06/06/08 8:06 PM ET
Suspensions handed down after fracas
Five Rays, three Red Sox players disciplined by MLB
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
Eight players were suspended a total of 38 games in the aftermath of the incident.
Each player was also fined an undisclosed amount.
The suspensions were scheduled to begin on the following games:
Friday: Coco Crisp and Jon Lester; James Shields and Jonny Gomes.
Wednesday: Carl Crawford.
June13: Edwin Jackson.
June 14: Sean Casey.
June 17: Akinori Iwamura.
Shields' and Gomes' suspensions have already been appealed, while plans for the other three Rays players have yet to be decided.
The incident started in the sixth inning of Wednesday night's game, when Crisp stole second but injured his left thumb while colliding with the knee of Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett. Crisp, unhappy with the way Bartlett had blocked the base, was thrown out trying to steal second in the eighth. In that instance, he delivered a forearm to Iwamura, who was covering second as Crisp finished his slide. While making a pitching change, Rays manager Joe Maddon shouted at Crisp, who was standing in the dugout. Crisp shouted back.
Rays-Red Sox suspensions
|Number of games the following players will be suspended as a result of Thursday's fracas in the Rays-Red Sox game, pending possible appeals.|
|Coco Crisp, Red Sox|
|James Shields, Rays|
|Jonny Gomes, Rays|
|Edwin Jackson, Rays|
|Jon Lester, Red Sox|
|Carl Crawford, Rays|
|Akinori Iwamura, Rays|
|Sean Casey, Red Sox|
Thursday night, the tension had reached a boiling point by the time Crisp batted in the bottom of the second inning.
Shields started for the Rays and hit Crisp on the right leg, prompting Crisp to charge the mound. Both benches and bullpens emptied, and a fracas ensued.
"I guess I deserved it," said Gomes when asked about his suspension. "You run out of the dugout and throw some punches."
Jackson wasn't one of the obvious ones participating from watching Thursday night's incident through the eyes of a TV camera.
"I guess the umpire saw me in the midst of all that," Jackson said. "... It wasn't like I was out there doing something dirty."
Several players and Maddon questioned the equity of the Rays having five players suspended and the Red Sox just three.
"Their guy started it, and we have more guys nailed," Maddon said. "That's the part that didn't sit well with me."
"More of our guys got caught on tape," Crawford rationalized.
In the coming weeks, the Rays will be playing with a reduced roster on many nights.
"The other team is going to be on a power play," said Maddon, who reiterated how proud he was of how his team handled itself.
Foremost, the Rays did not whine about their punishment.
"We're going to take our licks and go from there," Shields said.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.