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Brett Lawrie’s suspension is ridiculously light

May 16, 2012, 5:26 PM EDT

Brett Lawrie Reuters

No matter the circumstances, no major league umpire should ever feel unsafe on the field. MLB simply didn’t do enough to protect its men in blue Wednesday by handing Brett Lawrie a mere four-game suspension for his outburst in Tuesday’s game.

Lawrie’s helmet spike was no mere accident. I’m certainly not going to argue that he intended to injure home-plate umpire Bill Miller, but he could have. He knew exactly where Miller was when he spiked the helmet in that direction. Furthermore, he remained aggressive afterwards, and Miller may well have spent a couple of split-seconds wondering if he was going to get punched.

There’s an awful lot to like about Lawrie’s play on the field, but the 22-year-old has plenty of growing up to do. That he was so completely out of control last night should have earned him a 10-game suspension from the league. The lesser penalty is a slap in the face to those making the calls on the field.

  1. raysfaninsrq - May 17, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    First and foremost, I am a Rays fan, but I feel that my point of view is unbiased.

    I’m ordinarily of the “you pay the time for doing the crime” ilk, and in this case I think the suspension is spot on! Lawrie did lose control, that’s his fault and he got suspended for it, but the overall situation IS NOT his fault.

    If you look at the replay he clearly did not throw the helmet on a direct line between him and the umpire. In fact I think the direction was toward the 3B dugout, so my take is he wasn’t aiming at the umpire. The fact that it bounced into the umpire is unfortunate, this is why he’s getting the suspension. He is not a punk, just young and dumb, and is likely to learn from this. At least I hope so.

    That was a crap call by the umpire, I think he purposefully called that 3rd strike because Lawrie took off down the line on the “called” second strike and was clearly pissed when he went back to batters box. He INJECTED himself into the outcome of the game. That doesn’t mean that Toronto wins, but it does mean the get a base runner with only one out, instead of the way it turned out.

    This, IMHO, is another reason to use technology to make the game better. I don’t think balls and strikes should be called by a machine, but you sure as hell can use the technology to grade the umpires on their performance. This, again IMHO, will more likely dissuade umpires from making calls based on their emotions on which that third strike call was surely based. Even I could see w/o Foxtrax that both the 2nd and 3rd strikes were balls.

    Was Lawrie wrong? Yes! Was the umpire wrong, U BETCHUR ASS!!! …and that is, in this case, the bigger infraction, but he’s sure as hell not going to have to pay for his wrong doing!!!!

    • bulldog12b - May 17, 2012 at 7:39 AM

      That is a spot on assessment. Lowrie has fire which many in today’s game lack.

  2. cshearing - May 17, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    The bad calls do not excuse Lawrie’s actions, but it does explain them. Lawrie maybe deserved a couple more games but it seems MLB took the seemingly retaliatory nature of the calls into account. Also the fact that the helmet bounced before hitting the ump. Ever try to aim a bouncing helmet?

    The comment on playing Philadelphia is funny, but Hamels was pissed at Harper for getting calls like a vet without earning it; this is obviously not the case with Lawrie.

  3. hushbrother - May 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Carl Everett got 10 games for his helmet bill-poke of Ron Kulpa. I don’t see how Lawrie’s actions don’t merit at least that long of a suspension.

    • bbil2012 - May 17, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      Much to Carl’s delight,everybody hated him. So he gets more time. Lawrie’s just getting started. But he is off to a good start.

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