OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Nazi Salutes? Massive brawls? It’s been a week of controversy for the Oakland A’s that’s been overshadowing their winning season (12-5).
On Tuesday, Major League Baseball handed down punishments for A’s center fielder Ramon Laureano and Houston Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron for starting a brawl two days before. Laureano received a fine and a six-game suspension — equivalent to 16 games in this shortened season — and Cintron’s suspended for 20 games, believed to be the harshest longest suspension ever given to a MLB coach.READ MORE: Amazon Web Services Reports Major Outage; Netflix, Venmo, Instacart Among Many Affected Sites
The rulings come just days after A’s hitting coach apologized for giving what looked like a Nazi salute during their game against the Texas Rangers last Thursday. Christenson made the gesture while greeting closer Liam Hendriks following the A’s 6-4 win over the Texas Rangers earlier that day.
Christenson faced criticism after a video of the gesture circulated on social media.
“I made a mistake and will not deny it,” Christenson said in a statement issued through the team.
The brawl occurred just three days later, started after Laureano expressed anger for being hit by a pitch for the second time in the game and the third time in the series. After walking to first base, Laureano charged at Cintron, who allegedly said something about Laureano’s mother in Spanish. While Cintron’s denied this claim, Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin backed his player’s account.READ MORE: 'Prolific' San Francisco Retail Theft Suspect Back In Jail After New Arrest
“Ramon doesn’t go over there unless something completely offensive came out of the dugout,” Melvin told MLB.com.
Laureano told the Associated Press he regretted his actions.
“I should have kept my cool because I wasted my time with that guy,” Laureano said. “Right now, I don’t look like a smart guy, but when you are emotional and someone says something about your mother, I don’t think anyone would take that lightly.”MORE NEWS: Monterey County Employee Dies While Driving Heavy Equipment to Jobsite
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