Last night’s victory over the Rays ended with both benches clearing after Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman threw high and tight to Mike Brosseau. The umpire crew convened immediately after the pitch, and after a day’s worth of contemplation, MLB has handed down a three-game suspension for Chapman, and one game each for Aaron Boone and Rays manager Kevin Cash.
Cash was ejected at the tail end of last night’s game, and then ran his mouth off in the postgame presser, ending a tirade by threatening the Yankees pretty deliberately: “And the last thing I’ll say on it is I’ve got a whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98 miles an hour. Period.”
Hey, if MLB believes Chapman acted with intent, he should 100% be suspended, I’ve got no real problem with that. Headhunting has no place in the game, and as MLB’s own statement says, Chapman’s been disciplined for this before. Sit the games out, pay the fines, don’t do this again.
It’s the equivalence of Boone and Cash that I don’t understand. Managers get punished for beanballs, or attempted beanballs, pretty regularly. Dave Roberts of the Dodgers received a one-game suspension after Joe Kelly threw at the Astros all those weeks ago. There is precedent, and MLB followed that precedent in Boone’s case. Fine.
I’m struggling to understand how that’s the same as what Kevin Cash did. Cash was already told enough is enough by the umpiring crew last night - that’s basically what an ejection means - then he continues to mouth off in a presser, and threatens an entire team of players. That’s categorically different than a suspension based on existing managerial precedent, but I’ve long given up trying to understand MLB’s punishment structure or it’s lack of consistency and transparency.
Both managers will serve their suspensions tonight. At time of writing, there was no word on whether Chapman would appeal his punishment or not.
UPDATE: ESPN writer Marly Rivera has indicated Chapman will not appeal and begin serving his suspension tonight, but this hasn’t been confirmed.