Mijares fined after Twins-Tigers incident
Minnesota reliever regrets throwing behind Detroit's Everett
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins reliever Jose Mijares understands that throwing behind Adam Everett during Thursday's game with the Tigers was the wrong thing to do, and he planned to apologize to his teammates before their contest on Friday against the Royals."It's my fault," Mijares said. "My head [was] not in the game." Mijares was fined $750 by Major League Baseball on Friday for his actions in the contest, but avoided a suspension. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he wasn't surprised by Mijares not receiving a suspension since he was not thrown out of the game. It was Mijares' pitch behind Everett that caused home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez to issue warnings to both sides. "I didn't think they would," Gardenhire said of a suspension. The Tigers were hit much harder by the penalties handed down, as two Tigers were suspended and four were fined. Detroit reliever Jeremy Bonderman, who drilled Delmon Young with a fastball in the ninth inning and was immediately ejected, was suspended for three games and fined $1,500. He is appealing the suspension. Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, who was serving as manager when Bonderman threw the pitch, was suspended for one game and fined $1,000. He's serving the suspension on Friday. Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who was ejected in the eighth inning for arguing with Hernandez after Mijares' pitch went behind Everett, was fined $500. So was catcher Gerald Laird, who was ejected for arguing with Hernandez after Bonderman was thrown out. "I'll leave it at saying -- and I mean this -- this was nothing more than a great series with, for some unknown reason, a foolish pitch by one of the Minnesota Twins pitchers," Leyland said Friday. "That's all it was. There was no problem the entire series. There never has been with the Twins. By their own admission, their pitcher made a mistake, and I'm just sad to see the Tigers pay so much more for the mistake than the guy that created the mistake." Mijares seemed to be paying his own price in the Twins' clubhouse, as many of his teammates expressed anger at his actions following Thursday's 8-3 win that saved Minnesota from elimination in the American League Central race. The reliever said it was a long plane ride back from Detroit on Thursday night after his pitch led to Bonderman throwing at Young. Young showed his anger on the field, pointing to the dugout where Mijares was sitting after getting struck in the back of his right knee and writhing around in pain on the ground for a few moments. After the game, Young said that Mijares hadn't apologized but that he should. Mijares was unsure whether things had blown over with Young and hadn't spoken to the outfielder prior to Friday's game. "I don't know," Mijares said. "I didn't talk to him. Maybe [after batting practice] I'll talk to him." Asked what caused him to throw behind Everett's back, Mijares said that he was trying to protect teammate Orlando Cabrera. In the fourth inning, Marcus Thames had slid hard into second base. "He killed him, Orlando," Mijares said. But while Mijares thought he was doing the right thing at the time, he quickly learned that his teammates didn't think the same. Cabrera was as upset as anyone about Mijares' actions and let the pitcher know it. The incident was still a topic of conversation one day after it happened, but one person who wanted to move on from the entire situation was Gardenhire. "I don't want to go through this stuff anymore," Gardenhire said. "Let's talk baseball. Three big games here we need to win. I don't want to talk about that crap anymore. It's worthless."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.