Kelvin Herrera Suspension Blames Only One Party


KC Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera was suspended for five days by major league baseball, while starter Yordano Ventura received an undisclosed fine from major-league baseball on Tuesday afternoon according to CBS Sports.com:

Also according to CBS Sports, Kelvin Herrera can appeal his suspension.

The suspension’s come after an ugly weekend series between the Kansas City Royals and Oakland A’s in which six Royals players and coaches were ejected. The tensions started when Oakland’s Brett Lawrie spiked KC Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar in a force play at second base in the first game of the series on Friday night.

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I have no problems with the punishments handed down by MLB to Kelvin Herrera and Yordano Ventura. Both seem in line with their actions.

What I can’t stomach is that the league office seems to be painting the Kansas City Royals as the unequivocal “bad guys” while validating the behavior of the Oakland A’s.

The blunt truth is that Brett Lawrie slid spikes-high into a player who could not see him coming and hit his leg. Lawrie claimed to have been breaking up a double play.

Brett Lawrie’s protestations of innocence are about as believable as Kelvin Herrera’s claim that “the ball slipped“. I don’t believe Lawrie wanted to hurt Alcides Escobar, but I also think he was aiming for Escobar’s leg. 

Now, as former major-league players have widely commented on TV, print, and on blogs, the matter should have “ended” after Yordano Ventura beaned Lawrie on Saturday. Most people expected the matter to be closed.

Then Oakland’s Scott Kazmir nailed KC’s Lorenzo Cain in the foot in the first inning of Sunday’s game. Herrera then retaliated with a 100 mph fastball behind Lawrie’s back. Conventional baseball wisdom suggests that Kazmir wasn’t trying to hit Cain because he would have thrown much higher than at his feet.

In essence, MLB is punishing Kelvin Herrera for breaking the unspoken “code” rather than creating a risk of harm to another player. If dangerous, on-field action was the standard, Brett Lawrie would also be facing a suspension.

It seems to me that major league baseball should be protecting players rather than validating traditional player codes.

Instead, this decision by major-league baseball will simply spread ugly incidents rather than suppress them, because players who absorb dirty play will have no other recourse than on-field, self-help.

Next: Should Kelvin Herrera Be Pnnished By MLB?

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