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Jeanmar Gomez and the Indians play the suspension/appeal system like a fiddle

Apr 19, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT


To see how pointless five-game suspensions are for starting pitchers and how silly the entire appeal process can be, look no further than Indians right-hander Jeanmar Gomez.

Yesterday he was given a five-game suspension for plunking Mike Moustakas over the weekend. Gomez has appealed, but plans to drop the appeal and serve the suspension as soon as he’s done making his next scheduled start Saturday.

In other words, he’s basically just delaying the suspension long enough to a) take his upcoming normal turn in the rotation interrupted and then b) make it so that having to sit out five games doesn’t inconvenience him beyond pushing back his next start by one extra day.

And the end result is essentially just allowing Gomez to dictate when he serves the suspension and how he can minimize the impact on his normal routine. Helluva system.

  1. caputop - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Maybe suspensions for pitchers should be bumped up to 10 games instead of 5, which seems like a standard.

    Another option would be to stop letting them “drop the appeal,” either appeal, or don’t. Stop letting them abuse the system to miss the games they want to.

  2. paperlions - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Yep, a 5 game suspension for a starter equates to a 0.2 game suspension. Every team does this. Appeal, drop the appeal, push the guys next start back 1 game. For a suspension to a starter to equate to a start, it has to be 9 games so that when a team does the appeal/drop appeal thing, it makes him miss an entire turn in the rotation.

    • phukyouk - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      or just make it that he misses X starts instead of games.

      • chadjones27 - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        Then if I’m the manager, I’m going to annouce that I had planned on starting that pitcher in everygame for the next 5 days. 5 days, 5 starts. Suspension over. It’s not there’s anything in the rule book that states you can pitch on consecutive days.
        The only way right now to enforce supsensions what caputop said, not allowed the dropping of appeals. Then MLB could announce the suspension right before the pitcher’s next scheduled start (assuming the typical 5 day rotation). Forces the pitcher to either sit that start or pitch/appeal. Still not ideal though.

      • flaviusflav - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:59 PM

        They should be placed on an ‘ineligible’ list for 10 games.

        The player should lose 5 games salary, and the team should be fined a set amount.

        Half of the money should go to the team who was plunked, the other half to an MLB charity.

        The 10 game suspension keeps teams from being able to manipulate the system, but the player doesn’t lose more salary than they would have with the 5 game suspension.

        Fining the offending team, and giving that money to the other team should go a long ways to help motivate teams not to plunk the enemy.

  3. Lukehart80 - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Amen. I know a 9 or 10 game suspension also means taking away more money from the player, but if they won’t respect the intended consequences of the 5 game version, step it up.

  4. Kevin Gillman - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    He never should have been suspended in the first place. All he was doing was protecting his teammates. Everyone knew, so my suggestion is for the umpire crew to allow the ballplayers play the game. No punches were thrown at all, just let them play the game.

    • Alex K - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      You’re right! He should be able to throw a hard ball at another player. He really showed those dastardly Royals who they were messing with!


      Beanball wars/”protecting your teammate” are stupid. Just beat the other team, that hurts more in the long run. Lord help us if someone who is “protecting their teammate” ever kills a guy with a pitch.

      • Kevin Gillman - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        Get real, the pitch hit his back, not his head. Where you’re supposed to hit the batter, I would never support hitting someone in the head. But the fact is teams in the past took advantage of the Indians because they knew they would never strike back if one of their players was hit, whether it was in the head, in the wrist, in the back, wherever. Not anymore.

      • Alex K - Apr 19, 2012 at 2:05 PM

        When did I say the pitch was near his head? I said, ” Lord help us if someone who is “protecting their teammate” ever kills a guy with a pitch.” That doesn’t mean that this situation was the pitcher throwing at the other guys head. It means that just because you aren’t trying to throw at a guy’s head doesn’t mean that the ball won’t hit him in the head.

  5. jobotjones - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    This happens in the NFL also.

    Can be a real shame too it makes a mockery of the punishment handed out and teaches no lesson to the guilty party.

    Life goes on I suppose.

  6. sknut - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    If its a starting pitcher can’t they change the wording to say suspended for one start? Would that be so hard to do?

  7. casey5jones - Apr 19, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Actually Aaron, I think it’s pretty smart. He shouldn’t have been suspended in the first place and MLB knows this. However, they have to look like they’re doing something to make sure things don’t escalate. The reason? Probably advertising revenue (make sure they look like they’re condemning it to keep advertisers happy)

    • Alex K - Apr 19, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      If he threw at an opposing player on purpose he 100% deserves to be suspended. Any pither that intentionally throws a pitch at a batter deserves to be suspended.

  8. The Baseball Idiot - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    The pitching rotation is planned out in spring training, and every pitcher has every start charted for him well in advance.

    Even missing one start messes up the entire rotation, not only for the pitchers start, but for matchup agains certain teams, and rest days.

    Pushing back one day changes everyones schedule. This makes more of a difference than you are making out.

    You’re an experience baseball writer Aaron. You should already know this.

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