As baseball brawls go, this is almost sure to be a costly one.
There were no injuries after Saturday night’s battle between the Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers, in which eight players were ejected, but fines from the American League this week are expected to be sizable. And there could even be a few suspensions.
The brawl occurred in the eighth inning when, with the Mariners ahead, 6-2, the Brewers’ Bob Sebra intentionally hit Tracy Jones with a pitch.
“I drilled him, I hit him on purpose,” said Sebra, almost certain to receive a fine along with a possible suspension for his remarks. “Things haven’t been going right for me or the team lately. It was time for someone to take a lump. I wasn’t trying to hit him in the head, but I was trying to drill him.”
It touched off a brawl that lasted 25 minutes and resulted in umpire crew chief John Shulock ejecting four players from each team.
“I’ve been in the game 17 years and I’ver never seen one like that,” Shulock said.
Mariner Manager Jim Lefebvre accused Milwaukee Manager Tom Trebelhorn of prolonging the fight.
“I kept saying, ‘It’s over, it’s over,’ ” Lefebvre said. “Trebelhorn kept saying, ‘It’s not over, it’s not over.’ There shouldn’t be fighting like that. It’s not a hockey game.”
Trebelhorn said he hoped the brawl would help turn around his struggling team.
“Whenever you have events that bring your club together, it can be beneficial,” he said. “Depending on your perspective, it was the best or the worst ever.”
Said Lefebvre: “It was a big one all right. It was all over the place. It was totally out of control.”
When order was restored, Sebra, catcher B.J. Surhoff, third baseman Gary Sheffield and utilityman Mike Felder were the ejected Brewers. Jones, shortstop Jeff Schaefer and pitchers Gene Harris and Randy Johnson were kicked out from the Mariners.
Jones, who beat the Brewers with a two-run double Friday night, was the second Mariner player hit in the game. Edgar Martinez was hit by a pitch from Teddy Higuera in the first inning. In the eighth, Martinez hit a bloop double just before Jones came to the plate.
Jones seemed more upset with Surhoff’s reaction to him being hit.
“He told me, ‘What if he did try to hit you?’ ” Jones said.
This is not the first time these teams have had trouble. During spring training in 1989, they fought twice in the same day.
Bill Spiers ran into Seattle catcher Dave Valle at the plate in a game in Milwaukee May 28, 1989. Valle tore ligaments in his right knee and didn’t get back until July 6, 1989.
Lefebvre said the Mariners weren’t looking for any fights with the Brewers. “But we’re not going to back down,” he said. “If they want to fight, we’ll fight.”
Schaefer was a target of some of the bigger Brewers.
“Big men with big egos go after little people,” Schaefer said. “They threw some tomahawks at me but I ducked the big blows.”