Well the dust has settled after a wild contest against the Kansas City Royals and the Blue Jay received some punishment from MLB. Manager, John Gibbons was hit with a one game suspension and reliever Aaron Sanchez was given 3 games. This will serve to further outrage Blue Jays fans who were subjected to questionable behaviour by the Royals and home plate umpire, Jim Wolf.
It all started with Royals starter, Edinson Volquez hit Josh Donaldson early on in the final game of the series. The Blue Jays had won 2 of the first 3. Donaldson took his base and the two exchanged words. It happened in the first inning and Wolf decided to keep things from boiling over by issuing warnings to both clubs. That would have been a great call, if he had actually enforced it.
Toronto Blue Jays
Later in the third, Volquez threw inside to Donaldson again, but this time it was closer to his head. Whether that pitch was intentional or not, with a warning in place, Volquez should have been tossed for it. The umpire chose to see it as unintentional and Volquez remained in the game. Both Gibby and Donaldson were upset. When that at bat ended in a walk, Volquez walked toward Donaldson as if to continue the conflict.
Then in the bottom of the 7th, Troy Tulowitzki was nailed by a Ryan Madson pitch. And, yet again, Jim Wolf allowed the pitcher to stay in the game. Donaldson was on deck and continued to seek some sort of explanation from Wolf. Again, John Gibbons came out to ask for the same. And, what happened in the next at bat? Well, Donaldson was thrown inside on. He was visibly angry at this point. He’d had enough. His shouting at Wolf was interrupted by Gibby who had seen enough. Gibby was tossed.
Then, in the 8th inning, with his team up 3 nothing, Aaron Sanchez let a pitch go and it hit Alcides Escobar in the shin. Without hesitating, Wolf tossed Sanchez and the benches cleared. John Gibbons returned to the field to help settle things down with his club, which is a no-no. Once a manager has been tossed, he cannot even return to the dugout. According to Shi Davidi, Gibby actually just forgot about that rule in favor of trying to calm things down. “To be honest, I didn’t even think twice about it. I thought I’d go out there and maybe help be a peacemaker a little bit. The rule didn’t even occur to me to be honest with you.”
Here’s another look at the events of the day:
This whole situation could have been handled much differently by Jim Wolf. Once you lay down a warning, you have to follow it. And, you can’t ignore one team and jump on the other at the first sign of hitting a batter. It was very poorly handled by Wolf. After the game, the Royals proved to be less than classy (perhaps not a surprise) as Yordano Ventura called out Jose Bautista as a “nobody”. Of course, the Royals also declared innocence and thought the game was handled properly. Funny how that works. Even after the taunting Volquez displayed,they can proclaim innocence, huh?
Regardless, now, Sanchez is faced with a 3 game suspension. The club will appeal the decision. He’ll play until t he appeal has been dealt with.