About every 10 years, my beloved game embarrasses me. Not coincidentally, Mark McGwire is at the forefront.
I say “my game” not as if I own it more than you, for it is truly “our” game. I say my beloved game because of what it means to me. I realize this moment ranks nowhere near the 1919 White Sox, steroids, Pete Rose or the Pittsburgh drug trials. Anytime confidence is lost, however, it’s not good for the game.
There were so many things right about the fines and suspensions. Unfortunately, there were two so terribly wrong that it can’t be justified. Five games for Eric Hinske versus two games for McGwire and one for Ronald Belisario is inexcusable.
McGwire is a coach. Baseball must send a message that roid rage on the field will not be tolerated. Coaches must be held to a higher standard. A two-game suspension does nothing to discourage a coach running onto the field desperately trying to begin his own brawl. Matt Williams and Kirk Gibson are not to blame for the Dodgers’ payroll, misery, injuries, bandwagon fans, overrated ballpark or Manny-world. Since McGwire cares so little for showing class, why shouldn’t the next coach feel free to get a coaching brawl started? At worst, they’re gone for two games.
Show me how the actions of Hinske are five times worse than the actions of Belisario. It can’t be done. I’m not saying Hinske was a saint. If I’m a player after seeing this decision, I’m all in during the next fight. If I can act like Belisario only to receive one game, that’s worth it. Each team should hire a goon like 1970s hockey. Your guy gets plunked, your goon runs out of the dugout and he’s only gone for a game.
I see nothing wrong with the decisions made on any of the Diamondbacks. MLB was extremely fair to the Diamondbacks. They got what they deserve. I’m embarrassed that my beloved game dropped the ball on the Dodgers instead of the hammer. Another example of football’s leadership being so much better. Wish it wasn’t true.