Ronald Acuna Jr.

USA Today

Way To Really Swing The Hammer, Baseball

Baseball punishes the stars and protects the cowards.

August 17, 2018 - 10:21 am

Baseball has been fighting a battle this year, and really for the last few years, for attention. It’s mid-August, the season is heating up, and in the middle of this week, they were wiped off the front page by a third year NFL cornerback doing an interview with GQ. Quick – can you think of anyone or anything in baseball this year that generated the kind of buzz Jalen Ramsey did with his interview? I thought so.

Then Miami pitcher Jose Urena went moron and drilled one of the brightest stars in the game with a 97.5 mph fastball, just because Urena and his fellow Marlins pitchers can’t get him out. Suddenly, baseball was right back in the news, for all the wrong reasons. Suddenly, everyone was reminded of baseball and baseball’s idiotic code when it comes to dealing with young superstar players doing superstar things.  

So major league baseball knew they had to act fast. They had to dole out swift justice. The question was: would they stick to the usual five game suspension for an incident like this. Or would they go bigger? Would they send a message to tell redasses and dumbasses that this idiocy was over. That baseball was done with goons. You either get good or you get lost. 

And Major League Baseball went bigger. They announced that they will not be suspending Jose Urena the usual five games. They want to send a message. So they suspended him for… Alvin, go ahead and roll out a drum for me…

For intentionally hitting Ronald Acuna, a legitimate star, with a 97.5 mile per hour fastball that could’ve ended his season, and the Braves, and deprived the sport of a young superstar in the postseason…Major League Baseball suspended Jose Urena for… sixty games.

Damn! Now that’s what I’m saying! Can I get a hell yeah! Honestly, I didn’t think old man Joe Torre still had it in him to swing the hammer like that. I just figured that old man, didn’t have the juice, or just didn’t give a damn. Didn’t give a damn protecting the players, getting this moronic element out of the game, and joining every other sport and every other human being in 2018. I’ve been trying to figure how Torre even got the gig of MLB Chief Baseball Office. But now I know.  You don’t jack with Torre. Not on Torre’s watch. I can’t tell you the new found respect I have for Torre and the sport, but cracked down as hard and as fast as they just did. 

I can’t tell you…because he didn’t! And they didn’t!! Because it wasn’t a sixty game suspension. It was a six game suspension. Six games. One more than the usual. That’s Joe.

Thanks for nothing, Joe! That’s it? An extra day where he doesn’t have to play for a team that’s nearly 30 games below 500? That’s not a punishment, that’s a reward. Sending him to bed with no dinner didn’t want any of that? Maybe you could’ve banned him from the Xbox and iPad for a week as well.

Way to really swing the hammer, baseball. Message sent. And that message is: we don’t give a damn about the safety of our players. Message being, we’re not interested in policing this: so just go ahead and police your won. Message being: the more things change the more they stay exactly the same. And we’re not going to protect our superstars. In fact, we’re going to punish the stars and protect the cowards.

And it’s not even about whether or not Acuna is a superstar. No batter should live in fear of a fastball that might ruin a season or a life just because they’re doing their job and the pitcher can’t do his. 

And I don’t want to hear how precedent plays a role in this. I don’t give a damn about precedent. Break the precedent. Do the right thing. Show some nads. For once. People came to the park or turned on the TV to see if Ronald Acuna would continue to make history, not to see if some garbage pitcher would shatter his elbow. 

This was a wakeup call for baseball and they hit the snooze button. Torre and the sport had a chance to shut all the sport’s critics up about the game’s attitude towards a little swag and celebrations and instead of doing the right, Torre, ever the catcher, just shook off the entire world and didn’t do jack. Just put on a tee for everyone to kill the sport all over again, and remind us all, as to why our former national pastime is looking up at every other major sport now. Again, let’s just stick with what we’ve got. Let’s protect the idiots who can’t do their jobs instead of the superstars who can.  

I’ll say it again: that was a garbage move, by a garbage pitcher, throwing for a garbage organization… and Joe Torre just made a garbage decision for a sport that could ill afford to make another big mistake. Torre and the sport had a chance to do the right thing, but instead did the same thing it always does. Nothing at. All. Thanks Joe!! Thanks for nothing.