Slap-On-The-Wrist for Managers and Headhunter Kennedy

Following several hit batters, including the wanton and willful assault with intent to commit grave bodily injury on Zack Greinke, and a bench-clearing, 10-minute brawl, Ian Kennedy and other involved parties were handed down embarrassingly meaningless suspensions by the commissioner’s office.

Former trojan brain surgeon and yankee Ian Kennedy, who leads the baseball world in hit batters over the past few years, after hitting Yasiel Puig in the face then intentionally throwing at the head of Greinke, was given the ridiculously short suspension time of ten games. Kennedy should have been suspended for a minimum of 50 games, if not for the rest of the season.



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Arizona manager Kirk Gibson and the Dodgers’ empty uniform non-manager don mattingly were each given one game suspensions. Gibson, who allowed the carnage to proceed, should have been given at least the same ten games that Kennedy did receive, and though the empty uniform was not as culpable as his Arizona counterpart Gibson, he still should have received five games or more, but getting him out of the dugout and away from game-decisions would have been a benefit to the Dodgers rather than a punishment.

However, there would appear to be more to the Dodger’s situation than meets the eye. This is the second major incident in which the team has been involved this season, and with two different opponents. Remember back to the beginning of the season when a similar event occurred while playing San Diego, when a brawl that ensued after Greinke hit Carlos Quentin resulted in the Dodgers’ losing Greinke for several weeks due to a fractured collarbone received in the incident.

While anyone watching these games can clearly see the precipitating events were due to actions by Kennedy and Quentin, the responses by Dodgers’ players and coaches leading to such full-fledged on-field fights were to some large part due to the lack of discipline and control that the empty uniform exerts over “his” team. This is even more compelling evidence that the empty uniform must go, or the BestTeam Money Can Buy may NEVER escape the position that mattingly has guided them to, LAST PLACE in the National League West.

One final word on control. Never in all the decades that I have watched major league baseball have I seen worse officiating by “major league” umpires. Call after call, many vitally important to the outcome of games, have been blown, and even more importantly, in far too many games umpires have failed to warn teams and managers or otherwise exercise that control over impending hot-headed expressions of anger and “getting-even” mentalities. MLB has numerous incompetent umpires contributing to these events, and the failure of baseball and the commissioner’s office to adequately discipline both offending players and managers, and umpires, is letting problems escalate. Unless more control is immediately enacted and until more appropriate discipline is invoked, it will only get worse.

It is almost 93 years since August 12, 1920, the date that Ray Chapman, the one and only major league baseball player to die from an on-field injury, was hit in the head by a pitch thrown by Carl Mays. That incident should never be allowed to be repeated.

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