Ken Rosenthal thinks Ozzie Guillen should be suspended for 30 days

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Ken Rosenthal tackles the Ozzie Guillen/Fidel Castro dustup and, early on, says this:

I normally cringe at politically correct overreactions, particularly in response to mindless, preposterous remarks from people who are just spouting off. But …

So you can guess where that’s going: a politically correct overreaction.

Rosenthal calls Guillen’s Castro comments “about as extreme and insensitive as it gets,” and then says that the Marlins should suspend him for 30 days.*  Which is frankly crazy.  Even just the first part, because I can think of A LOT of things that would be more extreme and insensitive than what Guillen said.  I mean, really, has anyone asked Luke Scott about the Trayvon Martin shooting yet?  That could be fun.

Seriously, though, two of the longest suspensions in major league history were 30 days each. They were handed out to Pete Rose and Lenny Randle.  You probably remember Rose’s — he shoved an umpire — but you may not remember Randle.  He was an infielder for the Rangers. In 1977 he approached Rangers’ manager Frank Lucchesi before a spring training game and punched Lucchesi in the face, fracturing his cheekbone in three places. Lucchesi required plastic surgery to repair the damage. Thirty days.

In 2004, reliever Frank Francisco assaulted a fan with a chair and broke her nose. He got a 16 game suspension. Kenny Rogers once assaulted a cameraman. He got 20 games. There have been countless players and managers who have (a) gotten DUIs; or (b) gotten in fights; or in some cases even (c) assaulted their wives or girlfriends, and they didn’t get 30 days, even if they got a suspension at all.

Against that backdrop, is it really reasonable to think that Ozzie Guillen should be suspended for 30 days simply because he voiced an unpopular and rather dumb political opinion?  Isn’t that … a bit of an overreaction?

*It wasn’t noted when this first went up, but should have been: Rosenthal doesn’t think Guillen will get 30 days. He says a week is more realistic.

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. Mattingly came out to argue with the umpires about the fairness of issuing warnings right then and there. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly apparently said, “You’re next” to Posey, who was standing around home plate. 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.