NEW YORK (AP) — Boston pitcher Brandon Workman appealed a six-game suspension imposed by Major League Baseball on Tuesday for throwing near the head of Tampa Bay star Evan Longoria last week.
Workman can play until the appeal process is complete, and was expected to make his scheduled start Wednesday night against the Cleveland Indians.
The penalty, which also included a fine, was announced by MLB Senior Vice President Joe Garagiola Jr. Workman’s high-and-tight pitch came after the teams had been warned about further trouble.
“That was ascertained in the video. Thus, I think that’s appropriate,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said before Tuesday night’s game at Miami.
Red Sox first baseman Mike Carp was hit on the arm Friday by a fourth-inning pitch from Tampa Bay ace David Price, who also plunked slugger David Ortiz on the hip in the first inning — triggering umpires to issue warnings to both teams.
The fact Workman was disciplined and Price wasn’t did not sit well with the Red Sox and Ortiz in particular, who again criticized the Rays ace prior to Tuesday’s game against the Indians.
“I don’t think what they’re doing is fair,” Ortiz said. “I think the rules should be for everybody. We didn’t start this up. I didn’t hit nobody. Workman didn’t hit anybody in the first inning. He did.”
Ortiz was critical of Price following that game and didn’t back down from those comments Tuesday when news of Workman’s suspension reached Boston’s clubhouse.
“I’m not going to get hit again,” Ortiz said. “Not by him. He did it on purpose. He punked me and that’s very disrespectful. I’m a grown man. I’ve been around the league for a long time and I know how to take care of business on my own.”
Said Maddon: “Papi and I have had a pretty good relationship in the past. Sometimes commentary oversteps and overreaches.”
“I’d like to believe if he had more of an opportunity to think about it, he would respond differently. For us, it’s a dead issue. I want us to move it along and just play baseball,” he said.
Red Sox manager John Farrell, who was ejected from Friday’s game, took a diplomatic approach.
“All you can do is put forth your best efforts to state a case that we were directly involved with, and what’s done is done,” he said. “There’s an appeal that’s going to take place. I know we presented our case in response to the discussions and what was being talked about with MLB.”
After being hit Carp glared out at the mound, shouting and pointing at Price, but was restrained by Rays catcher Jose Molina as players from both teams charged out of the dugouts and bullpens. There was some pushing and shoving, but no punches were thrown.
Workman threw a high pitch in the sixth behind Longoria, who was visibly upset. Longoria and Boston catcher A.J. Pierzynski had a conversation at home plate, and a handful of players from both dugouts ventured a few steps onto the field, but no trouble ensued. Workman was ejected.