Player Suspensions in Baseball: Your Guess Is as Good as Mine

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIISeptember 17, 2009

NEW YORK - AUGUST 25:  Jorge Posada #20 of The New York Yankees hits a home run and celebrates against The Texas Rangers during their game on August 25th, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx Borough of New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

After Tuesday night's bench clearing brawl between the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees, Major League Baseball handed down suspensions for the two main culprits—Jorge Posada and Jesse Carlson.

For their part in Tuesday night's fracas, Posada and Carlson each got four-game suspensions. Their suspensions were reduced to three games because neither Posada nor Carlson appealed the suspension.

If someone can explain to me how Major League Baseball came up with four games each, I would greatly appreciate it.

When it comes to how many games a player gets for his actions, it’s anyone’s guess. It seems to me there are no set guidelines for suspensions. That is a huge problem in my eyes.

Let’s take a look at some non-steroid related suspensions that have been handed out so far in 2009:

Josh Beckett—Suspended for six games for intentionally throwing at Bobby Abreu. The suspension was then reduced to five games.

Carlos Zambrano—Suspended six games for "inappropriate and violent actions on the field." Essentially, Zambrano was suspended six games for beating up a water cooler with a bat.

Kevin Youkilis—Suspended for five games for his actions in a bench-clearing brawl against the Detroit Tigers.

Rick Porcello—Suspended for five games for his actions in a bench-clearing brawl against the Boston Red Sox.

Fernando Rodney—Suspended for three games for throwing ball into the stands. The suspension was later reduced to two games.

Does anyone else see what's wrong here? There is no rhyme or reason for any of these suspensions.

How did Youkilis and Porcello get five games for inciting a bench-clearing brawl, but Posada and Carlson only got three games? What did Youkilis and Porcello do differently that their brawl resulted in two extra games?

In my opinion, a bench-clearing brawl is a bench-clearing brawl. They are like coincidences; there are no levels.

How does Beckett get a six-game suspension for throwing at someone’s head, but Zambrano gets the same game suspension for beating up a water cooler? I didn’t know potentially ending someone’s career could be just as harmful as beating up an inanimate object.

This isn’t a Red Sox-Yankee issue—this is a common sense issue. I feel like I am talking crazy pills even writing something like this. If you do A, you get B. It’s as simple as that.

Major League Baseball—and I mean you Bob Watson—needs to come up a standard suspension for each infraction.

Right now, it just doesn't make any sense.


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