Twenty four days have passed since the Brewers-Pirates brawl at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on Easter Sunday. Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado and Pirates outfielder Travis Snider served their suspensions regarding the matter, while Pirates catcher Russell Martin has yet to serve his one-game suspension because he’s on the disabled list. That leaves Milwaukee outfielder Carlos Gomez, of course, who reportedly dropped his appeal Wednesday and will miss the next three games.
Finally, some ice melts.
Reportedly, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke mentioned over the weekend that the Brewers lodged a complaint with the league regarding the potential timing of a Gomez suspension coming against the same Pittsburgh club with whom the conflict arose, but that protest now seems moot, or at least was quietly acknowledged.
Nearly a month after the incident, MLB had yet to announce anything regarding the appeal by Gomez of his three-game ban, but with Gomez now injured, they didn’t have to do anything. It’s kind of like calling the cable company to fix something with your service, but by the time they get around to taking you off hold and addressing your query, you’ve already figured out what the problem was and hung up.
I could understand MLB waiting until the Pirates series was complete to announce Gomez’ suspension, particularly if the Brewers requested that. Still, it seems weird that it took nearly 20 days for the league to meet with Gomez on the issue of the appeal.
Reports indicated the league finally met with Gomez, reviewed video and took statements on Friday, May 9, three weeks after the incident. So what took so long? While the Easter Day brawl had various moving pieces, and the league is busy with the rest of the baseball business, it seemed stalled and belated for MLB to drag this out so long. The Brewers, Gomez himself and MLB would seemingly want to move on from this as quickly as possible.
It’s a relief, in a way, that Gomez was injured enough to miss some time and therefore just dropped his appeal. This whole saga was getting pretty ridiculous and stupid. Whether one watches the games listening to Rock and company or with Bob Uecker and Joe Block, there was too much discussion paid to the suspension drama. Thankfully, due to a smart call by Gomez and the Brewers, the issue will mercifully be addressed at long last.
It’s not ideal, but Elian Herrera can help the Brewers cover the absence of Gomez for a few days. Hopefully he has a better sense of center field than he did right field in his previous stint with the Brewers. Maybe if Rickie Weeks were willing to play left field….nah, nevermind.
I realize Gomez essentially brought this burden to himself and the team with his actions, but MLB should be able to sort through this kind of dirty laundry and wash it quickly. The fact that it took this long to reach a conclusion on the matter one way or another was an inconvenience and a bit puzzling, but hopefully it will allow Gomez to get right for Saturday’s game in Chicago and beyond.