PITTSBURGH -- Sporting a major shiner on his right eye and standing by his locker in front of a picture of him and somebody who fought for a living -- Mike Tyson -- Travis Snider said his actions in Sunday's altercation with the Brewers were "being there for my teammates."
Snider was not in the day's lineup but after words between Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole and Milwaukee leadoff batter Carlos Gomez emptied both dugouts and bullpens, Snider found himself face to face with Gomez.
After Gomez raised his batting helmet in a threatening manner, Snider charged him and was in the grips of others when Martin Maldonado -- also not in the game -- punched him from behind, smashing his sunglasses against his eye socket.
Snider and Gomez were the only players ejected from the game (along with Milwaukee bench coach Jerry Narron). Major League Baseball continues to review the incident -- sparked when Cole colorfully called out Gomez for flipping his bat and making a slow getaway from the batter's box after hitting what became a fly ball off the center-field fence -- and is expected to hand out suspensions soon.
Snider had not been available to comment on the incident following the conclusion of what became a 14-inning game, won by the Brewers, 3-2. He filled in the blanks on Monday, starting with an apologetic view of the whole thing.
"It's not something that we want to promote to the kids and fans, that this is just a bunch of thugs out here throwing blows. But when push comes to shove, I'm going to be there for my teammates," he said.
"As soon as somebody takes the helmet off and physically acts like they're going to go on one of the players, as a teammate I'm going to stand up to him. You don't come in throwing punches that nobody sees, against somebody who can't defend themselves.
"I know in a fight you don't throw a punch when somebody's got his arms wrapped up by another player," added Snider, who indicated he did not know the identity of the perpetrator until viewing video in the clubhouse.
Maldonado had already knocked a Pirates player out of the weekend series, his high spikes on a slide into second base on Friday catching the right ankle of regular shortstop Jordy Mercer, who has yet to return to the starting lineup.
"The actions speak pretty clear to what your intentions are," Snider said, tersely, "and what you're trying to do when you're out there on the field. We all play the game hard, but …"
As for one of the men behind the entire scenario, Snider called Gomez "a fantastic baseball player."
"He's fun to watch, except for when he's doing it to our team," Snider said. "What he did is what he did -- but when you're talking about guys coming in and throwing cheap shots, that's a line that gets crossed."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.