OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Rangers infielder Rougned Odor said he expected to be suspended for punching Toronto’s Jose Bautista during Sunday’s game in Arlington. Odor said he doesn’t regret it.
He addressed the media before Texas took on the Oakland Athletics on Monday night, saying he thinks a feud with the Blue Jays is over.
Texas manager Jeff Banister said that any suspension would be severe and that it was about two players who play the game with passion.
Odor took exception to what he considered a hard slide at second base. It escalated to punches, with Odor connecting with Bautista’s left jaw, knocking his sunglasses off.
The Blue Jays and Rangers do not see each other the rest of the regular season.
“I think you see what happened,” Odor said. “For me I think it was a pretty hard slide. You see what happened. I know he’s going to come hard. I can tell when somebody’s coming hard to second base.”
Odor said the fight was just part of the game and did not regret it.
“I think I just play the game how I play. I just play the game to win games,” Odor said. “I know I’m going to be suspended for a couple games. I’m just going to keep doing what I do.”
Odor said he respects Bautista for the way he plays and does not hold a grudge.
“I just play for my team,” Odor said. “I just try to be a good teammate, to do the best I can to win games.”
Banister refused to criticize Odor or Bautista.
“I’m not going to criticize players for playing hard,” he said. “Things happen. It was ugly. It looked bad; the whole situation was not pretty at second. It’s two guys who play the game with passion. It’s all relevant.”
Banister also thinks any penalty is too severe.
“How you determine severe? That’s up to you to judge that, he said. “Any time you lose a player for any length of time it’s severe. My thoughts on it? There are rules in play and we live by the rules. People will think what they want to think, whether we deny something or not. It got out of hand. It’s unfortunate and not what we wanted. We’re in the business of playing, and winning, games.”