Toronto Blue Jays: Aaron Sanchez and John Gibbons Suspended by MLB


Toronto Blue Jays: Aaron Sanchez and John Gibbons Suspended by MLB

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The Toronto Blue Jays got some unfortunate news as pitcher Aaron Sanchez and manager John Gibbons were handed out suspensions following incidents that transpired against the Kansas City Royals this past Sunday.

Gibbons has been suspended one game for returning to the field after being ejected early in the game. However, Sanchez has received a harsher punishment with a three game suspension, for what the MLB has deemed intentionally throwing at Alcides Escobar.

Aug 2, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) reacts with home plate umpire Jim Wolf in the seventh inning at Rogers Centre. Blue Jays beat Royals 5 – 2. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

During the first inning of Sunday’s game home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued a warning after Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez hit  Josh Donaldson. At that point tempers began to flare when the Royals came close to hitting Donaldson twice in the head.

Then, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was hit by a pitch in the seventh inning. Royals pitcher Ryan Madson was not ejected despite the warning issued by Wolf, which prompted the argument that had Gibbons rejected.

Things then got heated when Sanchez got ejected for hitting Escobar in the knee with a pitch, resulting in a near benches clearing brawl. However all this could have been avoided if Wolf did not issue the warning in the first place, because he did not act on it fairly.

Aug 2, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays bench coach DeMarlo Hale argues with umpires Angel Hernandez (55) and Jim Wolf (28) before being ejected from the game in the eighth inning at Rogers Centre. Blue Jays beat Royals 5 – 2. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Gibbons’s suspension is justifiable because he returned to the field after being kicked out, but Sanchez’s suspensions is tougher to digest. The issue with the Sanchez suspensions is that the MLB is punishing a player who hit a batter in what they deem to be in retaliation.

The issue though is not with the Sanchez suspension, but rather with the lack of discipline handed out to the Royals. The Blue Jays have had issues in the past with umpires who have misread situations, but in this case it is hard to comprehend why the Royals are getting away scott free.

The Royals said that part of the reason why the pitchers were throwing inside on the Blue Jays, was because of the hitters crowding home plate. So basically the Royals were frustrated with their inability to shut down the Blue Jay’s offence, thus resorting to pitching dangerously.

Volquez commented after the game saying that Donaldson was being overdramatic with his reaction to being pitched close to his head.

That was not the only fallout, as Jose Bautista and Yordano Ventura then went at it. Bautista had this to say about the situation following the game.

"“Everything was somewhat blown out of proportion because of what I believe was the mishandling of the situation by the umpires. I think the warning was put in too early,” Bautista said. “After the warning’s put on, you’ve got to respect it, right? I have a big problem when an umpire can say they know 100 percent in their mind the intent of a particular pitch after a warning’s put on. For a fastball to hit Tulowitzki after a warning’s put on, you’re supposed to respect the warning. I don’t care how many strikes there are. I think the mishandling of the whole situation is what took things to a different level. I think people need to let the game be played.”"

This prompted a reaction from Ventura who tweeted a response in Spanish which translated into this:

"“We’ll meet again later and if you do that with me, you’ll see what I’m about. I don’t care about anybody. I used to respect you, but you’re a nobody. … You got lucky this time, but MLB doesn’t get canceled after this season. Keep running your mouth. … You need to stop giving signs. You’re gonna get it from me for being fresh and you really are a nobody.”"

Let’s just say that if these two teams meet again in the postseason it could be an entertaining series. Sanchez will appeal the suspension, as reported by Sportsnet, which would be interesting if he could get it reduced.

What do you think about the suspensions? Were both justified? Should the Royals have received any discipline? Feel free to comment below. 

Next: What the Kansas City series meant to the Blue Jays