Apparently there was a price to pay, as Detroit manager Jim Leyland said, for Fernando Rodney buzzing Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera's head with a 98-mph fastball Saturday night, and that price was a six-game suspension for Tiger RHP Rick Porcello, who hit 2B Ben Zobrist the following day.
Joe Garagiola Jr., Major League Baseball's senior vice president of standards and operations, handed out the penalty Tuesday afternoon. Porcello, who declined to comment to the Detroit media, is appealing the suspension.
“I thought it was intentional, and obviously the league thought that as well,” Zobrist said before the game with the Astros. “They doled out the penalty.”
Cabrera was not happy with the pitch and shouted at Rodney and the Rays dugout. After the game, Leyland told reporters, “… what he (Rodney) did wasn't acceptable. There's a price to pay for that.”
Porcello hit Zobrist, who like Cabrera bats third in the order, with the first pitch of the at-bat Sunday. Both benches were warned and Porcello remained in the game.
Zobrist said he was surprised when he learned of the suspension and was glad the league took it upon itself to review the incident.
“These situations don't make you feel real good,” Zobrist said, “In hindsight, obviously it's good to know that the league is taking action on certain things like that that are safety issues.”
Manager Joe Maddon said MLB made the right decision.
“All that I gather from it is that the process kind of works,” he said. “Went through the proper channels. I think the appropriate retribution was doled out. We appreciate the fact that MLB looked at it and took some action.”