannot wait to get back to the game I love.”