Crime and Punishment

The following two entries crossed in cyber-space, posted at the same time. Neither YF or SF had any knowledge of the other’s musings.—Eds.

YF:

MLB behavior dean Bob Watson announces the punishments for Saturday’s Fenway smackdown:

Sox
Varitek: 4 games
Kapler: 3 games
Nixon: 3 games
Schilling, Ortiz: fined

Yanks
A-Rod: 4 games
Sturtze: 3 games
Lofton: fined

All suspendees received fines of undisclosed amounts. Of course, the penalties are so severe that they’re obviously going to be contested, delaying the whole process of crime and punishment to the point that it almost becomes meaningless. (Raise your hand if you’re exasperated by the needlessly slow wheels of MLB justice. Has Ortiz even had his hearing from the bat-toss incident?) And how is it possible that both A-Rod and Tek are suspended “for inciting a bench-clearing incident and fighting.” Shouldn’t the guy who throws the first punch be the one pegged for incitement? Give them both the same penalty—one game? two?—but spare us the semantics. The guy who started the brawl is the guy who started the punching.

SF:

My guess is Yankees fans will bawl that A-Rod shouldn’t get 4 games since he was “attacked”, and Sox fans will cry that Varitek shouldn’t get four games because he was protecting his pitcher, but Bob Watson’s judgment seems to bear out what I have been saying all along, that what some posters referred to derisively as my “spin” was actually pretty reasonable – both players pretty much equally at fault, to blame, deserving of discipline.

The summary of suspensions is here.

3 comments… add one

  • I always wondered why starting pitchers get 3 game suspensions, as if that’s remotely equivalent to position players getting 3 game suspensions. They are in no way the same, and a starter like Sturtze getting 3 games is basically no punishment.

    SF July 29, 2004, 9:15 pm
  • True, unless their salary is docked in prorated manner,

    YF July 29, 2004, 11:24 pm
  • So why not just fine them? Why not suspend Sturtze for 10 games, but dock pay for the same number as Varitek, for example? It’s a terrible inconsistency, and I don’t really know the right solution, beyond forcing a starter to miss enough games to miss starts. And even then there could be an argument against that policy. It’s tricky.

    SF July 29, 2004, 11:27 pm

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