Texas pitcher, manager suspended for flap after Tatis slam

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Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward takes the ball from relief pitcher Ian Gibaut during the ninth inning of the team's baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas rookie pitcher Ian Gibaut was suspended for three games Tuesday, a day after he threw a fastball behind San Diego's Manny Machado following a grand slam in a dust-up over baseball's unwritten rules.

Gibaut appealed the penalty imposed by Major League Baseball and was active for Tuesday’s game against the Padres. Rangers manager Chris Woodward wasn't in the dugout — he was suspended one game and served it.

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Gibaut and Woodward also were fined.

The 26-year-old Gibaut came in Monday night in the eighth inning after young Padres slugger Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a grand slam on a 3-0 pitch off Juan Nicasio with San Diego leading by seven runs in a game it eventually won 14-4.

Gibaut threw his first pitch behind Machado. The umpires conferred, and Gibaut stayed in the game.

Woodward immediately displayed his displeasure after Tatis’ slam with what he perceived as a violation of baseball’s understood code of conduct — as in, running up the score in a game already in hand. Woodward later said the pitch got away from Gibaut.

“I’m not pounding my fist on the table saying this was absolutely horrendous,” Woodward said of Tatis’ swing before the suspension was announced. “I just thought it went just past the line."

Padres manager Jayce Tingler said after the game that Tatis missed the take sign from third-base coach Glenn Hoffman. Tatis said he wasn’t aware of such a practice.

Before Tuesday’s game, Tingler said he won’t put on restraints on the 21-year-old who began the day leading the majors with 11 home runs and 28 RBIs. He also said he was glad Tatis missed the sign.

“We were certainly looking to score more runs and put that game away,” said Tingler, adding that his club, which is seeking its first winning season since 2010, has struggled to do that. “We’re not looking to break any unwritten rules. We’re looking to win the game.”

The Padres broke a five-game losing streak with the win.

The issue of unwritten rules in baseball has flared over the years, from bat flips to bunting to break up a no-hitter to stealing bases with a big lead.

“I think it’s a little bit silly. I think the needle has moved a long way in that regard,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before a game against Tampa Bay.

"And not to straddle the fence too much, but I do think there’s a sportsmanship etiquette element to things. But I think, look, now more than when these started even 10 and 50 and 100 years ago, things are different," he said.

Boone's father and grandfather both played in the majors. Tatis' dad also was a big leaguer.

“You guys have heard me talk about the run rule from time to time, in the regular season, and then it takes away all unwritten rules,” he said. "But I do think the needle’s moving closer in a direction where if you really break it down, guys aren’t and should not be offended by, for example, somebody swinging at a 3-0 count last night.”

“I would just say this is a long conversation that we should sit down and have a glass of wine over and really talk cause I do believe there is some nuance to it," he said. "So I’m not all the way in the camp of just throw it all out and do whatever you want, but I do think a lot of it is outdated and really silly when you really think about it.”


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