Brett Lawrie is learning that he cannot throw his helmet down in anger over what he thinks is a bad call. After his actions on Tuesday, Major League baseball levied a four game suspension and a fine. The suspension came when umpire Bill Miller called two pitches strikes that Lawrie thought were balls. After he struck out looking, Lawrie was livid. He threw down his helmet and it hit Miller.
Some are saying that his suspension is very light considering that an umpire was struck with an object as a result of his aggression. Whether it was inadvertent, or not, is not the point. When Delmon Young was in the minors he was upset at a called strike, threw his bat and it hit the umpire. He received a 50 game suspension for that one.
Last week, when Cole Hamels intentionally hit Bryce Harper in the back with a pitch (formerly, a common practice in baseball), he received a five game suspension. That is longer than what Lawrie got for hitting an umpire with his helmet. Is that the right message? The argument can be made that Hamels was not really suspended because he is a pitcher and he didn’t even miss a start because the Phillies had an off day. While, technically that is true, it still goes down in the books as a five game suspension.
I am in favor of the suspension. What Lawrie did was uncalled for and should not be a part of baseball. I’m sure he did not mean to hit the umpire, but he should not have thrown his helmet. I’ve been warned by umpires at all levels about throwing my helmet, and I have seen teammates get tossed for throwing helmets. Whether the suspension was long enough is up for debate.
Do you think Lawrie’s suspension was long enough?