ARLINGTON, TEXAS — Chicago White Sox reliever Mike Wright Jr. received a three-game suspension and a fine for intentionally throwing at Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, Major League Baseball announced Saturday.
Manager Tony La Russa received an automatic one-game suspension — which he served Saturday — and a fine.
Wright hit Ohtani with a pitch with two outs and nobody on in the ninth inning of Thursday’s 9-3 loss at Guaranteed Rate Field. Two of Wright’s four pitches to Ohtani were inside, the final one hitting him in the leg. The umpires gathered for a discussion and tossed Wright. La Russa talked with the umpires and also was ejected.
“I was disappointed by the umpire’s decision,” La Russa said before Saturday’s game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field. “Once that happens, this is all automatic. I just don’t think that there’s been enough information that’s really been distributed. We’ve hit fewer batters than any team in Major League Baseball (47). And most importantly, if you watched how we pitched Ohtani for three days, we avoided the middle of the plate. In, away, up, down, we avoided the middle. He was 2-for-13. He struck out seven times. That’s the way we pitched to him.
“And finally, I didn’t see the scrutiny being even. Because it was that one pitch, we had plenty of opportunities to be upset, and we were just pitching him the same way we pitched him the whole time. But our guys, three guys get hit (Tuesday), one guy (Luis Robert) gets hit in the head, (José) Abreu gets hit for the 19th time, and nobody pays attention to that. There’s an unfairness there that upsets me.”
Wright is appealing his suspension.
“I think Mike Wright’s got a lot to explain that would hopefully make sense to the people that Major League Baseball has said up to three days,” La Russa said. “I’m glad he’ll have a chance to explain it.”