You never believe it, but MLB commissioner Rob Manfred messed up this week. I’m not referring to the way he allowed the Marlins to play in the midst of a coronavirus outbreak that ultimately hit 16 players and two coaches; his league juking on COVID tournament testing using samples, not people, as a denominator; or his statement that this disaster does not qualify as a “nightmare.”
No, Manfred, perhaps nostalgic for the days when people were arguing about perhaps the worst scandal in the history of the sport, relieving the fights that die from the wrath of the baseball world in the Astros, who cheated their place during their 2017 league season.
On Tuesday, for the first time since Houston’s misdeeds came to light, the Astros faced the Dodgers, the team they beat in that World Series. LA players spent the winter quarters, but the game remained remarkably civilian during the first five halves. Then Dodgers reasoning Joe Kelly came into the game.
Kelly missed a ball through a window in his home this spring, and later insisted after the game that the fast-3-0 he launched into Alex Bregman̵7;s head was an accident.
“My accuracy isn’t the best,” said Kelly, who sent after throwing the pitch.
The next batter, Michael Brantley, recovered a ball for the first time. Kelly, covering the base, collided with Brantley, who was safe. Afterwards, Kelly dawdled out of the bag. “Just dropped on the mound, m —– f —–!” I shouted a voice from the Houston digout.
Two batters later, Kelly whiffed Carlos Correa on an ankle curve in the dirt. “Nice rocking, b —-!” Kelly shouted as she left the mound, sticking her tongue out and moving her face away in something like a run.
The benches cleared. Players and coaches ground around the stadium, some covered, some not. Few of them observed regulations on social distance. Eventually, without throwing a punch, they returned to their thrills.
On Wednesday, the league announced that Kelly had been suspended for eight games – which, in a 162-game season, amounts to 22. Kelly appealed the decision. (LA manager Dave Roberts has been suspended for one game; Astros manager Dusty Baker has been fined.)
Within minutes, other players began to weigh. He did not escape anyone’s notice that the Astros players themselves were not punished at all for their deception; Manfred granted them immunity in exchange for honesty.
“And what do the Astros players win?” tweeted the rightly Indians Mike Clevinger. “Just looking and moving for free and you still seem confused about why everyone is mad?”
“MLB is attacking / protecting a team that openly and consciously cheated their way to World Series,” Mets rightly tweeted Marcus Stroman. “They don’t deserve to be suspended. Hoping to win his appeal. Looking forward to seeing you back JK!”
“YO FREE JOE KELLY,” Angels tweeted with Keynan Middleton’s reason.
Players are speaking from a place of emotion. You can argue about the length of the suspension, but adults shouldn’t announce the 96 mph projectiles on top of each other with impunity. The real issue with tournament punishment is that it fails to address the biggest problem: You can’t get in someone else’s face during a pandemic.
MLB paid a lip service for this idea in its 113-page manual. “The test fights and fights are strictly forbidden.” “Players must not make physical contact with others for any reason unless it is in the normal and permissible action of the game. Violations of these rules result in severe discipline consistent with the past precedent, which discipline shall not be reduced or tested according to the length of the season. “
If Manfred wanted to send that message on Wednesday, he would have been fined every person who left his $ 50,000 deposit. This brings an end to this nonsense, and reminds players of the real dangers they present to each other. Instead, we’re talking about the Astros again.
Jays Lose in Home Opener away from Home
The Toronto Blue Jays – now of Buffalo, NY – played their home opener on Wednesday – in Washington, DC The Canadian government took the team out of the Rogers Center, quoting a reasonable desire not to have Americans catch the coronavirus along with their bats. bags across the border, and Triple-A Sahlen Field is not yet ready to accommodate them, so the Jacks will have their first two series at home on the road. Righty Nate Pearson, the first round of the Toronto draft in 2017 and Baseball America’s No. 7 prospect, made his debut, allowing two hits and two walks in five pointless frames. The Citizens won 4-0 in 10 innings.
The East AL Plays On …
The Yankees were already in Philadelphia on Monday when the night game against the Phillies, who had just played the Marlins, was postponed. Tuesday’s game at Citizens Park was also postponed, as were the games scheduled between the Yankees and Phillies at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday. The Orioles were also sitting upright, after they had to face Miami, so the AL East foes decided to play each other.
“We felt like we didn’t want to take three or four days off,” Zack Britton told the Yankees.
And no one was complaining about the prospect facing Baltimore, which has a chance to produce the worst baseball record this year. New York won the first game, 9–3.
With some crucial advice in mind
This is a good tweet.