Yet Johnny Cueto continues to walk the streets, a free man

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Here’s a pressing and important debate in today’s Post-Dispatch that in no way is designed to enflame the passions of Cardinals fans angry at Johnny Cueto. The headline: “LaRue’s out, Cueto’s in: Is that fair?”

While the contours of the actual debate which follow are reasonable enough, the headline just slays me. The obvious implication being that a player’s punishment in cases like Cueto’s should match the injuries suffered by their victims and if you disagree, well, you had better explain yourself.

I say we just go one step further and make things totally fair. Jason LaRue is out for the season with concussion?  Hold Cueto down and beat him in the head until he too is concussed.

Like all rules, baseball’s new “eye-for-an-eye” discipline system would have its tough cases — who among us would have felt comfortable putting Carl Mays to death for his transgression? — but justice must be firm and swift in such matters if fairness is to be ensured.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.