Here’s the reason MLB suspended Ramon Laureano fewer games than Joe Kelly

A’s outfielder Ramon Laureano did everything MLB feared during its attempt to play through a pandemic: Charge an opposing dugout and start a mini-brawl.

The league has tried to shut down handshakes and spitting in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. Wrestling, then, is a big no-no.

So, it was obvious Laureano would get a substantial suspension for rushing the Astros on Sunday after being hit by a pitch and taunted by Houston hitting coach Alex Cintron (who got a 20-game punishment for his role). What surprised many fans is that Laureano’s ban was six games — shorter than that of Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly, who threw behind and over the head of Astros hitters earlier this year but did not get physical with them. Kelly was suspended eight games for his actions.

The league’s reasoning is likely twofold. Laureano is a hitter and Kelly is a pitcher, differentiating the effect of suspension length. Position players suit up daily. Relievers do not. Plus, Kelly’s punishment reflected MLB’s message to other teams to not go after the Astros based on their cheating scandal; the Laureano incident was seemingly isolated to tensions that built up within an individual series.

One other thing to note is that Kelly had a previous record of misconduct. He received a six-game ban for fighting the Yankees in 2018.

Over the past few seasons, brawl-related suspensions have on average been longer for pitchers. In 2019, pitchers were suspended an average of 4.7 games compared to 2.2 games for hitters. In 2018, pitchers were suspended an average of 4 games compared to 2.7 games for hitters. In 2017, pitchers were suspended an average of 4.8 games compared to 2.3 games for hitters.

Bans this year are on a different scale because the season has been shortened to 60 games, giving each contest more weight. Kelly’s suspension, then, was quite harsh, if not indefensible. It’s just difficult to compare it to Laureano due to separate circumstances.

Laureano will appeal his suspension, according to multiple reports.

Source: Read Full Article