Eight players and Milwaukee Manager Tom Trebelhorn were suspended by American League President Bobby Brown Thursday for participating in a 28-minute brawl between the Brewers and Mariners last Saturday at Seattle.
Trebelhorn and Milwaukee pitcher Bob Sebra, who was sent to the minors Wednesday, each received five-game suspensions, effective Thursday. Don Baylor, the Brewers’ batting coach, took over the team for Thursday afternoon’s game against Oakland, won by the Brewers, 4-3.
Gary Sheffield, Mike Felder and B.J. Surhoff of the Brewers were suspended for three games and fined $300 each. Sheffield’s suspension was effective Thursday. The others’ will begin next Wednesday.
Seattle’s Tracy Jones, Gene Harris, Randy Johnson and Jeff Shaefer all received three-game suspensions--Jones’ and Harris’ effective Thursday and Johnson’s and Shaefer’s to begin next Wednesday.
Sebra’s suspension will take effect if and when he returns to the major league club. The other players have filed intent to appeal the suspensions and are eligible to play until hearings are conducted on the case.
Trebelhorn said he would not appeal.
“I’m dead. No use in waiting for the funeral,” he said.
Spokeswomen for both leagues said no suspensions involving more individuals had been meted out since 1980, and major league baseball was not aware of bigger mass suspensions before then.
The brawl at the Kingdome began when Sebra hit Jones with a pitch, which he later said was deliberate.
“I’m shocked,” Felder said in Milwaukee. “I looked for a fine, but I don’t think I did anything to be suspended for. I think it’s ridiculous to get suspended, and I didn’t even hit anybody.”
Harris, in Cleveland for a game against the Indians, said: “I thought I was protecting myself and I get thrown out. That’s the only reason I was out there.”
Mariner Manager Jim Lefebvre said the club was disappointed by the severity of the penalties.
“But the fines have come down and I respect Dr. Brown’s position, because it’s a tough call,” he said. “He has to put an end to this. I just want to get it behind us and move on. It’s an unfortunate situation.
“Dr. Brown is doing everything he can to rectify this whole thing. He thinks it’s fair and he’s the president of the league. We all knew something had to be done, and it had to be severe to end this thing once and for all.
“This hamstrings both clubs. You lose four players, it’s going to hurt you,” he said.
Trebelhorn, responding to an earlier accusation by Lefebvre that he had instigated, then prolonged, the brawl said he had done neither.
Trebelhorn was thrown to the ground during the melee and suffered a cut forehead.
“I was not an instigator in events Saturday night,” he said. “I have great regret that any of them took place. I did not direct any of our pitchers to throw at any of their hitters.”