Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin has been suspended for eight game by Major League Baseball. The announcement was made on Friday by Joe Garagiola Jr. – Senior VP for Standards and On-Field Operations. Quentin also received a monetary fine from the league that was not disclosed publicly.
The suspension stemmed from a Thursday night incident at Petco Park when Quentin charged the mound after being struck by Dodgers pitchers Zach Grienke. Grienke’s intentions cannot be determined (that is, whether he intentioanally threw at the Padres batter or it was an errant pitch). The ensuing melee resulted in Grienke suffering a broken collar bone.
As baseball fans, we all understand that hit batsman and mound approached are part of the game. Particularly at this level. If this conduct occurred in any other place (meaning NOT on a MLB baseball field), this conduct might constitute the criminal act of assault or battery – depending on the language of the statutes of the state the game is played in. Not so however in big league ball.
Considering that young ball players at almost every level now emulate “big league style” from playing protocols to equipment – is this the message that MLB wants to send?
We fully appreciate that this fracas took place among grown men who are compensated handsomely to play this sport. The risks at this level are inherent. But this situation leaves us wondering if it will take a career-ending injury to a highly priced commodity (like Grienke) before MLB sends a clear message that this is unacceptable. In this case, Quenton will serve his suspension – after appeal. As we have seen recently, MLB players are serving game suspensions from incidents that occurred during the 2011 season!
Objectively speaking, a batter hit by a pitch (whether intentional or not) receives compensation. He is awarded first base without further effort. Those are the rules. Charging at pitchers and precipitating bench clearing brawls serves no other purpose than testosterone demonstration. So we are left with the question – does this punishment fit the crime? Most likely if your a Dodgers fan the answer is no.
Categories: FOR THE FUN OF IT!