Burnett's suspension 'fair'?

June, 5, 2009
6/05/09
2:24
PM ET
Just to recap: Tuesday night in New York, Vicente Padilla plunked Mark Teixeira a couple of times. A.J. Burnett retaliated -- or not, depending on whom you believe -- by throwing a fastball that buzzed Nelson Cruz. Padilla's been fined for his actions, while Burnett's been suspended for six games (pending his appeal).

Well, Mike Gurnis, a contributor to fan site Bleacher Report, is disgusted by the punishments meted out to the principals ...

    Padilla was the one who instigated this whole situation, by hitting Teixiera twice. Whether there was intent or not, when a pitcher hits someone twice, usually there isn't a coincidence. Yet Padilla, only gets a fine (which was undisclosed by Major League Baseball), and did not recieve a suspension.

    So let me get this straight. Vincente Padilla hits the same batter twice. A.J. Burnett doesn't even hit Nelson Cruz on one pitch, yet he is the one recieving the suspension?

    Explain to me how that's fair.

    Burnett threw a pitch that was enough to get warned, but not enough to get thrown out of a game. But, it's apparently enough to get you suspended for six games. Does that make sense to you?

    Granted, Vincente Padilla is getting his own form of punishment, as he is having a very bad year for the Rangers, and it was reported yesterday that he was waived by the Rangers, but he is still on target to start on Sunday against Boston.

    If Major League Baseball really wanted to be fair, Padilla would have been suspended as well. He hit a batter twice, and obviously instigated a situation, whether he intended to or not. Burnett didn't even hit Cruz. How do you know if there was even intent behind Burnett's up and in fastball? Sometimes, you have to pitch that way, maybe he felt like giving him a brush back pitch, considering he had hit a home run off of him the earlier at-bat. It may have had nothing to do with Teixiera being hit. When a batter gets hit twice, that's when you know there's got to be something on, though.

    All in all, MLB really confused me with this suspension. It simply does not make sense and is illogical.

Yes, it's completely illogical for MLB to come down hard on behavior that just might lead to someone being terribly injured, or killed.

Wait, what? It does make sense to send a serious message to pitchers? Something along the lines of, "If we have reason to even suspect that you were aiming at or near a hitter's head, you're in trouble"?

Look, maybe Padilla should have been in bigger trouble, and maybe the umpires should have ejected Burnett. Or maybe they shouldn't have, because maybe he wasn't really throwing at Teixeira. Maybe a six-game suspension isn't fair to Burnett.

You know who it's fair to, though? It's fair to the hundreds and hundreds of hitters who step into the batter's box and face missiles launched from less than 20 yards away, with only their reflexes and a thin layer of plastic -- plus the good efforts of Major League Baseball -- protecting them from massive head trauma.

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