Posted September 25, 2013

Brewers’ Carlos Gomez and Braves’ Brian McCann brawl mid-homer

Atlanta Braves, Brian McCann, Carlos Gomez, Freddie Freeman, Milwaukee Brewers
Brian McCann (left) took serious exception to Carlos Gomez's response after hitting a home run. (AP)

Brian McCann (left) took serious exception to Carlos Gomez’s response after hitting a home run. (AP)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: somebody hit a home run, the opposing team didn’t like the reaction and declared a violation of the Unwritten Rules, whereupon things got overheated. In this case, the hitter was the Brewers’ Carlos Gomez, the opposition was the Braves, and a brawl broke out before Gomez could even touch home plate.

Playing in Atlanta, Gomez came to bat with one out in the top of the first inning of a scoreless game and crushed an 83 mph changeup that starter Paul Maholm left right over the plate:

You can see that Gomez was jawing with Freddie Freeman as he rounded first base, by which point the Braves announcers noted that Maholm was shouting at him as well. Before Gomez could touch home plate, he was intercepted by catcher Brian McCann, who was extremely heated, and both benches emptied in the middle of the play. Things came to blows, with the announcers noting that reserve outfielder Reed Johnson landed a right cross on Gomez as the scrum headed to the backstop before dissipating (when I highlighted Johnson’s ability to come off the bench to deliver a big hit earlier today, this wasn’t what I had in mind).

Gomez never did touch home plate, but the umpires awarded the Brewers the run as if he did, which makes sense, because technically, he was interfered with. He was ejected just the same (replaced by Logan Schafer), as were Freeman and backup catcher Gerald Laird. Chris Johnson, who started for the Braves at third base, moved to first in Freeman’s place, while Elliot Johnson, who started at second base, moved to third — yes, the Braves were moving their Johnsons around over this — with Dan Uggla coming into the game at second. Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez left in favor of Yuniesky Betancourt after being elbowed in the jaw by Freeman.

Curiously, McCann was not ejected, but it seems as though he should have been. For all of the verbal nonsense that transpired, there would have been no brawl had he not blocked Gomez. In putting on his tough-guy act, he was just as guilty of showboating as Gomez. This isn’t even the first time McCann has been in the middle of one of these situations this month. Just two weeks ago, he was part of a post-homer dustup involving Jose Fernandez.

Whether or not the Braves go on to win their first playoff series since 2001 this year remains to be seen, but woe to the opponent who revels in his home run a moment for too long.

213 comments
AllThingsConsidered
AllThingsConsidered

Unfortunately I don't speak the language... Does 'gomez' means 'punk' in Spanish?

StephenBess
StephenBess

Jay Jaffe, you're clueless about baseball to write a piece like this.  Guessing you never played the game at a high level.  What McCann did is classic old-school baseball.  Gomez disrespected the Braves, his team, and the game with the jack jawing.  You need some perspective.

ClipperKev
ClipperKev

I hope the next player who hits a HR on the Braves cartwheels to first base then moonwalks across home plate. LOL. Their reaction is more disgusting than the show-boating... 

renee
renee

McCann should have broken the arrogant little sleaze bag in half.   

ToddBennett
ToddBennett

A better question is why is a World Series contender trying to hold off the Cards for home field engaging in bush league arguments with an out of contention team?  What if McCann had been suspended, or worse yet, injured?  Jason Larue had his career ended in a brawl.  Look I in no way think the Braves can win the NL, they are not in even the Reds league talent wise, but they could prove me wrong.  But not if they lose players to foolishness.  As for Gomez he will tear a rib cage muscle swinging like Paul Bunyan, stupidity handles itself in its own time.

ToddBennett
ToddBennett

Oh save it.  Carlos enjoyed the view big deal.  He incited nothing the Braves were looking for trouble.  You can handle this with a little chin music later on, blocking the plate was uncalled for.

RogerFuerstenau
RogerFuerstenau

I did not see the play but let me see if I got this right.  The umpires could see this coming and did not step in to stop it before it happened.  As soon as the situation started to escalate the home plate ump should have warned McCann and then got between them before Gomez got there.  Instead they allowed McCann to block a runner from running the bases, which I am guessing is unprecedented and an unwritten rule (eg: don't admire your HR, don't block a runner from completing a homerun) that McCann broke.  Clearly ego and idiocy abounded last night.  Will the umpires be reprimanded?  Doubtful.  Will Gomez and Maholm ever be friends?  Who cares.  Does McCann take issue with unwritten rules more often than others?  Maybe.  I wonder what would have happened if this was a walkoff (I know, the Brewers were on the road).  BTW did Selig announce retirement before or after this?  If I were him I would get out now and good luck to the next commish. 

ClipperKev
ClipperKev

You guys are killing me with this unwritten rule stuff... It's unwritten to not look at your HR. It's written that you cannot obstruct a player from crossing home plate and starting a fight which is what got people ejected. If this is SO serious put it in the damn rule book and call it a day. Until then stop taking matters in your own hands and trying to enforce a rule that doesn't exist. And as a side note... People have different personalities. Some people like to show boat and some don't. I typically don't care for it but I do think that it is their own preference to be themselves. I know this is an old UNWRITTEN rule but nothing ever stays the same. Knowing how they react to HR being hit on them, if I played, I would do that every time if that meant they would want to fight and get their players ejected. Especially in the playoffs... 

gunghomarine
gunghomarine

It is obvious that Jaffe needs to quit smoking (or sniffing) whatever he is using and switch to

Virginia Golds, or maybe a good chaw!

WildRhymer
WildRhymer

don't know who this Jay Jaffe is but he has MANY things wrong in his recap of events that happened. First of all, Maholm NEVER said a thing...it was Gomez from the start. They showed video of Maholm SILENTLY watching as Gomez circled the bases screaming like a lunatic. Second, Freeman NEVER elbowed Ramirez...don't know where he got that one.....just plain BS reporting!!!!

ScarFace292929
ScarFace292929

If guys like Gomez, Harper, etc. would quit acting like they've never hit a home run before or not act like they hit a 600 ft blast, this would not happen. I bet if Gomez had done what he did to any other team, the other team would have reacted the same way.

djfarkus
djfarkus

Gomez: Stupid and juvenile
McCann and Freeman:  Even STUPIDER

And here's why:  The Braves needed to win that game to stay on top of the NL "home field advantage" race. The Braves dominate at home, but not so much on the road.

They lost their composure and got their panties in a bunch over some juvenile stupidity that could've been handled in any number of other ways. And then they lost the game. They need some perspective about what is important this time of year and what is not.

I generally like Atlanta, but they've been demonstrating particularly thin skins the last couple years. A team with this kind of mentality is gonna get bounced from the playoffs as soon as something gets under their skin. Other teams take notice of this stuff and exploit it. Braves should pack for winter, because their season is already doomed. The playoff losses are a mere formality at this point.

Timo68
Timo68

The Braves also took exception at a Bryce Harper HR trot back in August. Maybe Atlanta just needs a thicker skin, especially if they're gonna get their panties in a wad every time someone smacks a homer on them. All I have to say is, "LET'S GO PIRATES!"

Chums
Chums

I have been a baseball fan since 1967 and hitters have been admiring HR's for years. How many times did Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, etc.....  stand and admire their home run shots? Why is everyone so sensitive?  While I can understand the jawboning between Maholm and Gomez but for McCann to block his path to the plate was just plain nonsense. Whatever happened to letting it go for the time being, and than throwing at him at his next at-bat? 

x72
x72

1st braun now Gomer, brewers reaching a new low when it comes to classless.

Hello1813
Hello1813

Honestly, I think the Braves are the classless ones here.   If you don't want people hitting home runs, strike them out.  There was history between Gomez and the Pitcher.  Of course, he is going to admire a home run.  That to me is how you get revenge on a pitcher that plunked you previously.  The Braves are just sore losers even when they win.

tdh90405
tdh90405

The only punks in this entire scenario wear Atlanta Braves uniforms.

Reed Johnson runs up and sucker punches Gomez and then immediately runs behind three teammates acting like he's being held back.  Freeman randomly takes a shot at Ramirez.  McCann must just be irritated that the pitch he called was hit 400+ feet.

How Gomez was even ejected is laughable...much like the Braves, in general.  Hopefully Carlos told all of them around the bases they'll be winning as many Playoff games as the Brewers will in October.

Pat18
Pat18

Really guys?  A "brawl" mid HR.  Way to use that in your heading to get more clicks. Nothing but a heated argument.

robert.bruce.parsons
robert.bruce.parsons

Anyone who knows anything about baseball knows that you don't admire your own home run, especially when it will mean nothing by October.  One thing that sickened me about Barry Bonds was that he would stand there like an idiot and watch his home run go into the stands, then chuck the bat and tiptoe around the bases, and because of the tenseness of the 2001 season, no one put it in his ear the next time at bat.

So many people now do not understand baseball.  While I loved the movie "42," they got one thing wrong.  I can guarantee that if Jackie Robinson -- in 1947 -- had stood at the plate and watched like they depicted him in the movie, he wouldn't have lasted the season.  Even Musial and Williams could not get away with things like that.

And a kid on a losing team hitting a home run against a potential pennant contender should know better.  It might be good to talk baseball with some veterans in the clubhouse instead of playing video games.

BNick
BNick

Pro tip for being a baseball writer: don't refer to obstruction as "interference." 

Pro tip for being a baseball article reader: don't take any baseball writer seriously who doesn't know the rules - written or unwritten.

x72
x72

Deport this Gomez loser, that's not how we play ball here in the States. Kid's always had a few screws lose. Also he must of roided up this season.

kls6000
kls6000

As usual people post with no clue about the back story.  There is bad blood between Maholm and the Brewers going back to when he was Pirate and the Brewers had Fielder.  Maholm hated Fielder and probably still hates the Brewers about as much because earlier in the year he drilled Gomez on a pretty suspect pitch to start the game.  Who knows?  There is likely even more to the story.  Unless you're in the locker room with these guys, get a freaking clue before you pass judgement about who was wrong.  Its a long season and things carry over from past season dipshits.  


JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@renee So if the Braves contradict their history and win a playoff series or two, or even the World Series, Brian McCann will be expected to not celebrate on the field, but to simply walk into the clubhouse?

djp9
djp9

@renee Nice avatar. McCann is being a preening little girl. You don't like how someone celebrates a HR? Don't let him hit the home run!!!

These so called 'baseball purists' are simply ridiculous grand-standers. If you're a purist you will wear the high socks and take off all the amour. McCann isn't old school. Look at his protective gear, all new gear stuff. This crap is why I stopped watching both baseball and hockey. Too many pure hypocrites in the game.

AaronCunningham
AaronCunningham

@ToddBennett Wait...  Gomez did what he did because of a HBP in June.  You're fine with what he that (which is a whole other can of worms) and you think the proper response from the Braves was to wait until his next turn came up and then...  serve him an HBP?  That makes sense.

http://i.minus.com/iZNPictgeMsDP.gif

ClipperKev
ClipperKev

@RogerFuerstenau Blocking the plate is unwritten??? I don't know much about baseball but I would've thought that was a rule for sure...

randy_bottoms
randy_bottoms

@Chums you have been a fan for a long time. if that is the case, i guess you remember how well pitchers like don drysdale, bob gibson, nolan ryan and tom seaver reacted to that kind of stuff. also, as aaron cunningham said, this all started because gomez was hit on the foot by a maholm slow breaking ball that hit his foot in june.

AaronCunningham
AaronCunningham

@Chums You do know that Gomez was reacting to an HBP that happened in June, right?

rugerchipper10
rugerchipper10

@Hello1813 Sore losers? that guy went psycho!  you could see it in his eyes! Even my grandmother said "is that guy on drugs?" McCann should have floored the idiot.                          

x72
x72

@Hello1813 Get a clue idiot, you play the game the right way or you get dealt with.

shoelessjoe
shoelessjoe

@kls6000 Yes & I would say this incident will carry over to next season. Braves have Brewers right out of the gate next season.


ClipperKev
ClipperKev

@AaronCunningham You're acting like stopping him from crossing home plate and then having a outfielder sucker punch him from behind was the better alternative. 

RogerFuerstenau
RogerFuerstenau

@AaronCunningham @RogerFuerstenau I have.  Plenty of a**hats involved in this one.  Still McCann should have been tossed for blocking the plate where he did and the umps should have intervened before Gomez got to McCann.  Comedy of errors committed by plenty of idiots.


RogerFuerstenau
RogerFuerstenau

@ClipperKev @RogerFuerstenau Point taken, here's the rule. OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner.  Also : Rule 7.06(b) Comment: Under 7.06(b) when the ball is not dead on obstruction and an obstructed runner advances beyond the base which, in the umpire’s judgment, he would have been awarded because of being obstructed, he does so at his own peril and may be tagged out. This is a judgment call.

NOTE: The catcher, without the ball in his possession, has no right to block the pathway of the runner attempting to score. The base line belongs to the runner and the catcher should be there only when he is fielding a ball or when he already has the ball in his hand.

Timo68
Timo68

@x72 @Hello1813 You get dealt with by being put on your keister the next time up. You don't have McCann's bravado confronting Gomez before he even touches the plate. The Braves are tad sensitive, no? Could it still be only 1 Championship despite 14 straight division titles? Maybe it's not winning a playoff series in the last 12 years.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@x72 You guys are funny in your hypocrisy.   Hockey players celebrate with a group hug after scoring, basketball players jump up and down while preening for the camera,  and football players dance around the field.  These same baseball players celebrate on the field as a group after a series win, doing a dog pile after a championship.  Yet when a guy doesn't put his head down and immediately sprint around the bases after hitting a home run he is suddenly playing the game the wrong way and dishonoring baseball.   Funny stuff.   It's only baseball.  Lighten up.

ClipperKev
ClipperKev

@RogerFuerstenau Good find! It looks like, although Gomez's actions were MAYBE a little distasteful, the only person who broke a ACTUAL rule was McCann. And what kills me is that this is the second time in 2 weeks... Like I said in one of my other comments, since I know that gets under their skin so much I would probably start doing it on purpose if I knew it would take them out of their game. 

omfgwtfstfu
omfgwtfstfu

@AaronCunningham @JoeCabot @x72 Damn straight.  This is pro baseball, not the NFL or the NBA.  If I wanted to watch a bunch of grown men prance around and celebrate themselves, I'd watch one of those. You're free to admire your own homer if you like, but then suck it up and take your medicine.

By the way, Gomez admitted after the game that he was wrong to act the way he did, as did his coach and pretty much everyone else on the Brewers.  Have you noticed that no one from the Brewers organization has stuck up for him and that he was suspended for a game for his role?  Get a clue, folks.

AaronCunningham
AaronCunningham

@JoeCabot @x72 Baseball isn't hockey, football, or basketball.  What do the customs and traditions of any one sport have to do with any other sport?