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Friday, May 26, 2006

The boom has been lowered.

One Cub and three White Sox have been disciplined for their participation in a brawl last weekend, according to Bob Watson, vice president of on-field operations for Major League Baseball.

Cubs catcher Michael Barrett has been suspended for 10 games and fined an undisclosed amount for starting the bench-clearing brawl by punching Sox catcher A. J. Pierzynski last Saturday in the second game of the intra-city series at U.S. Cellular Field.

Sox outfielder Brian Anderson was suspended for five games and fined an undisclosed amount for his “aggressive and violent actions.”

Sox third base coach Joey Cora was suspended for two games and also fined.

Pierzynski was fined, but not suspended.

The Cubs start the fight and two Sox players are suspended? And why the heck would AJ be fined? Because he didn’t fall down when he was sucker punched?

And after admitting he made a huge mistake, the cowardly sucker-puncher immediately appealed his suspension.


I was at that game and I said then that not only should Barrett have been tossed out immediately (the umps took forever to make the ruling) he should have been arrested. I saw a Chicago cop that I know at the game, and I demanded that he uphold his sworn duty and go onto the field and arrest the fiend. (OK, that’s a joke, just to be clear.)

UPDATE: From a Major League Baseball press release:

White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski has been fined an undisclosed amount for his conduct during the incident.

His conduct? He was punched!


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Bubs - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 12:11 pm:

    What was the basis for fining AJ? Not ducking?

  2. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 12:43 pm:

    For being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  3. - Wumpus/Cad - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 12:49 pm:

    Zero tolerance

  4. - Reality Check - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 1:12 pm:

    I’m a Cubs fan, and Barrett was totally in the wrong.

    But here’s what gets me: Every Sox fan that rightly defended Pierzynski’s play also cried like an infant for weeks after Torii Hunter annihilated Jamie Burke in the exact same manner three seasons ago.

    Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.

  5. - WP - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 1:23 pm:

    Pierzynski DID bump into Barrett to start (technically) the brawl. That’s why he gets the fine. It is a matter of Watson setting a precedent attempting to quash brawls before they start.

    Sox fans need to quit whining about their guys getting suspended. Cora’s a coach, should have known better.

    The fact of the matter is that both sides were in the wrong…Rich do you want your kids to grow up and play the game the way the Sox and Cubs played their series? Highly doubt it, you want the game played with class.

  6. - Rich Miller - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 1:26 pm:

    That’s right, blame the Sox for the Cubbies’ whiny, violent performance. Perfect.


  7. - Anon sequitur - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 1:34 pm:

    Sorry, but as neither a Cubs nor a Sox fan, I think A.J. got off easy. He definitely was “cruisin’ for a bruisin’” and that was just what he got after slapping the plate and bumping Barrett. Meanwhile, Barrett got what he deserved in fines and suspension. He should know better than respond with a fist to a blatantly obvious provocation by AJ.

  8. - Judge Smailes - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 1:52 pm:

    I don’t see how they can justify fining A.J. Is it because he waved his arms at the crowd after the fight was already over? What a joke. And Barrett should have gotten at least 15 games, but 10 is still a lot.

    I downloaded the entire game from and found a great admission from Rob Mackowiak that I don’t think was shown on the network broacast of the game. Basically, Mackowiak was on the bench talking to A.J. and Anderson after the fight and was laughing while telling Anderson that he was choking Mabry while Anderson was punching him. Maybe Barrett will think twice next time before flying off the handle - one of his teammates could get injured.

  9. - Cry Me A River - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 1:59 pm:

    Pity party time for the poor world champs. They lose their 3rd base COACH for 2 games and a guy hitting under .200 for 5. Maybe they should cancel the rest of the season.

  10. - Making The Wheels Turn - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 2:03 pm:

    AJ got a legit fine, and one could even make the case for a 1-2 game suspension.

    Not for the collision at the plate. Barrett was blocking the plate & in the basepath, so AJ had the right to go for the base (home plate).

    Not for the slap (tag) on the plate. Maybe over the top, but that’s just AJ.

    But for the shoulder into Barrett afterwards, he should have been called out, and based upon how it all went down afterwards, certainly fined, and maybe a 1-2 game suspension.

    Here’s why:

    1) AJ has scored, & it’s a legit run. He’s no longer ‘in play’ on the field. It’s his job at that point to get the hell out of the way (seriously) of the other players on the field.
    2) Michael Barrett is the Catcher, and he is still “in play” on the field.
    3) The baseball is still “in play” on the field (not in the dugouts or anywhere else out of play).
    4) The runners still on base have the ability to advance.
    5) Barrett has a legitimate right to the baseball, and AJ is now out of play.
    6) ANYTHING AJ does at this point that in any way impeds the Catcher’s actions (either accidential or deliberate) is “PLAYER INTERFERENCE” and if in the judgement of the umpire, affects the play, is subject to different sanctions by the umpires.

    IMO, he should have been called out at home, or at least tossed from the game. If all AJ gets is a fine for this, he’s probably getting off lucky.

  11. - zatoichi - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 2:04 pm:

    Punch? Where’s the “no blood no foul” rule? Any hockey player would be laughing the whole event off. Fine away (they can afford it) and suspend as needed to keep control, but this ain’t Ali tagging Frazier. Seen better whacks in the local bars.

  12. - WP - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 2:06 pm:


    I wasn’t blaming the Cubs or the Sox. I was saying that it was a poor showing of sportsmanship by both sides.

    I do respect that you took the opportunity to whack the Cubs, as a Cubs fan I have no retort for their play, behavior, etc. And to be fair, shouldn’t have used the term “whining.”

    Cora, as a coach, should be cognizant of the implications, moreso than any player caught up in the moment.

    But you do have to agree that it was poor form by both teams.

  13. - The Shoeless One - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 2:20 pm:

    What a difference a year makes. Sox fans have mellowed. Maybe because we’re THE WORLD CHAMPIONS.

  14. - What Did I Do? - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 2:32 pm:

    Since Sox fans can’t whine about the lack of news coverage in Chicago or their fair-weather fan base, they need something to whine about. Meanwhile, I and Ronny can continue to whine about how pitiful our team is. But my point is that most fans would support old-school baseball which means that when you show someone up, you should watch your back. AJ certainly showed up his fellow catcher by bowling him over and slapping the plate. This is MLB, not WWE.

  15. - Rich Miller - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 2:36 pm:


    If a catcher doesn’t have the ball, he shouldn’t block the plate. If he does, then he should expect a big hit. Period. Jerkwad said he didn’t see AJ hit the plate. So, please stop making up excuses.

  16. - What Did I Do? - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 2:41 pm:

    No excuses, merely frustration. Barrett didn’t even leave a mark!

  17. - Lovie's Leather - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 3:09 pm:

    This is great… it reminds me of high school. In my highschool, if you got punched in the face, you got suspended because you were “in a fight.” This ridiculous policy let most misunderstandings turn into an all out brawl, simply because if you got hit, you were suspended for 3 days anyway, so why not kick that guy’s ass…. Stupid, just stupid. AJ has a rep for being an instigator. But in this case, he looks like the most stand-up guy. I guess it is impossible to hide from the skeletons in your closet… But you don’t need me to tell you that… you could ask Jack Ryan…. (sorry, for some odd reason, I just thought of him… and had to mention his name….)

  18. - Dustiny Baker - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 4:45 pm:

    Hey, did you see that we just blew another game? I love email. Stretch.

  19. - Wumpus - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 9:05 pm:

    AJ should not have been fined, but rewarded for keepin ghis cool. When you’re hot, you’re hot as far as the sox go. Ozzie will be coaching third in Cora’s absence. You coudn’t have scripted anything better.

  20. - Deep Southside - Friday, May 26, 06 @ 10:00 pm:

    Wow. A throwback to the Jamie Burke assassination. The difference being that Burke WASN’T blocking the plate, unless you consider his foot being on the line. Torii “Head” Hunter went out of his way to decapitate the poor guy.

    And what’s with all the AJ-bumped-Barrett garbage? Pierzynski was slumping his left shoulder and shifting to his right to go around Barrett. It was that other miserable hothead who had to make an effort to go grab him.

    Barrett’s third incident of the young season. And people say AJ’s the menace.

  21. - beantown - Wednesday, May 31, 06 @ 11:21 am:

    Just delete the posts you don’t agree with….

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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