Carlos Gomez: 'Things happen'

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez said Monday a conversation with his parents gave him insight into a brawl he helped touch off a day before in a victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Gomez, speaking to reporters Monday before a 4-3 win over the visiting San Diego Padres, said he told his parents "I don't mean to do that, but things happen and they don't mean to do that, but things happen in the game.

"We know it's not good for baseball," Gomez recalled telling his parents. "But when you have 50 men outside, something can happen."

The problems started when Gomez paused at the plate and flipped his bat to watch his two-out drive off Pirates starter Gerrit Cole.

Gomez, who had said after the game that he wasn't "apologetic for anything that I did today" and "that he was just doing my job," said he now didn't know whether he would appeal any MLB suspension.

"To be honest, I don't know anything," Gomez said. "I've just been watching TV, and the only thing I hear is my dad and my mother talking to me. They don't want to see something like that."

Gomez said he thought the ball would be caught. Instead, it hit the wall and he sped into third base, making a headfirst slide for a triple.

Cole, who was near third base backing up the play, stormed toward Gomez and they exchanged words.

The benches then emptied, and as the teams converged, Milwaukee's Martin Maldonado threw a punch that left a cut and bruise around the eye of Pirates outfielder Travis Snider.

"We're a family," said Maldonado, who said he expected to be suspended. "I see two guys over Gomez, so I tried to protect him."

Gomez, who was suspended last year after a similar brawl with the Atlanta Braves, repeatedly said Monday he was ready to put the incident in the past.

"People say the worst stuff about things I've been doing for a long time," Gomez said. "It's not like disrespect. It's not like I show people up. I don't get sensitive when they strike me out. I don't say, 'Hey, why you throw me 98? Why you throw me a slider in the dirt? Why you throw me a fastball in the neck?' This is baseball."

Gomez was ejected along with Snider and Milwaukee bench coach Jerry Narron.

Major League Baseball is expected to issue its decision on Tuesday.

Gomez said he wasn't trying to show up Pittsburgh.

"It's 2014. It's a game. Just enjoy it," Gomez said. "Whoever does the best job on the field is the one that's going to win games. That's the only reason we are here, to win games. It's not to go fight. It's not for complicated stuff. It's to win and compete. That's what I like to do, compete."

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he understood why Gomez reacted the way he did Sunday and had a brief chat with his leadoff hitter Monday.

"Gomey needs to be himself and do what he does," Roenicke said. "When things happen, yeah, he can be calmer than what he is. But there's no way any player is not going to respond to a guy saying something to him and yelling at him right off the bat. There's no way any player is just going to sit there and not say anything."

After Jonathan Lucroy caught all 14 innings Sunday, Roenicke started Maldonado behind the plate Monday, admitting that he might not be able to get Lucroy a break if Maldonado is also suspended for his role in the brawl, when he punched Pirates outfielder Travis Snider.

If Maldonado is suspended, utilityman Elian Herrera would serve as the Brewers' backup catcher.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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