Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino has been suspended for three games following Friday's bench-clearing brawl. Giants pitcher Ramon Ramirez purposely hit Victorino with a pitch and the catcher Eli Whiteside attempted to tackle Placido Polanco for rushing to Victorino's aid.
The other three players, Ramirez, Whiteside and Polanco received fines of undisclosed amounts; the two Giants who started the whole ruckus did not get suspended.
What the league is saying here is that pitchers can now throw at guys without fear of suspension—even if it is blatantly intentional? And then teammates can tackle guys to escalate the situation—also with no real consequence?
Victorino shoved the umpire, which is very bad, so the three-game suspension is fine if the Giants players were given at least one game each for instigating it. But this ruling gives the impression that it was all Victorino. It is nothing but a slap on the wrist for the two Giants players who started the whole incident.
As for Polanco, all he did was rush to help with what appeared to be an effort to get Victorino out of there before the situation escalated. Instead, Polanco gets tackled and then fined? Ridiculous.
Ramirez threw at Victorino intentionally. The umpire was issuing him a warning right as things got heated. The rookie umpire should have initially tossed Ramirez from the game. But regardless of the rookie error, Ramirez is the one who caused the incident.
And had Whiteside not tackled Polanco, the brawl would have been nothing more than harsh words tossed around. Victorino was wrong to shove the umpire, but the situation does not even get to that point if Whiteside does not act like a fool, jumping around and looking for a reason to fight.
This is clear bias by the league. Jered Weaver must be upset. He just received a six-game suspension for intentionally throwing a pitch at Alex Avila last Sunday. And do not forget Carlos Carrasco who was given the same suspension for throwing at the head of Royals DH Billy Butler last Friday.
Granted, tossing at the head is worse, so six games makes sense. So one or two games for a relief pitcher like Ramirez should be automatic by these standards. Still, the league gives Ramirez a slap on the wrist with just a fine.
Victorino is appealing the suspension, as he should. This appears to be a disgusting display of prejudice by the league towards a guy with a reputation of being easily agitated. This ruling should be overturned.