The day before the San Francisco Giants kicked off their series with the Houston Astros, the Astros engaged in some shenanigans with the Oakland A’s. Some shenanigans that emphatically did not abide by social distancing rules and guidelines.
Laureano wasn't happy with the Astros after he got hit by a pitch pic.twitter.com/ysiXICstKb— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) August 9, 2020
Laureano charges the Astros dugout and the brawl breaks out pic.twitter.com/CQ2K8kFnlb— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) August 9, 2020
In the video about, that’s Oakland A’s center fielder Ramón Laureano charging the Astros dugout. Laureano was justifiably upset after being hit by two pitches in the game, and three in the series. He was quite a bit less justifiable in his decision to engage in an all out brawl while in the midst of a pandemic caused by a contagious virus.
And for that he’s been handed a six-game suspension, presumably in response to both inciting violence and being irresponsible regarding the health and safety protocol.
It's six games for Laureano, not five.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 11, 2020
Why am I telling you all this? It could end up giving the Giants a break. The A’s and Giants kick off a series on Friday; if Laureano began serving his sentence immediately, those would be games three through five for his six-game stint.
That said, he may not start the suspension immediately. Players usually appeal suspensions, and that process can take a long time. The Giants faced Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly over the weekend, and it felt like he was handed an eight-game suspension a few months ago, but he’s still in the appeal process.
So if Laureano appeals, and if that appeal isn’t resolved before or during the series, the Giants will have to face him. But if he opts to start serving the suspension — or if the appeals process is quick — then the Giants will catch a break by avoiding one of the A’s top players, who is currently hitting .263/.405/.491.
The A’s are extremely good with or without Laureano, but the Giants will take all the breaks they can get.