By Bruce Levine —
CHICAGO (CBS) — The aftermath of the dust-up between home plate umpire Jordan Baker and right-hander John Lackey on Friday has had ramifications for the Chicago Cubs.
Catcher Willson Contreras has been suspended two games and fined an undisclosed amount of money for his part in the fifth-inning argument with Baker in the Cubs’ eventual 8-2 win against the Cardinals. During the dispute, Contreras threw his catcher’s mask down in disgust and it bounced and hit Baker in the leg.
After Lackey was ejected for confronting Baker on a missed strike three call one pitch earlier to the Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez, Contreras became animated in his conversation with Baker and had to be restrained by teammates.
“Excessive arguing and throwing of equipment” were cited as the reasons for his suspension. The verdict came down from MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre.
Contreras is appealing the suspension. The hope on appeal is that Torre takes into consideration that Contreras was the third party in this disagreement between Baker and Lackey.
“We will wait for the suspension to play through,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “We will try to figure it out and make the best of it.”
MLB allows players who are fined or suspended to continue to play while an appeal process is underway. Contreras was in the Cubs lineup and batting fourth against the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon.
“Willson is a wonderful young man,” Maddon said. “He is emotional. We are all working on having him curb that a bit. That was a little bit difficult yesterday, but he does play with his hair on fire.”
Lackey was also fined an undisclosed amount of money for his part in Friday’s ejection and outburst.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.