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Kevin Gausman fined, suspended five games for throwing at José Ureña

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Major League Baseball just announced Braves starter Kevin Gausman has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games for throwing at Marlins starter José Ureña in the second inning of Friday’s game. Gausman is appealing his suspension, so he will continue to pitch as scheduled until the appeal process is completed.

Ureña hit outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. on the elbow with a pitch last August while he was in the middle of a five-game homer streak. The plunking caused tempers to flare and both teams’ benches emptied. Ureña ended up receiving a six-game suspension. Thankfully, Acuña was not injured.

The Braves carried that with them all the way into May the next year. Gausman, who joined the Braves on July 31 last season, was immediately ejected after his pitch sailed behind Ureña.

As I always mention every time a pitcher is suspended for throwing at hitters, the suspensions need to be longer to serve as a deterrent for wielding a baseball as a weapon. Five- and six-game suspensions simply cause the pitcher’s team to push his next start back by one or two games, hardly an inconvenience.

Nationals’ major leaguers to continue offering financial assistance to minor leaguers

Sean Doolittle
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On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.

After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.

Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.

The full statement:

Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.

We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.

We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.

Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.