Maddon says Porcello's six-game suspension for hitting Zobrist was "appropriate"
Tigers righthander Rick Porcello has been suspended six games, and handed an undisclosed fine, for intentionally hitting Rays' Ben Zobrist with a pitch in Sunday's game, MLB announced this afternoon.
Porcello said he'll appeal the suspension.
Zobrist believed he was hit intentionally and said it appears the league feels the same way, considering their ruling. Zobrist was surprised Porcello was suspended, but said it was good to see the league take action on something impacting player safety.
Manager Joe Maddon said the Rays didn't reach out to the league, that it was an independent situation and the "right decision" was made.
"All that I gathered from it is that the process kind of works," manager Joe Maddon said. "It went through the proper channels and I think the appropriate retribution was doled out. And we appreciate the fact that MLB looked at it, and took some action."
Porcello threw high and inside to Zobrist in the first inning Sunday, hitting him on the hand, adding to the tension in an already emotionl series at the Trop. The night before, Tigers manager Jim Leyland indicated there would be payback for Fernando Rodney throwing up and in to Miguel Cabrera, though not hitting him.
Leyland said it was "history" and Zobrist getting hit was "part of the game," and Porcello claimed the pitch "just got away from me." But the Rays believed it was intentional. Manager Joe Maddon, noting that "history repeated itself about the first inning,'' said it was "absolutely uncalled for," since the Rays hadn't hit anyone and it was somewhat hypocritical of Leyland given his prior complaints.
"Somebody with the control that Porcello has, you expect him to be able to throw the ball down," Zobrist said of the Tigers pitcher who entered the game having hit 1 of 334 batters. "And the fact that the ball was up near my face, I think it's cause for the umpires to do something in that situation."