Major League Baseball has announced a six-game suspension for Brandon Workman for throwing behind Evan Longoria in last Friday's game against the Rays. David Price, meanwhile, has received no punishment for his part in that game's altercations.
Let's just check the scoreboard here, so we're all clear:
2 batters hit
0 game suspension
0 batters hit
6 game suspension
Well alright then.
Keep in mind, also, that Price essentially acknowledged that his hitting David Ortiz was intentional by virtue of singling out his hitting Mike Carp as being unintentional. Brandon Workman, on the other hand, claims to have lost control of the ball in the rather substantial rain that was falling at the time of Longoria's at bat, but neither Ortiz' nor Carp's.
Was Workman throwing behind Longoria intentionally? Probably. Was his pitch up around Longoria's head? Yes, though well behind him. But how can you suspend the player who was ejected, has not admitted guilt, and didn't even hit anybody while letting the player who not only hit two batters, but clearly intended to hit at least one?
The Red Sox will have to make adjustments in the wake of this bizarre verdict. With Workman unavailable for six games, even with a day off mixed in, they will need to find a way to get someone--presumably Allen Webster--up from the minor leagues to take his place either tomorrow or on June 10, depending on whether or not the Red Sox choose to appeal.
That is, of course, assuming that they don't just win the appeal. They certainly have precedent to point to showing players getting off with a lot less for a lot worse.