Tuesday, May 05, 2015
MLB can also look at the National Hockey League, which has a rule that’s always enforced regardless of intent. The NHL gives a player a two-minute delay of game penalty if he shoots the puck over the glass out of his own end. It’s irrelevant if the delay of game occurred because the player was trying to stave off an offensive rush, or if he just ran into some bad luck.
MLB can follow the same process, though it would be far more controversial: automatic ejections of any pitcher who hits a batter above the waist. Doing so removes umpires’ inability to measure intent from the equation. Hit a batter above the waist, hit the showers early, no exceptions. Ask Giancarlo Stanton’s jaw if it mattered that Mike Fiers wasn’t aiming at his head—the injury is the same. An ejection isn’t the same as a suspension—the team would only be without its pitcher for the duration of the game in which the hit-by-pitch occurred. A subsequent suspension would still be under the purview of the league office; it would still determine intent when assessing whether a longer punishment was necessary.
To be sure, this would have a profound impact on the game. Many pitchers rely on pitching inside—sometimes high and inside—to remain effective. Were automatic ejections the rule, offense would increase, as batters would no longer need to fear the inside pitch. Yet that might prove a blessing in disguise, as the new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has stated that he’s looking for ways to increase offense in the sport. Severely penalizing dangerous pitching will improve offense while at the same time mitigating the risk of a gruesome or fatal injury. The sport has survived profound changes to offense over the last two decades; a player’s career may not survive a fastball profoundly changing the structure of his skull.
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Bit of a dust up Down Under:
Mariners pitching prospect Troy Scott was arrested in Adelaide on Thursday on an assault charge stemming from an on-field incident during an Australian Baseball League game.‘Scott, a 2013 18th-round Draft pick, allegedly appears on video punching Melbourne designated hitter Kellin Deglan, a Rangers prospect and former first-round pick, during a bench-clearing brawl on Jan. 16. According to a report in The (Adelaide) Advertiser, the punch left Deglan with “facial injuries requiring dental work, and [he] gave a statement to police in relation to the incident.”
. . .
The ABL also released a statement Friday: “The Australian Baseball League has been made aware that formal charges have been filed in relation to the on-field altercation during the game between the Melbourne Aces and Adelaide Bite at Norwood Oval on Jan. 16,” the league said. “The matter is currently in the hands of the authorities and as such the ABL are unable to make any specific comment in relation to the incident or charges at this time.”
The league confirmed Scott’s arrest, adding that the 21-year-old Californian was immediately released on bail. The ABL initially suspended Scott for six games—the most severe suspension in league history—and fined him an undisclosed amount. After that discipline, the league notified Adelaide that Scott would be suspended indefinitely, keeping him out of the upcoming ABL Championship Series, which the Bite will host next week. Scott has been charged with one count of assault causing harm and is scheduled to appear in Adelaide Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
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