Cleveland Indians pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez is putting my happy, Fred-Couples-leading-at-Augusta buzz at risk on this fine, sunny Saturday morning.
Jimenez is pitching for the Indians today, as scheduled, because he is appealing his five game suspension for drilling former teammate Troy Tulowitzki on April 1. Rumor is, though, that he will withdraw that appeal later today — not for reasons of integrity or because he thinks his appeal will be denied. He will drop it because, after today, the Indians’ schedule will allow him to do so without suffering any negative impact whatsoever.
The Tribe have a day off on Thursday, which means manager Manny Acta can simply skip Jimenez in the rotation next week. His number won’t be up to pitch again until Saturday April 14, by which point his suspension will have been “served”.
You don’t need a PhD in math to understand that if you suspend a pitcher for five games, at worst he will miss one start because teams generally have five starting pitchers in rotation. The impact is that a fellow pitcher will have to pitch on four days rest, and the bullpen will likely end up working a few extra innings to fill the gap for that one game — unless there is a day off in the schedule.
If Major League Baseball wants suspensions to be anything more than a slap on the wrist for pitchers, they need to take the five game rotation system into account. A five game suspension barely registers for a pitcher, as opposed to a catcher, for example. If straight arrow Buster Posey were ever to lose his cool à la Yadier Molina, Giants fans would likely see back-up, back-up catcher Pablo Sandoval behind the plate.
Nobody, least of all Pablo, wants that.
2 thoughts on “Something Unappealing…”
Baseball seems to let the players police themselves on the field, but in this case, he should have been given a suspension that shows the league won’t allow his behavior.
Of course in the game in question, he took a no hitter through 7 so everyone promptly forgot the whole thing.