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A fight broke out among players in the middle of the Milwaukee Brewers vs. Atlanta Braves game Wednesday. After Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez hit a home run, Braves catcher Brian McCann blocked his path, causing a huge brawl.
According to the Associated Press, Gomez hit one out of the park at Turner Field in the first inning, but never made it across home plate.
Gomez fueled the fire a bit when he took his time leaving the batter’s box and then goaded pitcher Paul Maholm and first baseman Freddie Freeman as he ran the bases. He was seeking revenge on Maholm for hitting him in the leg with a pitch on June 23.
"I don't apologize for this," Gomez said. "Just take the pain back. You can see the replay. They hit me for no reason, and I tried to get it back today. It's the only opportunity that I have. That's what I did."
Maholm thought Gomez’s behavior was completely unnecessary. "When he rounded third and was still acting like that, I told him, 'Congratulations, you hit a homer. Run,'" Maholm said. "That's all I said. Like I said, he's not the first and he's not the last to hit a homer off me. He's probably not going to be the last guy that pimped it. You can pimp it and do whatever, but at least run the bases."
As soon as McCann stepped out in front of Gomez, both teams ran from their benches in a fight. Third base umpire Dana DeMuth was quick to eject Freeman, Gomez and Braves reserve catcher Gerald Laird.
"Right when he came in, he went boom with an elbow, which we saw, and it caught the third baseman, [Aramis] Ramirez," DeMuth said. "That right there is just like throwing a punch. That is overaggressive. That, No. 1, calls for an ejection...There was nobody else that was overly aggressive other than Gomez, of course."
McCann was not ejected, despite his verbal abuse and the fact that he clearly started the whole thing in the first place, reports Sports Illustrated.
Freeman was upset that he was ejected for “doing nothing,” saying that the team will always have their pitcher’s back. "If you have a beef with the pitcher, have a beef with the pitcher," he said. "Don't make us get involved. That's us. We're going to back up our pitcher. I'm fine with how everybody handled it."
When it came down to it, Gomez revealed that he isn’t upset about what happened. "If I'm a catcher, I do the same thing," he said. "I try to protect my pitchers, my teammates. I respect McCann, all his players. I'm going to apologize to his manager, his organization, that it went that far. The adrenaline, the emotion takes it more than you expect."
Gomez, along with Johnson, are now both suspended for one game. The NL East champion Braves fell to the Brewers in a 4-0 loss, with Kyle Lohse getting the win.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons