08/26/09 9:04 PM ET
Rockies avoid suspensions in dispute
Fines likely after exchange between Torrealba, umpire
By Owen Perkins / Special to MLB.com
The possibility of suspensions to one or more Rockies players in the midst of a heated pennant race appears to be off the table, according to manager Jim Tracy's account of his conversation with Bob Watson, MLB's vice president of rules and on-field operations.Watson told The Associated Press on Wednesday that while nobody will be suspended over the brouhaha, fines are still likely to be handed down once his investigation is complete.
"I expect to make a decision in due time," Watson told AP. "I'm not going to jump to any conclusions. I've spoken with a lot of people about this. I spoke with Jim Tracy, I've spoken with the umpires, I've spoken with a lot of people.
"There probably will be fines, yes."
At the heart of the issue was an exchange between second-base umpire Bill Miller and Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba. According to Torrealba, Miller insulted him at second base in response to the way Miller felt Torrealba was showing up home-plate umpire Angel Campos' calling of balls and strikes."I said some words back to him after the game," Torrealba said. "I shouldn't have said it. At the same time, I was kind of mad at the fact that he was getting involved with the way I was handling Angel. That was between me and Angel. For Bill Miller to get involved and say something to me, that's what bugged me." Torrealba controlled his emotions during the game, mindful of the fact that it took every position player and most of the bullpen to get through the 14-inning affair, and the Rockies couldn't spare an ejection in a game of that magnitude. "It was an emotional game. Everyone knows how important that game was for us," Torrealba said of the series clincher that gave them a four-game lead over the Giants in the Wild Card race. "I regret doing what I did by showing up [Campos]. I don't regret saying something back to [Miller] after he insulted me. If you offend me, I'm going to offend you back." According to Torrealba, the tension with Campos never went over the line and likely would have dissipated if Miller hadn't intervened when Torrealba was on second late in the game. "With Angel, we never really had any discussion or anything," Torrealba said. "He figured that I was showing him up, and I apologized for that. But I don't apologize for offending [Miller] back, because I don't think it's fair that he started it. "It's in the past. I hope we're done with it. The next time I see him I'll say hello like I always do. If one day we talk about it, I'll let him know what I thought about the situation. I'm going to do my best to make sure that never happens again. Overall, this is a pennant race. Move on and try to win some ballgames." The Rockies' ability to move on without losing Torrealba's service for disciplinary action in the heat of their pennant push is a great relief to his teammates and manager. "I did have a conversation with Bob Watson earlier this afternoon, and there will be no suspensions," Tracy said before Wednesday's game. "Quite frankly, I was extremely pleased to hear that, because I think this is something that you have the conversation, you handle the situation with regard to the way the conversation went, and you put it behind you."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.