Fielder, Mota fined but not suspended
Tuesday's incident at Dodger Stadium investigated by MLB
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder and Dodgers reliever Guillermo Mota were each levied fines by Major League Baseball but avoided suspensions for their actions during and after Tuesday's game at Dodger Stadium, according to Brewers media relations director Mike Vassallo. Major League Baseball has not yet announced the penalties.Mota hit Fielder with a pitch in retaliation, according to Dodgers catcher Russell Martin, for the Chris Smith offering two innings earlier that hit Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez. Fielder waited until after the game to vent his displeasure, charging to the door of the Dodgers' clubhouse, followed by a group of teammates who eventually convinced him to return to the visitor's side. The saga was caught on videotape, and Bob Watson, MLB vice president of on-field operations, and Mike Port, vice president of umpiring, investigated on Wednesday. Brewers manager Ken Macha talked to both men for more than an hour. Fielder was asked on Wednesday night, after a 4-1 Brewers win that clinched their first winning series in more than a month, whether he thought his tirade warranted a suspension. "No. I just went to first base," Fielder said. What about after the game? When that question was posed, Fielder repeated the little white lie he told on Tuesday. "I don't remember that," he said. Mota, for his part, insisted that the plunking was accidental.
"I have to pitch inside, and if somebody gets hit because I was pitching inside, it's baseball," said Mota, who pitched for the Brewers last season.The Brewers, incidentally, tried to bring Mota back over the winter, but he turned down their one-year, $2.5 million offer to seek a multiyear deal. When the free-agent market slumped, Mota accepted a lesser offer to return to the Dodgers, for whom he pitched from 2002-04. Tuesday's incident made a celebrity of William Gomez, an 11-year Dodgers employee who has spent the last seven seasons monitoring access in front of the home clubhouse. Gomez is seen on the much-replayed video standing his ground while Fielder yells at the door. Gomez told the LA Daily News that he thought Fielder's rant was just for show. "It seemed like he wanted to get in, but he really didn't want to get in," Gomez said. "If he really wanted to get in, he would have pushed me out of the way." Wednesday's series finale between the teams went off without a hitch, unless you count the Jason Schmidt curveball that struck Brewers infielder Craig Counsell in the fourth inning. That misplaced offering came with the bases loaded and forced home the go-ahead run. Winning pitcher Braden Looper was among those who was not surprised Wednesday's game was free of retribution, partly because "everything is under such a microscope."
The Brewers discussed the scenarios in a team meeting on Wednesday afternoon and decided to just play ball."Winning the series speaks louder than anything else for us right now," Looper said. "We can't mess around with anything else." The Brewers were off on Thursday ahead of a series in Houston. The Dodgers hosted the Braves in the start of a four-game series on Thursday night.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.