MLB issued a whopping eight suspensions to the players and managers involved in Tuesday night’s brawl between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates. The second brawl between these two teams was sparked in the seventh inning when Keone Kela of the Pirates threw a fastball at Derek Dietrich’s head. See, the Pirates’ feeling were still hurt because back in April, Dietrich hit two baseballs into the Allegheny river and had the audacity to look at them. Between the seventh and eighth innings, Joey Votto went over to the Pirates dugout to tell Kela to knock it off with the head hunting, and Kela didn’t appear to take the note.
“You can get that s*** too, Joey. You can get one too. I don’t give a f***” -Keone Kela, the pitcher who threw a fastball at Dietrich’s head. @Pirates Trash organization. @Reds @MLB @EvilJoeyVotto pic.twitter.com/xCtnmYv39V— Kyle Donovan (@Kdizzyd12) July 31, 2019
In the ninth inning, Jared Hughes of the Reds hit Starling Marte with a first pitch fastball near the butt. According to Hughes, the pitch slipped. Immediately after the pitch connected, he dropped his head in disappointment, and his body language walking off the field expressed disappointment. Because warnings were issued, Hughes was ejected, and that brought in Amir Garrett who yelled some cuss words at Josh Bell and gave up a three-run homer.
During a mound visit, Trevor Williams from the Pirates dugout said something to incite Garrett who then charged the Pirates dugout.
Amir Garrett just took on the ENTIRE Pittsburgh Pirates team. pic.twitter.com/PKlZe6ljb8— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) July 31, 2019
David Bell, who had been ejected earlier, came running back onto the field to call Clint Hurdle a “piece of shirt.” The brouhaha seemed to die down until Kyle Crick decided to pick a fight with Yasiel Puig for some reason.
Somewhere in the middle of all this, Puig was traded to Cleveland.
Again, eight individuals were suspended for their involvement in the brawl.
Discipline announced for Reds-Pirates brawl: pic.twitter.com/yEAPhx1gyF— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) August 1, 2019
In case you can’t read the tweet, here’s how each individual is being punished and why:
· Pirates pitcher Keone Kela has received a 10-game suspension for intentially throwing a pitch in the area of the head of Derek Dietrich of the Reds in the bottom of the seventh inning and for his role in instigating the bench-clearing incident.
· Reds pitcher Amir Garrett has received an eight-game suspension for inciting the bench-clearing incident by running into the area outside the Pirates’ dugout and throwing a punch in the top of the ninth inning.
· Pirates infielder José Osuna has received a five-game suspension for his aggressive and inappropriate actions during the ninth inning incident.
· Reds pitcher Jared Hughes has received a five-game suspension for intentionally throwing a pitch at Starling Marte of the Pirates in the top of the ninth inning.
· Pirates pitcher Kyle Crick has received a three-game suspension for his inappropriate actions during the ninth inning incident.
· Cleveland Indians outfielder Yasiel Puig, who was then a member of the Reds, has received a three-game suspension for his aggressive actions during the ninth inning incident.
· Reds manager David Bell has received a six-game suspension for returning to the field following his ejection; escalating the incident with his aggressive actions; his Club’s intentional pitch at Marte; and his numerous ejections this season.
· Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has received a two-game suspension for his Club’s conduct during the incident and his Club’s multiple intentional pitches thrown at Dietrich this season.
The ten-game suspension to Kela is one of the longer suspensions served for a brawl, but it doesn’t feel nearly long enough. He openly admitted to throwing at Dietrich’s head, and hitting someone in the head with a major league fastball could seriously injure or kill someone. I don’t how old-fashioned like Clint Hurdle concluded that the tough thing to do when someone hurts your feelings is to throw an object at them when they’re more or less defenseless.
Retaliation of this sort is reckless and cowardly. During the broadcast, the Cincinnati announcers paraphrased something David Bell had said which was instead of throwing at someone, just go fight them. That’s also stupid, but it’s a hell of a lot safer than hurling a baseball at their head and it’s not so craven.
It’s ridiculous that Bell was suspended for six games when Hurdle was only suspended for two. Hurdle’s Pirates have a reputation for retaliating. Pirates pitchers have hit more batters with fastballs than any other team since Hurdle took over. Arguably, a manager’s most important job is to establish the culture in the clubhouse. Hurdle is only getting two games when the opposing manager’s suspension is three times as long for coming back after being ejected. He’s not going to be disincentivized from telling his players to plunk anyone they don’t think plays baseball “the right way.”
At the very least, MLB recognizes that Kela’s actions were the most dangerous, and he’s receiving the harshest punishment even if it should have been harsher.