MLB clubs fined parents over minor league brawls, bench-offset incidents: sources

Major League Baseball is trying to suppress squabbles and dirt in the minor leagues. Sources told The Athletic that this season the commissioner’s office has fined the parent club for any minor league team involved in a bench eviction incident. One club source said the fine starts at $500 and doubles with each subsequent incident, leaving a major club that has had two or more incidents in its farm system with a minimum four-digit bill.

Another club source said: “If they leave the hideout or the spot, the organization will be fined.”

MLB declined to comment.

The commissioner’s office overhauled Minor League Baseball ahead of the 2021 season, including scheduling. Teams now frequently play each other for six or seven matches in a row. Playing the same teams with each other repeatedly and in succession may stir up tensions and encourage the old trade of batsmen-hitters in the sport: I hit my hot prospect, and I’ll hit you.

As an example of scheduling: Sunday’s Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies finished a seven-game winning streak against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, including one double header. Beginning on Tuesday, the Rumble Ponies play seven times in a row against Double-A Bowie (in April, the Rumble Ponies had a major brawl on the fourth of the sixth in a row against Double-A Portland).

The League may have sensed a lot of bench evictions in 2021.

(Photo: Mark J. Rebelas/USA Today Sports)

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