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Rick Porcello suspended six games for throwing at Ben Zobrist

Jul 2, 2013, 3:37 PM EDT

Rick Porcello Getty Getty Images

Rick Porcello plunked Ben Zobrist the other day, presumably in retaliation for Fernando Rodney throwing up and in at Miguel Cabrera the night before. Now he’s paying the price:

Pitcher Rick Porcello of the Detroit Tigers has received a six-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for intentionally throwing a pitch at Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays in the bottom of the first inning of Sunday’s game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Joe Garagiola, Jr., Senior Vice President of Standards & Operations for Major League Baseball, made the announcement.

A six-game suspension for a pitcher is, effectively, one start. Fewer if the manager is creative about shuffling the rotation.  The fine and docked pay is real, though.

Tigers fans are likely to say this isn’t fair given that Rodney threw at Cabrera. But as I said the other day, that seems like a weak charge. Given that he didn’t hit them, there’s no history there and given the fact that it happened in extra innings kinda undercuts Rodney’s intent.

  1. flamethrower101 - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    You make valid points yet I still think six games is a little too much. He threw at Zobrist’s shoulder, not like Ian Kennedy who threw at the head…the head of a PITCHER I might add.

    • rocketsteadman - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      Granted, pitchers accuracy is more often than not pretty impeccable, but the shoulder isn’t too far from the head last time I checked

      • flamethrower101 - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        Zobrist is a position player. Greinke is a pitcher. Ten games for throwing at a batter is one thing. Ten for throwing at the head of an opposing pitcher is far too lenient.

        Porcello I think was punished a bit too much. Kennedy wasn’t served nearly enough.

    • ricandersen - Jul 3, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      Six games a little too much? As the author says, that amounts to one, or even zero, starts.

      If you want to make the argument that Ian Kennedy should have been suspended longer, that is fine. But to argue that missing one start is too much of a penalty seems a little weak.

  2. valarmorghuliss - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Ya he did, and they had it coming, also the Tigers would and will do it again if anyone else wants to buzz Miggy.

    Sure it’s fair, got no problems with this. He hit him on purpose, properly. If the Rays have a problem with it go talk to Rodney.

    • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      I doubt that Rodney learned a lesson though, and it doesn’t seem like the rest of the team enlightened him. We shall see.

      • indaburg - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        We’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one. If you don’t see the fallacy of putting the tying run on base in a tie ball game in extra innings against an offense as potent as the Tigers, well, I just don’t know how to explain it. Rodney did not intend to hit Cabrera. If Miggy doesn’t like inside pitches, back that ass up, as DMX would say. Justice was served as far as I’m concerned.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:10 PM

        Again, I don’t have a problem with inside pitches — as long as they are not head level. I think it’s cool all the way around now.

      • indaburg - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:25 PM

        It slipped. :-)

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:28 PM

        You know, it’s the damnedest thing, that happened once when we were playing ball as kids and a window broke…somehow. I never did understand how my mom could be so hard-ass to such angelic faces.

      • indaburg - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:36 PM

        You see? Same thing happened to me with my mom’s vase. I was playing ball in the apartment and I don’t know what happened. /big brown eyes blink blink

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:40 PM

        You mean: you were NOT playing ball in the house. It just slipped out of your hand as you were trying to put it away carefully and Jesus would forgive you.

      • indaburg - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:51 PM

        Uh, yeah. That’s what happened. After I accidently spilled baby power all over the wood floor and slid around in my socks while trying to put said ball carefully away by throwing it. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

      • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        It’s the WORST!

      • steve7921 - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:34 PM

        and what lesson should Rodney have learned? To actually hit the guy? He did what Porcello, Greinke and all the other pitchers that have gotten suspended should have done…brushed the guy back but did NOT hit the guy and still got the message across that I am not intimidated by you.

  3. steve7921 - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    If Leyland doesn’t say “you can take that to the bank” after the game on Saturday night and just deflects the questions about Rodney/Cabrera…no suspension!

    • valarmorghuliss - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      I’ll take a 6 game suspension for Porcello to send a message to anyone else how the Tigers will handle anybody who throws near our players heads.

      Leyland told them what was going to happen and it did.
      Good Job

      • jrillah10 - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:58 PM

        Agreed, but let’s be honest, people can rip Madden on they want, but this worked out just the way they wanted. Extra innings, Cabrera gets flustered and strikes out. Rays win game 2. And the Tigers are so worried about getting revenge, for what I don’t know. They get worked on Sunday. Cabrera needs to pipe down. No one is going to hit him. Teams will recognize this and buzz the big man, if this is the reaction. Regardless if the Tigers retaliate.

      • valarmorghuliss - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        Sure are a lot of assumptions going on here^
        So you know that Maddon told Rodney to throw up in Miggy’s face. And you know that that Tiger’s were so worried about getting revenge that it effected them the next day.

        LOL k

      • indaburg - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:37 PM

        You got it, jrillah. The big guy can be put off his game. Teams take notes. Miggy’s been smiling a little too much while playing this year. He’s amazing to watch, but this is also a chess match, pitcher against against batter. The pitcher needs the psychological advantage.

        Look at the bright side, Tigers fans. The way Porcello has been pitching, a 6 game suspension is a gift. You should have wished for longer.

      • valarmorghuliss - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        People on the internets telling Miggy what he needs to do or not do when it comes to baseball is amusing.

      • indaburg - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:04 PM

        Well, that’s what I’m here to do, darlin’. Amuse you. Mission accomplished.

        Miggy listens to me, doncha know? I told him to strike out during that at bat–I was at the game and close enough for him to hear me–and he obliged.

        (Um, where do I tell Miggy what to do?)

      • valarmorghuliss - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:30 PM

        He’s smiling too much, so I’m guessing you’re saying he needs to stop that?

      • indaburg - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:34 PM

        Nah. I’m saying pitchers need to give him fewer reasons to smile. Don’t get me wrong. He has a lovely smile. I like it.

        Cool handle name, by the way. Valar dohaeris.

    • stex52 - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      Agreed. Leyland set up this punishment with his comments. Wonder if he is going to pay Porcello out of his own pocket?

  4. dondada10 - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    What the unwritten rules say about the money Porcello is going to lose? Does Leyland slip him an envelope with 5 grand in hundreds? Does Miggy buy him a watch?

    • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      I imagine he’ll get some appreciative compensation for being the hatchet man.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:22 PM

      This case is too big for kangaroo court.

      • tigersfandan - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:30 PM

        Indeed. Let’s have a panda court. Enter Justice Pablo Sandoval.

  5. chunkala - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    So proud of the MLB office today. I figured they would just ignore this event but gladly they didn’t. Cabrera started it all on Friday with his rodney antics and then Rodney brushed him back (didn’t hit him, nowhere close). After Cabrera’s crying, Porcello felt compelled to hit him. Cabrera was the cause of all of this, so hitting Zobrist was not fair. Glad to see MLB actually monitored the situation. Personally, I would have just thrown out Porcello in the first game, which would have drained the bullpen and been more costly than Porcello missing a start.
    Note I’m not a fan of either team, just want to make sure fairness is always in play. Yeah.

    • collateral96 - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      So how is only a couple inches away from his face no where close? I guess it was no where close if you have the eyesight of someone whose elderly.

  6. chunkala - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    So proud of the MLB office today. I figured they would just ignore this event but gladly they didn’t. Cabrera started it all on Friday with his rodney antics and then Rodney brushed him back (didn’t hit him, nowhere close). After Cabrera’s crying, Porcello felt compelled to hit him. Cabrera was the cause of all of this, so hitting Zobrist was not fair. Glad to see MLB actually monitored the situation. Personally, I would have just thrown out Porcello in the first game, which would have drained the bullpen and been more costly than Porcello missing a start.
    Note I’m not a fan of either team, just want to make sure fairness is always in play. Yeah..

  7. 13arod - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    flamethrower101 the reason it was 6 games was because he is a pitcher and pitches every 5 days

  8. tigersfandan - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    What a joke.

  9. metrocritical - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    No one can complain when those unwritten rules collide with the written ones. If you are gonna broadcast intent and transparently follow through on it, the obvious result is a suspension.

    • historiophiliac - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      Who’s complaining about the suspension here?

  10. bucsfan5000 - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    How come they don’t disclose fine amounts? The NFL, NBA and NHL do.

  11. gatorjr - Jul 2, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    I don’t care who’s batting and who’s pitching You DON’T THROW AT THE HEAD … PERIOD!!! Intentional or not.
    That IS the point. RODNEY!!!

    • dcarroll73 - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:39 AM

      And the true Gibson didn’t throw at guys’ heads? And Willie Mays didn’t spend a good part of his time diving out, dustin off, and digging in again? This is getting way too Little League for an Old School fan.

  12. hgfrombc2 - Jul 3, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    As a Tiger fan, I’m fine with the decision. They’ll just have Alvarez stay up and start one more time.
    The problem I have is, according to the rulebook:

    Per baseball official rule 6.08(b), a batter becomes a baserunner and is awarded first base when he or his equipment (except for his bat):

    is touched by a pitched ball outside of the strike zone,
    and he attempts to avoid it (or had no opportunity to avoid it),
    and he did not swing at the pitch.

    It ‘s the second item that I have a problem with. Procello threw, basically, a batting practice fastball at Zobrist who made ZERO effort to avoid it.

  13. takingbovadasmoney - Jul 3, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    Agree with Porcello’s suspension, but saying Cabrera and Rodney don’t have a history is inaccurate. Cabrera did Rodney’s little arrow thing the night before the Rodney-Cabrera incident. Rodney should have gotten a couple of games also.

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