I have no problem with MLB suspending Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello for intentionally hitting Tampa Bay Rays slugger Ben Zobrist, but if they are going to start doling out suspensions for intentionally throwing at a batter, why stop there?
If you think Fernando Rodney wasn’t intentionally throwing at Miguel Cabrera on Saturday, you may want to get your eyes checked. Cabrera mocked Rodney the day before by doing his signature celebration after the Tigers beat the Rays, and Rodney obviously wasn’t too fond of it.
There is a huge difference between someone being plunked in the back in retaliation and someone taking aim at a hitter’s head with a two-seam heater telegraphed for their scalp. Rodney clearly wanted to send a message and did it at the expense of risking someone’s livelihood. Not only did he take aim at Cabrera’s dome, he reached back to hurl a 100 mph two-seamer that was tailing toward his forehead.
If Cabrera didn’t have such a good eye, he could have easily ended up in a heap in the batter’s box.
Making contact shouldn’t be a prerequisite to a player deserving a suspension. If it’s obvious someone intentionally throws at a hitter, they deserve to be canned. The point of the game is to try to get a hitter out by beating them with strikes. A pitcher stoops to a low level when they decide to throw at someone, and whether or not that pitch makes contact is irrelevant.
Rodney’s actions apparently will go unpunished, and he’ll have to do it again before something happens. Hopefully no one has to get hurt so he can boost his ego. Sticks and stones, and baseballs for that matter, break bones.