Eaton gets suspension, fine for role in benches clearing


Adam Eaton received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for his role in inciting the benches-clearing incident between the White Sox and Cleveland Indians last week.

Eaton's anger over what he perceived as being pushed off second base during the first inning of last Thursday's game between the two division rivals led to the benches clearing. No one was ejected, and it was a relatively uneventful dust-up. But the in-place COVID-19 protocols specifically prohibit that kind of thing.

Eaton attempted to advance to second base when a throw from right field went to third in an effort to nab an advancing Tim Anderson. Eaton made it to second, sliding in ahead of the throw, but he was called out on a tag when he was forced off the bag by Cleveland shortstop Andrés Giménez. Eaton certainly believed it was intentional and was irate, shoving Giménez and bringing out the entire active rosters of both clubs.

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"From my viewpoint, I slid in and I stopped. And once I stopped my slide, I’m safe," Eaton said after that game. "It happened pretty quick, but my arm gets lifted up and pushed off the bag. Once that happened, I said, 'Bill (Miller, second-base umpire), I just got pushed off the bag,' hopefully trying to get him to change his mind. But of course he didn’t.

"Then things kind of escalated a little bit there. Not that I wanted that. ... I let the emotions kind of get the best of me there just because I felt like any time you get pushed off the bag when you are safe, it’s a little frustrating. I kind of let emotions get the best of me."

Eaton was scheduled to serve his suspension Tuesday night, when the White Sox opened a brief two-game series in Cleveland, but he is appealing the suspension and played while the matter is resolved.

Two Cleveland players, Jake Bauers and Cesar Hernandez, were also fined.

Eaton has impressed in his return to the South Side, both from a production standpoint and with his trademark grit and edge, the sort of style that played a large role in the benches-clearing incident. He came into Tuesday night's game with a .379 on-base percentage and a .482 slugging percentage, with three home runs, 14 RBIs and 12 runs scored already this season.

Searching for a consistent producer in right field since they traded Eaton to the Washington Nationals in 2016, the White Sox might have finally found one in bringing him back.

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