Prospect League

Gems manager gets two-game suspension for involvement in fight

Danville manager Eric Coleman, right, and Quincy manager Rick Fraire grab each otherÕs shirts as their disagreement escalates in front of umpire Augie Farwig during MondayÕs game at Danville Stadium. Coleman and Fraire both were ejected and later received two-game suspensions. | Photo Courtesy of Greg Flint/Danville Commercial-News
Greg Flint Prospect League Baseball: Danvi
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jul. 11, 2018 7:35 am

QUINCY -- Quincy Gems manager Rick Fraire served the first game of a two-game suspension during Tuesday night's Prospect League game against the Hannibal Hoots.

Both Fraire and Danville Dans manager Eric Coleman received two-game suspensions from Prospect League commissioner Dennis Bastien after they were involved in a fight during Monday's game that led to both benches clearing.

Bastien said he and league umpire coordinator Scott Taylor looked at recording of the game before rendering his decision.

"It was reviewed multiple times, and multiple isn't even the right word," Bastien said Tuesday. "It was just a very unfortunate and isolated incident. It could have escalated into something a whole lot more ugly. I applaud the umpires for how quickly they diffused the situation, and the players themselves were great in diffusing the situation, acting like peacemakers."

The incident happened in the top of the fourth inning of Quincy's 13-8 victory over Danville. Dans reliever Nicola Mislinski hit leadoff hitter Bailey Montgomery with the first pitch of the inning, then after throwing a ball, he hit Riley Pittman with a pitch.

Home plate umpire Lance Walsh then issued a warning to both teams.

"I came out of the dugout to ask a simple question: ‘Why are you warning both teams?'" Coleman told Chad Dare of the Danville Commercial-News. "Their guy (Pittman) started chirping at me, and Rick comes charging down the (third-base) line at me. He got up into my face, and I wasn't going to take that.''

Dare reported that the managers bumped chests, and the action quickly escalated to pushing, shoving and a few punches that didn't land. Base umpire Augie Farwig tried to separate the managers, and Quincy assistant coach Matt Crook held back Pittman.

Coleman, Fraire and Pittman were ejected. Pittman was in street clothes for Tuesday's game.

Fraire was an assistant coach for the Dans in 2013 before joining the Gems for four seasons as an assistant. He is in his first year as Quincy's manager. Coleman is in his fifth year as the Dans' manager.

"It was one of those things that happen in baseball,'' Coleman told the Commercial-News. "It's guys being competitive."

Fraire was not at Tuesday's game at QU Stadium and was unavailable for comment.

"I never thought we'd have to face something like this," Bastien said. "I hope these two fellas never have anything happen like this again either. Fortunately, it got over quickly.

"We don't want to take the managers off the field. We try to do what's fair. We established what we thought was the proper penalty, and it also sent a pretty clear message."

The only other Prospect League manager to be suspended this season is Springfield's Steve Leonetti, who missed eight games last month. He was ejected from two games, receiving a two-game suspension for both. He received two-game suspension and a $200 fine for comments he made about umpires to the Springfield State Journal-Register, and the league added another two-game suspension because he didn't leave in the field in a timely manner in one of the ejections.

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