Torre weighs in on Blue Jays-Rangers incident

Torre weighs in on Blue Jays-Rangers incident

Major League Baseball chief baseball officer Joe Torre was in Phoenix on Monday to take part in ceremonies honoring the late Joe Garagiola before the D-backs' game against the Yankees at Chase Field.

Naturally, the Hall of Fame manager was also asked his opinion of Sunday's benches-clearing incident between the Blue Jays and Rangers. The video clip of Texas second baseman Rougned Odor landing a punch to the face of Blue Jays runner Jose Bautista has been online and all over sports and news networks since the sequence of events unfolded. 

"It certainly wasn't pretty, and I hate seeing that stuff," Torre said. "It's tough enough staying healthy without contributing to what could keep you out of a ballgame or end your career. Anytime I see a bunch of players out on the field, you just hold your breath, because you're just hoping everybody comes out of it."

Must C: Tempers flare in Texas

An official announcement on suspensions and fines is expected as soon as Tuesday.

Odor aware suspension imminent

There has been bad blood between the teams since Bautista flipped his bat after his three-run homer helped Toronto come back to beat the Rangers in Game 5 of the American League Division Series last October.

On Sunday, Rangers pitcher Matt Bush hit Bautista with a fastball in what was likely to be his last at-bat of the game. On an ensuing grounder, Bautista slid hard into second; the umpires ruled that he had violated the new rules governing the proper way to break up double plays. But Odor immediately shoved Bautista and then landed a right fist to his jaw.

Bautista, third baseman Josh Donaldson, manager John Gibbons and coach Tim Leiper were ejected on the Blue Jays' side, while Odor and Rangers coach Steve Buechele were also ejected. Toronto bench coach DeMarlo Hale and pitcher Jesse Chavez were later ejected after Chavez hit Prince Fielder with a pitch.

Fielder gets hit by Chavez

Torre has mixed emotions about the concept of retaliation.

"I'm not a fan of it, because I'm more concerned about the game," he said. "But there's a lot of passion out there. It's just something that we have to deal with and hopefully keep that stuff to a minimum."

On the other hand ...

"It happens," Torre said. "I'm not saying there's a right way to do it or a wrong way to do it. But for some reason, and I really don't have an answer for this, these seem to last longer these days. It seems like we're retaliating for everybody that gets hit by a pitch, even if it's not on purpose. The more opportunities you're going to have to really poke somebody, you're going to have more opportunities to have something like what happened [Sunday]."

Paul Hagen is a reporter for reporter Steve Gilbert contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.