Cincinnati Reds reliever Amir Garrett has been suspended seven games and fined an undisclosed amount of money for "inciting" a benches-clearing incident with the Chicago Cubs on Saturday afternoon, Major League Baseball announced Tuesday.
Garrett is appealing his suspension and will be eligible to continue playing until the process is completed. Cubs shortstop Javier Baez, who had to be restrained on the field when the benches cleared, was also fined an undisclosed amount of money for his actions in the incident.
Garrett, 29, pounded his chest, screamed and took several steps in the direction of Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo after striking him out in the top of the eighth inning.
The Cubs took issue with the taunting and, led by Baez, confronted Garrett on the field. No punches were thrown and order was restored, but MLB is cracking down on these kinds of inciting incidents, especially as it violates COVID-19 restrictions.
"I'm not going to let him or anyone disrespect my teammates or my team," Baez said after the game, which the Cubs won 3-2. "He's not doing it to pump up his teammates. He's doing it to disrespect us."
Reds manager said afterward that he thought the Cubs "misinterpreted" Garrett's actions.
"I really don't know what happened with their team,'' Bell said. "This is an emotional game, and Amir has been struggling. I know Amir was talking to himself. He was emotional. I think they misinterpreted it. That's what I saw. It is very difficult to stay good in this game. I know we try our best to not be concerned with how the other team reacts."
Cubs manager David Ross lamented the fact that catcher Willson Contreras was fined after his actions led to benches clearing last month in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Contreras was upset after getting hit by a pitch in multiple games with the Brewers.
Ross said that if Contreras could be fined, then Garrett should be equally punished. He got his wish.