We will never know if Carlos Gomez's appeal of a three-game suspension would have been even partially successful.
Already sidelined with lower back spasms, the Milwaukee Brewers' centerfielder decided to drop his appeal of that three-game suspension and began serving it Wednesday night in a game against Pittsburgh at Miller Park.
It was the baseball version of a plea bargain before the jury comes back with the verdict.
Gomez, who will be eligible to return to action Saturday in Chicago, assuming no postponement there Friday, had been confident he would get at least one and maybe two games reduced from the suspension given as the result of a brawl in Pittsburgh on April 20. That benches-clearing incident began when Gomez reacted to being cursed at by Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole, who thought Gomez showboated coming out of the batter's box on what became a triple.
Faced with the possibility that he would miss time with the back issue and then have to miss more games with a suspension, Gomez decided to cut his losses, most likely with some counsel from the team. Gomez's appeal was heard Friday but for some reason MLB delayed in issuing its ruling.
Even after the appeal is heard, a player is allowed to accept the suspension as long as the ruling has not come down.
"It's one of those things that could be one game or take two days," Gomez said of his back issue. "Right now, I feel better. The good thing is it's not an injury; it's a muscle."
The interesting part of accepting the penalty is that the Brewers had been worried that Gomez would be suspended for the Pirates series after two Pittsburgh players already had their appeal rulings. Outfielder Travis Snider, who came off the bench to spar with Gomez, served his two-game suspension before Pittsburgh came to town. Catcher Russell Martin's one-game suspension is on hold until he comes off the DL.
Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado, who received a five-game ban for punching Snider in that brawl, accepted his penalty immediately and served the suspension.
Sitting out three days will give Gomez time to read the cover story of this week's Sports Illustrated, which features him running the bases with the caption: "M(addingly) V(aluable) P(layer)." Wisconsin native Luke Winn wrote the piece after spending time last week with Gomez and the Brewers.
"It's really cool," said Gomez. "It will motivate me to continue working hard and make progress in my job and as a person. For me, it's an honor."
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