Warne: Twins react to Carlos Gomez-Atlanta Braves bench-clearing brawl
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins clubhouse has an eclectic mix of guys who were teammates with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez, and a few who were teammates with Atlanta pitcher Paul Maholm in Pittsburgh as well.
Couple that with the typical baseball lifers and front office staff who are at Target Field on a daily basis, and there was no shortage of opinions on Wednesday's dust-up between the Braves and the Brewers, in which Gomez sparked a bench-clearing brawl as he neared home plate after hitting a home run.
A few members of the Twins from all different levels of interest in the debacle were willing to share their thoughts:
Alex Presley, Twins outfielder (former teammate of Maholm in Pittsburgh)
"Nobody likes when somebody flaunts when they're doing something on the field. You protect your teammates. It's a self policing game a lot of times. You see it in the NFL, if people taunt, they get penalties. Teammates are going to stick up for you; that's what happened. It's just a little more dramatic than that, I felt like.
I'm sure I don't know the entire history, I think Gomez maybe got hit by him a couple times before. But, obviously I think both sides' reaction was a bit excessive. It all started with what was going on when he was rounding the bases, and he just got carried away after that."
Ron Coomer, FoxSportsNorth Studio Analyst (Nine-year MLB veteran, six with the Twins)
"I only saw it once quick, but I think what (Atlanta catcher Brian) McCann did at home plate needs to happen more. I really think that nobody wants to be showed up in the game, and everybody wants to do well. But when you show players up, there should be repercussions. The game used to be where all that stuff was taken care of on the field, and there didn't need to be warnings on both sides. It just got taken care of, and I think that's gone away quite a bit.
I know Go-Go is a fun-loving guy, and likes to have fun with the game. He's a really talented young guy. But there comes a time when your own exuberance needs to be eased a little, because you are playing against someone else. That wasn't a walk-off home run, or anything like that. Your team is almost in last place.
I kind of like the way Atlanta has gone about things this year, kinda saying "You're not going to show us up on the field, and we're going to take care of business on the field." I'm OK with that. There's been quite a few of them. I thought, as a guy who is a leader of a team like the catcher in Atlanta, when he steps up and says "You're not going to show my pitcher up..." I say good for him. I think a lot of ex-players would have tipped their hat to that. If McCann were my teammate, I'd have bought him dinner. He'd have gotten a steak on me for sure! That was good.
But when it gets to a point where both teams are fighting, it's no good. That's why you want to take care of it without it getting to that point. That's the important part. I think all these experiences for Go-Go will be a learning experience. There's a time and a place to be over-exuberant, and there's a time and a place to hit your long home run and go around the bases and be happy. But high-five each other, and be good with it. The top of the first in game 157 of a possible 90-loss season probably isn't the place, though."
Glen Perkins, Twins closer (Gomez's teammate on the Twins from 2008-09)
"Go-Go definitely doesn't need to stand there and watch the home run, and yell at the pitcher and then at (Atlanta first baseman Freddie) Freeman. At the same time, McCann not letting him get home...I mean I get it. But the whole thing...they kind of fueled each other's fires. I don't know. I don't really care, I guess. That's their business, and they can handle it. I've never been in a situation like that in my career. I've never even been a part of a situation where the benches have cleared. I don't really know what that entails. I'm sure in the heat of the moment guys react a little too strongly. It is what it is."
"For whatever reason, the Braves have decided to make themselves the police. Maybe it's just that they give up the home runs, and guys stand there and watch them. I don't know. I know that (Jose) Fernandez hit that one in Miami, and that was the last one they were in the middle of, and I guess they don't like that. We haven't had guys stand and watch home runs, so I don't know how we'd handle that situation. We haven't seen it. So, I guess that's just got to be a coincidence that it's happened to (the Braves)."
Ron Gardenhire, Twins manager (managed Gomez with the Twins)
"Very entertaining. I think him hitting the home run was good enough; he should have run the bases. I think he knows that now. There's a lot of emotions in baseball. You get drilled by a guy, and you get frustrated. But there's ways to go about it, and ways not to. He knows that wasn't the right way to go about it, screaming at everybody. Run around the bases, you've done your damage."
"There isn't a winner in that situation, because that's not good for baseball or anybody involved. To see that is kind of messy, and everybody starts having their opinions. But if you've ever been drilled by a pitcher, your only retaliation basically -- unless you attack the mound, which is not a good idea because people get hurt in that -- is to hit a home run. Go up and bang a ball back up the middle as they say, or hit a home run. He did that, and he should have left it at that. I think he knows that now. He's a good kid, man. He's a lot of fun. We had him here. He's a really, really emotional kid. I think if he had to do it all over again, he'd probably run the bases. Atlanta reacted -- probably like every team would react, I'm not saying right or wrong -- and if a guy's running around screaming like that, there's going to be reaction by every baseball team."
Terry Ryan, Twins general manager (Serves on MLB Playing Rules Committee)
"There's quite a bit of history it looked like in that scenario. I don't know how deep, and how serious, and what was going on. This sounds like it goes back a few years. Gomez has hit Maholm a lot, and I don't know. It wouldn't be for me to say. I'm not so sure that's good for the game there. I was impressed that Gomez at least came out with an apology. That wasn't good for the game, if you're asking me that. But there's a history there.
I don't know Gomez; I wasn't around here much. I'd be wrong to comment on him much. I don't know his personality. I wasn't here. I wasn't the GM then. But it wasn't good. I've never seen a guy not be able to touch home plate."