Texas Rangers' Rougned Odor says he expects to be suspended by Major League Baseball but insists he will not apologise for punching Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista.
Tensions boiled over at the top of the eighth inning during Rangers' 7-6 win over the Blue Jays on Sunday, when Bautista went hard into second base with an apparent takeout slide as Odor attempted to turn a double play.
Odor took exception and shoved Bautista before punching him in the face, with both benches cleared for several minutes before things calmed down.
"I think you saw what happened yesterday," Odor said Monday. "For me, I think it was a pretty hard slide, but you saw what happened.
"I knew he was going to come hard. I can tell when somebody is coming hard to second base, so I was just trying to protect myself.
"It's part of the game."
Odor said when he saw Bautista slide hard into second base after getting hit by a pitch from the Rangers' Matt Bush, he knew the Blue Jays star wanted a confrontation.
"I saw him standing there after the slide," Odor explained. "He was looking at me. I was like, 'What's up?' He was close to me. I had to step back a little bit, and that's what I did."
Rangers coach Steve Buechele, Blue Jays coach DeMarlo Hale and pitcher Jesse Chavez were later ejected in the bottom of the eighth.
Odor, who admits he has shied away from watching TV or social media in the aftermath of the punch, said he knows he is going to be suspended by MLS for at least a few games.
"I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing," he said. "That's not my job [to worry about a penalty], I don't know anything yet."