A.J. Pierzynski’s mustache-growing isn’t going so well

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A.J. Pierzynski pledged not to shave his mustache this month as part of the “Movember” charity effort to raise money for “men’s health issues” like prostate and testicular cancer.

I applaud his efforts, particularly since he’s already raised more than $7,000 via donations from the likes of Darin Erstad and Doug Mientkiewicz, but … well, the actual mustache-growing isn’t going very well.

It took 23 days for Pierzynski’s to go from clean-shaven to “hey, I think you have some food stuck on your lip or something.”

As someone who gets a five o’clock shadow at around noon each day I can’t decide whether to mock Pierzynski or be jealous. I also haven’t shaved for 23 days–partly because of “Movember” but mostly because I’m just really, really lazy–and right now I look like a homeless man’s Brian Wilson. That’s my primary skill. His is playing baseball well enough to earn $35 million in career salary. So we’re basically even.

To track Pierzynski’s adventures in mustache-growing or donate to the worthy cause, click here.

Dan Straily suspended five games, Don Mattingly one for throwing at Buster Posey

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Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that Marlins pitcher Dan Straily has been suspended five games and Don Mattingly one game for throwing intentionally at Giants catcher Buster Posey on Tuesday in San Francisco. Straily plans to appeal his suspension, so he will be allowed to take his normal turn through the rotation until that matter is settled.

Everything started on Monday, when the Marlins rallied in the ninth inning against closer Hunter Strickland. That included a game-tying single from Lewis Brinson, who pumped his fist and yelled in celebration. Strickland took exception, jawing at Brinson who was on third base when the right-hander was taken out of the game. Strickland went into the clubhouse and punched a door, breaking his hand.

The next day, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez hit Brinson with a fastball, which prompted warnings for both teams. The next inning, Straily hit Posey on the arm with a fastball, which led to immediate ejections for both him and Mattingly.

Neither Rodriguez nor Giants manager Bruce Bochy were reprimanded, which is ludicrous because it was plainly obvious Rodriguez was throwing at Brinson. But neither team had been issued warnings. Essentially, Major League Baseball is giving free reign for teams to get their revenge pitches in. Furthermore, Straily’s five-game suspension is hardly a deterrent for throwing at a hitter. The Marlins could simply give Straily an extra day of rest and it’s like he was never suspended at all.

Beanball wars are bad for baseball. It puts players at risk for obvious reasons. When players have to miss time due to avoidable injury, self-inflicted (in the case of Strickland) or not (if, for example, Posey had a hand or wrist broken from Straily’s pitch), the game suffers because it becomes an inferior product. That’s, of course, second behind the simple fact that throwing at a player is a tremendously childish way to handle a disagreement. When aimed intentionally at another human being, a baseball is a weapon. That’s especially true when it’s in the hands of someone who has been trained to throw anywhere from 90 to 100 MPH.

Commisioner Rob Manfred has spent a lot of time trying to make the game of baseball more appealing, such adding pitch clocks and limiting mound visits. He should spend some time addressing the throwing-at-batters problem.