MLB suspended Ryan Tepera three games for intentionally throwing at Brandon Woodruff, and he’s not happy about those consequences.
Tepera isn’t hiding from the fact that he threw behind Woodruff to send a message. However, the Cubs reliever is upset that baseball is seemingly taking a stand against the unwritten rules of the game, at least for now due to the pandemic.
The Brewers have plunked Willson Contreras and astounding number of times, and the Cubs aren’t thrilled about that fact. After a near-brawl thanks to Contreras’ reaction to a free base, Tepera took matters into his own hands and chucked a fastball behind Brewers pitcher Brandon Woodruff in the batters’ box, which was greeted with angst from Woodruff and the Milwaukee dugout.
MLB came down hard on Ryan Tepera and the Cubs
Tepera didn’t actually plunk Woodruff, rather implying that if the Brewers hit Contreras again there would be a problem. However, instigating that sort of conflict is not something Rob Manfred is doing to stand for right now. He made that clear on Thursday.
“It was just a message that we’d had enough,” Tepera said Friday. “I believe over time, baseball has changed. And to be blunt, today’s game of baseball has become a bit soft. Back in the day, matters were settled on the field, one of many unwritten rules that have changed over time.
“I feel that typically it doesn’t bode well in the clubhouse when guys are consistently being thrown at,” Tepera continued. “… At the end of the day, all I can do is sit here and be myself, continue to support my teammates and have their backs, and play the game I know and love.”
MLB has set a new standard, and one the players will have to follow and learn from on the fly. Essentially, handling these conflicts with violence will not be tolerated. That doesn’t mean they won’t happen in some form, but players will face more severe consequences than ever before.