MILWAUKEE (AP) — Carlos Gomez has no plans to apologize for his behavior that set off another brawl.
The Brewers center fielder was ejected along with Pittsburgh outfielder Travis Snider and Milwaukee bench coach Jerry Narron after a shouting match escalated into a brawl during the third inning of the Brewers’ win Sunday.
Gomez flipped his bat to watch his two-out drive off Gerrit Cole. Gomez said he thought the ball would be caught, but it hit the wall and he made a headfirst slide for a triple. Cole, near third base backing up the play, stormed toward Gomez and they exchanged words.
Cole said he told Gomez: “If you’re going to hit it out of the ballpark, then you can stop and look at it. But it you’re going to hit just a flyball to center field, then don’t stand and look at it.'”
Last Sept. 25, Gomez stood in the batter’s box at Atlanta after hitting a home run off Paul Maholm. Gomez and Maholm yelled at each other, as did Gomez and first baseman Freddie Freeman. Catcher Brian McCann met him about 20 feet up the third base line, and plate umpire Paul Nauert tried to separate them. A brawl developed, and Gomez and Atlanta outfielder Reed Johnson were suspended one game each.
Major League Baseball did not issue discipline Monday for this brawl.
“To be honest, I don’t know anything,” Gomez said before the Brewers hosted San Diego at Miller Park. “I’ve just been watching TV, and the only thing I hear is my dad and my mother talking to me. They don’t want to see something like that. I said, ‘I don’t mean to do that, but things happen in the game.'”
Gomez said Sunday he would appeal a suspension but appeared to backtrack Monday.
“Whatever they say, if I feel like it is not fair, I’m going to appeal,” Gomez said. “If I feel like it is fair, I’m going to take it.”
Gomez said this incident was different from last September’s.
“Last year was a different case,” Gomez said. “Last year, I disrespected the Braves. I’m not that guy. It was the heat of the moment, and I don’t try to disrespect nobody.”
Gomez said he wasn’t trying to show up Pittsburgh.
“Ask my teammates,” he said. “I ask every time, ‘Where’s the ball at?’ They say, ‘Is this a joke?’ I say, ‘No, I’m serious. I don’t look where the ball is at.’ I don’t look at the pitchers. That’s the way the way I throw the bat when I hit it. And I run the bases hard, like anybody, with my head down. That’s it. People get sensitive over stuff that I do every time. It’s not disrespect. It’s not like I’m showing people up. I’m not going to get sensitive when they strike me out. I’m not going to say, ‘Hey, why you throw me 98 (mph)? Why are you throwing me a slider in the dirt? Why? Why are you throwing me a ball in the neck?’ It’s baseball.
“It’s 2014. It’s a game. Just enjoy it. Whoever does the best job on the field is the one that’s going to win games. That’s the only reason we are here, to win games. It’s not to go fight. It’s not for complicated stuff. It’s to win and compete. That’s what I like to do, compete.”
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he understood why Gomez reacted the way he did Sunday and had a brief chat with his leadoff hitter Monday.
“Gomey needs to be himself and do what he does,” Roenicke said. “When things happen, yeah, he can be calmer than what he is. But there’s no way any player is not going to respond to a guy saying something to him and yelling at him right off the bat. There’s no way any player is just going to sit there and not say anything.”
After Jonathan Lucroy caught all 14 innings Sunday, Roenicke started Martin Maldonado behind the plate Monday, admitting that he might not be able to get Lucroy a break if Maldonado is also suspended for his role in the brawl, when he punched Pirates outfielder Travis Snider.
If Maldonado is suspended, utilityman Elian Herrera would serve as the Brewers’ backup catcher.