The ruling from the MLB came down Wednesday afternoon: a six-game suspension handed down to Boston Red Sox pitcher Brandon Workman for throwing at the head of Evan Longoria in the fifth inning of Boston’s 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on May 30. The official ruling officially closes the book on a nearly month-long saga dragged out by the league, a fiasco botched time and time again.
It began with Dan Bellino not issuing warnings prior to the May 30 game between the two teams, in which the AL East rivals were coming off a heated confrontation less than a week prior. The veteran umpire should’ve had the common sense and feel for the situation. Had he been proactive and issued those warnings before a pitch was even thrown, there would’ve been little objection and it may have ended there.
It continued when Bellino allowed Rays starter David Price to remain in the game after throwing at Red Sox batters not once, but twice, drilling David Ortiz and Mike Carp in the first and fourth inning respectively. Meanwhile, Boston manager John Farrell along with coaches Torey Lovullo and Brian Butterfield were sent heading for the showers before a 27th out was recorded.
Workman was tossed after the first time he threw at a Ray, nearly hitting Longoria in the head with a pitch in the fifth. He received the lone suspension from the game, getting six games for his actions. Meanwhile, Price didn’t miss a start — nor was he even fined for that matter — for not just throwing at two batters, but essentially admitting to throwing at Ortiz in the first inning in the aftermath of the Friday night feud.
“For as many people as I, quote-unquote, lost respect from, I gained respect from a lot more,” Price told reporters. “I know that’s a fact.”
In other words, yeah, I threw at him.
This isn’t to say MLB was wrong in suspending Workman. He threw at a guy’s head, an unacceptable act in all baseball circles, as it should be. But like they say — if you’re going to send one, send them both. And the fact that Price received no punishment for his actions shows inconsistency.
It was a situation handled poorly by the powers that be from the start. Let’s hope they realized this, and that they’ll take the proper steps next time when such circumstances arise.