Major League Baseball on Saturday suspended Chicago manager Tony La Russa and pitcher Mike Wright, alleging that Wright had intentionally thrown at Ohtani during the ninth inning of the Angels’ 9-3 win, striking Ohtani in the calf.
La Russa stated Thursday that he doesn’t believe Wright intentionally threw at Ohtani.
“It wasn’t intentional,” the manager said, according to ESPN. “[Umpire crew chief Bill] Welke misread it. “
Two night earlier, three Chicago batters, Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert, were struck by Los Angeles pitchers. La Russa said that Chicago had not retaliated.
Los Angeles Angels slugger Shohei Ohtani hits during a game against the Texas Rangers in Anaheim, California, Sept. 4, 2021. (Associated Press)
Suspensions of managers are served immediately, so La Russa was absent from Chicago’s game against the Texas Rangers on Saturday to serve his one-game penalty, with bench coach Miguel Cairo running the team, ESPN reported.
Wright appealed the three-game suspension issued by Michael Hill (MLB’s vice-president for on-field operations). MLB special adviser John McHale Jr. will ultimately decide if the Wright must sit out for a while, ESPN reported. The American League Central-leading White Sox had only three hits during Saturday’s loss to Texas by 2-1. The Rangers and the Angels are the bottom teams in the AL West, with Los Angeles 15 games behind the division-leading Houston Astros and Texas 32 games back.
Ohtani, the sensation from Japan who both pitches and fields, wasn’t injured Thursday and is scheduled to take the mound Sunday against the Oakland Athletics in Anaheim, California. His record in pitching is 9-2, with a 3. 36 earned-run average. This season, he is at 6-0.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.