Major League Baseball has suspended Philadelphia Phillies reliever José Alvarado for three games, manager Joe Girardi confirmed Sunday afternoon. Alvarado is appealing the suspension, and will be eligible to pitch until a decision is made on said appeal.
In Friday night’s victory over the New York Mets, Alvarado showed a ton of emotion after striking out slugger Dominic Smith. Alvarado even yelled something at Smith, causing the benches to clear. The two had previously had a back-and-fourth with each other at Citi Field, when Smith took exception to Alvarado hitting a Mets outfielder Michael Conforto.
“I think you’re always disappointed when a player gets suspended, because you can’t afford to lose players,” Girardi said. “[When] there’s so much more emotion that’s allowed in this game and it’s actually encouraged – then I think sometimes things like this are going to happen. And that’s the fallout. The unfortunate thing is that people want to see emotion, but managers don’t want to see players suspended. To me, it really kind of stinks. It might have been the most exciting part of that game too.”
So what exactly was Alvarado suspended for? There are differing opinions in the sport about showing emotion after major plays, but you’ve never been suspended for doing so. Nor are you normally suspended when the benches clear but no punches are thrown. But as baseball continues to try to get all teams to 85% vaccinated, Girardi surmised that anything that could be seen as instigating teams not being socially distanced may get you in trouble for the time being. He did add, though, that no one forced Mets players to come out of the dugout.
Mike Puma of The New York Post says that in addition to the suspension, Alvarado has also been fined. Smith and Mets relief pitcher Miguel Castro have also been fined, but not suspended.
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