Gomes appeals two-game suspension
Outfielder had been penalized for role in Yanks-Rays incident
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Rays outfielder Jonny Gomes has appealed his two-game suspension, but he does not know whether he will be available for Opening Day duty.
"My agent appealed [the suspension]," Gomes said on Tuesday. "Now I'm in limbo [for a decision].
"If I had it my way, I would have no games off. But you get what you deserve. You make your own bed, you have to lie in it."
Gomes received a two-game suspension and a $2,000 fine for his part in Wednesday's benches-clearing incident between the Yankees and Rays at Progress Energy Park.
"My thing is I want to be a part of Opening Day," Gomes said. "I don't want to be on the bench Opening Day."
Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he has not heard anything from the Commissioner's Office about when Gomes' appeal hearing will take place.
Fireworks were ignited between the two teams a week earlier when Tampa Bay reserve Elliot Johnson steamrolled New York catcher Francisco Cervelli at home plate, breaking Cervelli's right wrist in the process. The Rays maintained the play was simply "hard-nosed baseball," while the Yankees considered the play too intense for Spring Training.
On Wednesday, the Rays and Yankees met again and tensions escalated in the top of the second inning, when New York's Shelley Duncan slid spikes high into Tampa Bay's Aki Iwamura at second base. Subsequently, Gomes charged in to tackle Duncan, both benches then emptied, and, apparently, at some point in the action, Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera hit Rays third baseman Evan Longoria in the head.
On Friday, Gomes received his punishment, while Duncan and Cabrera each received three-game suspensions and fines. New York manager Joe Girardi, third-base coach Bobby Meacham and hitting coach Kevin Long were also fined for their roles in the incident.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.