Francisco Lindor and Eduardo Escobar of the Mets pay the fine of reliever Yoan López after incident that emptied the benches - New Style Motorsport

In the past week, benches cleared between New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals after Yoan Lopez vomited and entered Nolan Arenado. The Mets have been hit by an MLB-leading 19 pitches this season and have expressed their frustration. That frustration boiled over with Lopez’s pitch to Arenado on Wednesday.

Here is the whole ordeal:

“It’s one of those things, whether it’s intentional or not, it has to stop,” Starling Marte said Tuesday. “We’re tired of (getting hit) and we’re going to have to do something about it if it continues to happen because it’s uncomfortable every time you go out there to get hit.”

As is often the case with bank-emptying incidents, MLB imposed suspensions and fines. Arenado was suspended two games (reduced to one on appeal) and Cardinals reliever Genesis Cabrera, who hit JD Davis with a pitch mid-inning before Lopez pitched to Arenado, was suspended one game. López and several others received undisclosed fines.

The maximum fine is $10,000 and most are well below that. Regardless of the amount, López did not have to pay his fine. Teammates Francisco Lindor and Eduardo Escobar stepped up and paid for him. From newsby Tim Healey:

Francisco Lindor and Eduardo Escobar took over Yoan Lopez’s account this week, paying the fine imposed by MLB after Wednesday’s Mets-Cardinals bench-cleaning episode.

“We had to take care of him,” Lindor said. “That’s it. He didn’t do it on purpose. And he’s not making as much money as we are. It’s our duty.”

A pitcher who responds when the team’s batters keep getting hit is the quickest way to earn clubhouse respect in baseball. Throwing up and inside is generally frowned upon: the “proper” way to do it is to hit the batter in the back, but Lopez didn’t hit Arenado, so no harm, no foul.

Lindor is a member of the MLBPA executive committee and is earning $32 million this season, the first season of his 10-year, $341 million extension. Escobar is making $9.5 million in Year 1 of his two-year, $20 million deal, and his career earnings at the start of the season topped $30 million. As a pre-arbitration player, Lopez’s salary this year is near the minimum of $700,000.

Lopez, 29, was making his Mets debut Wednesday. He spent parts of four seasons with the Diamondbacks before being traded to the Braves last May. He didn’t appear in a game with Atlanta last year. Lopez jumped from the Braves to the Phillies to the Marlins to the Mets on waivers last offseason.

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