Gary Sanchez gets suspension reduced, apologizes for brawl with Tigers

Gary Sanchez, the homer-slugging catcher for the New York Yankees, got word Monday that his four-game suspension from Major League Baseball after the recent brawl with the Detroit Tigers had been reduced to three. And with that, he’ll serve his punishment beginning Monday as the Yankees open a series with the Baltimore Orioles.

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Sanchez, 24, wasn’t one of the central figures in the brawl at first. It started when Miguel Cabrera took a swing at the other Yankees catcher, Austin Romine. When the benches cleared, Sanchez could be seen jumping into the fray and throwing punches at Nick Castellanos of the Tigers as he was on the ground.

Gary Sanchez will now be suspended three games by MLB. (AP)

While many deemed it a “cheap shot,” MLB also deemed it worthy of the second-biggest suspension. Cabrera got a seven-game ban. Sanchez appealed his four-gamer and now will miss one fewer game.

A week and a half later, Sanchez is also apologizing for his role in things. From his Facebook page:

I want to apologize for my actions during the last Detroit Tigers series. The heat of the moment and my desire to protect my teammates led me to commit some errors during the brawl. It’s an incident I regret and from which I have learned. I know to some these may be mere words, but they are words that I feel the need to express because I sincerely feel this way, and for respect to you, the fans, the Yankees organization, the Detroit Tigers and the game of Baseball. #ElGary

The timing of Sanchez’ suspension isn’t ideal for the Yankees, as they’re starting a three-game set in Baltimore. The Yankees currently lead the AL wild-card race by two games. The Orioles are a game and half out of the second wild-card spot and 3.5 behind the Yankees. Sanchez has been one of the team’s best offensive weapons in the second half. He’s hit 15 homers with 39 RBIs.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!