Watson Pledges Look at Padres Brawl
Mar. 14, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) _ As he investigated last weekend's double brawl between the Padres and Angels, Bob Watson promised the punishment will set the tone for his tenure as baseball's new disciplinarian.
Watson met Wednesday with Angels general manager Bill Stoneman and received a videotape from the team. On Tuesday, Watson met with Padres officials and received their videotape.
Five players, plus Padres manager Bruce Bochy, were ejected following the benches-clearing brawls in the first inning Saturday in Tempe.
Watson said he'd never seen anything like it in his 38 years of spring training as a player, coach and general manager.
Watson said he'd take his time in coming up with the right punishment.
``It's incumbent upon me how I'm going to run this office, and I think setting the tone is in this office's best interest,'' Watson said before the Padres and Angels played a split-squad game.
Padres general manager Kevin Towers said Watson indicated he could announce suspensions by Monday.
Bochy and Angels manager Mike Scioscia _ who wants Padres pitcher Bobby Jones to face a severe suspension _ spoke for several minutes near home plate just before Wednesday's game.
Players ejected Saturday were Jones, Ryan Klesko and Phil Nevin of the Padres, and Troy Glaus and Scott Spiezio of the Angels.
Klesko and Nevin played Wednesday against the A's in Phoenix. Glaus started and homered against the Padres, but Spiezio, who punched Padres third base coach Tim Flannery after order had been restored Saturday, was in Scottsdale playing against the Giants.
Based on what Watson told reporters, it would seem that Klesko and Glaus can expect suspensions because they charged the mound. Jones and Angels pitcher Aaron Sele _ who was not ejected _ could be suspended if Watson determines they threw at batters on purpose.
The first brawl started when Sele hit Klesko in the back with a pitch with two outs in the top of the first, apparently the continuation of a feud that started last year when Sele pitched for the Seattle Mariners.
Klesko charged the mound, knocked Sele down and punched him, and was ejected.
In the bottom of the first, Jones threw a pitch up and in near Glaus' chin. Glaus charged the mound and was tackled from behind by Padres catcher Adan Amezcua. Both benches emptied.
Klesko was in his street clothes when he jumped into the second brawl.
Klesko said he thought Sele's pitch was a holdover from a June 17 interleague game between the Padres and Seattle.
After being brushed back a few times in that at-bat, Klesko hit a three-run homer. Klesko said Nevin told him Sele was angered when Klesko tossed his bat aside and lifted both arms in the air before beginning his trot.
Sele denied trying to hit Klesko and called his explanation ``a long theory.'' But he added, ``If he thought I was throwing at him, he did the right thing.''
That quote could come back to haunt Sele.
``You guys got some interesting quotes and that's all I'm going to say,'' Watson told reporters.
Scioscia has said he wants Jones punished hard.
Jones acknowledged Saturday that he was trying to ``protect my hitters'' but that he didn't mean to throw at Glaus' head.
``The head is definitely a no-no,'' Watson said. ``That's why the umpire has the right to eject you immediately if he feels you intentionally threw at somebody. In this case, too, we view the film. If we deem it intentional, there he goes.''
Watson also said there are allegations of kicking, and what he called ``hockey tactics.'' In the first brawl, San Diego's Ron Gant pulled Anaheim's Shawn Wooten out of a pile and pulled his jersey over his head to incapacitate him.
If multiple players from the same team are suspended, Watson said he'd stagger the punishments.
``I don't want to make somebody noncompetitive, but at the same time, this office doesn't really want to play any favoritism about who or what or how long. We're going to get it right,'' he said.
Watson became Bud Selig's dean of discipline last month after Frank Robinson became manager of the Montreal Expos.