Last week’s incident between Astros pitcher Shawn Chacon and Astros General Manager Ed Wade has been the talk of Major League Baseball. In Chacon's own words, "I grabbed him by the neck and threw him to the ground. I jumped on top of him, words were exchanged."
This chain of events was the end result of a heated exchange between Chacon and Wade that ultimately ends with Chacon on the outside of MLB looking in, suspended indefinitely.
Recently Chacon was pulled from the starting rotation with less than stellar number (2-3, 5.04 ERA, 42 BB) and many people are now speculating that he will never be welcomed back into MLB for such a heinous offense as “assaulting” a team employee, especially a General Manager.
Would the punishment have been different had Chacon been putting up All-Star numbers? Ironically, this weekend in Houston Manny Ramirez reportedly shoved Red Sox Traveling Secretary Jack McCormick to the ground after a disagreement pertaining to Manny’s last minute request for 16 tickets to Saturday night’s game.
Following the incident McCormick and Ramirez met in a closed-door session in which Manny apologized. The apology was accepted and there is no further talk of any punishment. When asked of the incident Manny responded to reporters, “That’s over” and “we’re fine now.”
I guess that’s just Manny Being Manny (obvious sarcasm) but how is this action going unpunished? In one incident, Shawn Chacon is vilified for his reaction during a heated exchange, suspended indefinitely and left to wonder about his future. In the other Manny apologizes and Terry Francona’s response is, "Sometimes things happen, and when they do, we choose to handle them internally. I'm satisfied with how we handled this.”
My question to Terry given that fact that no punishment is to be handed down would be, “how you handled what?” Is an accepted apology properly handling what many would classify an assault? Perhaps if Ramirez was a fringe pitcher and not one of the best hitters in the game the reaction from the Red Sox organization would have been different.
Historically, Manny has been given a very long leash by the Red Sox and for the most part, it has been amusing though at times disturbing. There are obviously two sets of rules that are dictated by performance but this latest double standard is inexcusable. The entire Red Sox organization should be ashamed for allowing performance to make a player exempt from deserved punishment.