Bautista files appeal of one-game suspension

Bautista files appeal of one-game suspension

NEW YORK -- Jose Bautista went through his appeals process on Thursday morning for the one-game suspension he received from Major League Baseball, but the Blue Jays do not know when an official ruling will be made.

Bautista was suspended for his role in the fracas between the Blue Jays and Rangers on May 15. Toronto's veteran slugger got into a physical altercation with Texas second baseman Rougned Odor that resulted in Bautista getting punched square on the jaw.

MLB referenced Bautista's actions on the field and his postgame comments as the main reasons behind his suspension. Bautista opted to appeal the disciplinary action, and he has the support of general manager Ross Atkins, who doesn't believe his star player did anything wrong.

"That's been an interesting process; Jose's been great through it, he's handled himself exceptionally well," Atkins said. "It's really disappointing to us to have gone through that and have felt so aggressively attacked by another team that he's serving a suspension.

"If the fight didn't actually ensue, I don't think he's dealing with a suspension. It seems, though, to me at least and to the Toronto Blue Jays, the penalty for his slide was that Justin Smoak was out at first base. They've been great about it, Major League Baseball and the Players Union are working really hard to come to a resolution as quickly as possible."

The dispute between the Rangers and Blue Jays began when Bautista was hit by a pitch from right-hander Matt Bush. The scene on the field remained relatively calm until later in the inning when Bautista made a hard slide into second base that was deemed to be in violation of MLB rules.

Bautista and Odor then went face to face before the Rangers' infielder issued a two-handed push, which was quickly followed by a right punch. The dugouts emptied and ensuing suspensions were handed out to Odor, Bautista, Blue Jays right-hander Jesse Chavez, manager John Gibbons and first-base coach Tim Leiper.

Thursday's hearing was a chance for Bautista to tell his side of the story in an attempt to have his suspension lifted. Bautista will then have to immediately serve his one-game suspension or he will be let off the hook depending on the league's final decision.

"We felt attacked, no one felt attacked more than Jose did," Atkins said. "You can argue that he was thrown at twice. We're really glad that Jose was the person that was in the fire, because he handled himself so well once he was in the fire. He handled himself so professionally."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.