MLB Suspends Kirk Gibson, Esmerling Vasquez And National's Pitcher And Manager

Major League Baseball is taking a page from David Stern's NBA and cracking down hard on any attempt at players policing the game themselves. As a result of the bean ball wall between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals in Sunday's game, MLB has handed down one-game suspensions to the managers, Kirk Gibson and Jim Riggleman.

Nationals' starting pitcher Jason Marquis and D-backs' reliever Esmerling Vasquez were also suspended five and three games respectively. Both players are appealing their suspensions so they will not take effect until the appeals process is completed.

Justin Upton has beaned four times in the four-game series with the Nationals while D-backs' pitcher hit Jayson Werth three times. Adding the the bad blood between the teams, catcher Wilson Ramos displayed his disrespect for the game when slowly trotted around the bases after hitting a homerum.

Clearly, this is a cultural issue endemic to the National's organization as evidenced by prospect Bryce Harper blowing a kiss to the pitcher as he takes a leisurely trip around the bases.

Here's the full press release from the league:

Major League Baseball has issued the following discipline as a result of the intentional throwing incidents that took place after a warning had already been issued to both teams in the top of the fifth inning during Sunday's game between the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.  Joe Garagiola, Jr., Senior Vice President of Standards and On-Field Operations for Major League Baseball, made the announcement.

Nationals pitcher Jason Marquis has received a five-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for intentionally throwing a pitch at Justin Upton of the Diamondbacks in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Diamondbacks pitcher Esmerling Vasquez has received a three-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for intentionally throwing at Danny Espinosa of the Nationals during the top of the eighth inning.

Marquis' suspension was scheduled to begin tonight, when the Nationals will play the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco, but he has elected to appeal.  Vasquez's suspension was also scheduled to begin tonight, when Arizona will play the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, but he has also elected to appeal.  Thus, both suspensions will be held in abeyance until the process is complete.

 In addition, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman has received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for Marquis' intentional actions following the warning, and Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson has received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for Vasquez's intentional actions following the warning.  Riggleman's suspension will be served tonight, when the Nationals will face the Giants.  Gibson's suspension will also be served tonight, when the D-backs visit the Pirates.

The two teams meet again in August for a four-game series in Washington, DC.

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