Reds manager Jim Riggleman says there’s one way to avoid the bench-clearing brawl like they did Thursday night in the Reds game with the Milwaukee Brewers.
“I wish we had the hockey rule,” Riggleman said. “With four umpires, they can stop anything that’s going to happen between two guys. Once there’s a bunch of guys, if there really is some animosity between clubs, there’s no way the umpires can stop it.”
“I’d really like to see (the rule change). We would just know you’ve got to sit there and watch them if two guys really want to fight. Not much is going to happen because four umpires are going to get in there pretty quick.”
Joey Votto, whose confrontation with catcher Erik Krazt, led to Thursday’s incident agrees.
“Absolutely,” Votto said. “I wish he and I could have finished our conversation. It was nothing. We could have had a conversation and been done with it.”
As it was, the bench cleared, players milled around a bit and nothing happened. But the MLB Network spent a good part of a segment on it.
“It couldn’t have been less of something,” Votto said. “There’s been several times where I felt like on the baseball field where the benches clear and it ends up being far more than it should be."
The NBA has the same rule as hockey. Players get suspended for leaving the bench.
“I can’t speak for rules,” Votto said. “I get what Jim is saying. I don’t know if clearing the benches is good or bad. But I can speak in the isolation about (Thursday): There was absolutely no reason for the benches to be cleared. It comes across that there’s going to be some kind of physical altercation when really we were a couple of sentences from him squatting and me getting back in the box and continuing the at-bat.
“It couldn’t have been less of something. It got blown out of proportion completely.”
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4-MAN OUTFIELD CLICKING: The four-man outfield rotation seems to be clicking.
In the last 16 games entering Friday, Billy Hamilton was hitting .302 with five stolen bases and 13 runs scored; Scott Schebler was hitting .260 with two home runs and six RBI; Adam Duvall was hitting .260 with two home runs and 13 RBI; and Jesse Winker was hitting .279 with three home runs and 13 RBI.
“As I look back on it, coming out of spring training that’s what we had and how we labeled it,” Riggleman said. “We probably would have been better off saying: Go out there, look at the lineup and got get ’em.
“Most clubs are playing four to five outfielders. Everybody is getting their at-bats. But when we put that label on it, guys said, ‘wow, I’m not playing today.’ ”
The plate appearances have been very evenly distributed: Duvall and Hamilton had 277 at-bats going into Friday, Winker had 266 and Schebler had 246.
“I think they’ve made that adjustment,” Riggleman said. “I can see the bounce in their step lately. They’ve accepted it, and they realize that’s what best for the ballclub.”
BAILEY BETTER: Homer Bailey went seven innings and allowed three runs on six hits in his rehab start with the Triple-A Louisville. He walked none and struck out three.
“Much better,” Riggleman said. “Talking to (Louisville pitching coach) Jeff Fassero he said it’s moving in the right direction. (Bailey’s) going to pitch again in five days. Hopefully, it keeps going in the right direction. The velocity was better, and it got better as the game went on. Better fastball command – not where he wants it to be – but better.
“All the signs were positive.”
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