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Friday, June 5, 2009
Burnett's suspension 'fair'?

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 ...

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.