MLB Spring Training 2012: Cleveland Indians' Ubaldo Jimenez Deserves Suspension

Bill FordCorrespondent IIIApril 3, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 21: Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez #30 of the Cleveland Indians pitches to Adam Dunn #32 of the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Progressive Field on September 21, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Cleveland Indians' right-handed starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez nearly caused a brawl that cleared both benches after he hit Colorado Rockies' shortstop Troy Tulowitzki on his left elbow.

On Sunday, Jimenez threw the ball inside on Tulowitzki hitting him, which most people seem to believe was intentional. Jimenez denied it, saying, "It's one pitch that got away. That can happen in a thousand games. It's one pitch."

Behind this incident lies some history of grudges and bad feelings, primarily with Jimenez. He indicated he received unfair treatment and a lack or respect with the Rockies since they refused a more lucrative contract with him.

Tulowitzki and Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez received long-term, high-paying contracts, while Jimenez signed a shorter-term and less-paying contract with Colorado. Jimenez indicated publicly earlier this spring that he was unhappy with the way that he was treated by Colorado, and Tulowitzki and Gonzalez publicly questioned his strategy.

After being hit by the pitch and the tension settled down, Tulowitzki was taken to the hospital for X-rays of his elbow. Results were negative, showing no damage or injuries.

In the end, no one threw any punches and no players were ejected from the game. Whether or not Jimenez is guilty of intentionally hitting him, we may never know, but MLB apparently believes he is guilty and handed down a five-game suspension. The possibility does exist that the ball did simply get away from him.

Team managers and general managers need to have more control over their pitchers. Some teams seem to think a pitcher should intentionally hit certain batters as payback for something that occurred earlier.

Getting hit with a baseball at high speeds can cause serious injuries and damage, sometimes permanently. In some cases, such as getting hit in the head, it can lead to death. Throwing a pitch at a batter to hit him intentionally is inappropriate and unacceptable under any circumstances.

Punishments should be more severe. As a citizen, if I became aggravated or angry and decided to throw an object at someone to intentionally hurt him, I would get arrested and charged with assault. Why is it accepted, and sometimes expected, that a pitcher should throw at a batter for payback?

I have no idea if Jimenez threw at him intentionally, but with the history that led up to the moment, it certainly gives the impression of an intentional hit.

It has been officially determined that he did throw at Tulowitzki intentionally and was given the suspension, according to Jon Morosi of Jimenez absolutely should be suspended and should face penalties and repercussions.

It's time to act and behave like professionals.