Ed. Note: The headline of this post previously read “Chris Sale possibly to be suspended for throwing behind Manny Machado.” A later report from Ken Rosenthal indicated it may not be as likely as it originally seemed.
More news from the entire mess that is the Red Sox-Orioles beef. After throwing behind Manny Machado in the first inning of Tuesday’s game, Chris Sale is likely to be suspended by the league, per Ken Rosenthal.
Just spoke with MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre. No pre-game warnings for #RedSox, #Orioles tonight. Sale suspension likely. Story soon— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 3, 2017
This is obviously not what the Red Sox need right now, but it is fair. The league needs to get this type of behavior to stop, or at least cut down on it as much as possible. Punishment is the best way to do that. Obviously, we don’t know the length of the suspension yet, but my guess would be that it’ll be the typical six-to-ten-game suspension levied upon starting pitchers to ensure they miss at least one start.
This means that at some point, Boston will be without their ace for one turn through the rotation. With the AL East looking like it’s going to be a fight down to the wire thanks to New York and Baltimore both playing extremely well to start the season, the Red Sox need all the Sale starts they can get. As most players do, Sale will almost certainly appeal the punishment, but will eventually have his turn in the rotation taken by either Brian Johnson or Henry Owens.
There’s certainly an argument to be made that Bundy should be suspended as well, but even if I am more inclined to believe his throws towards Mookie Betts were intentional, it was, at the very least, not blatantly obvious. That’s not to say it’s right, of course, but it’s harder to suspend Bundy than it is Sale. And, of course, we don’t know if the league is going to go further than suspending just Sale.
If the moral reasoning behind not throwing at an opponent isn’t enough, at least do it so you don’t get suspended. This was an unnecessary move by Sale and the Red Sox, and they’re both going to pay for it.
Update: Rosenthal published a story that included Joe Torre’s full comments. He does touch on Bundy within.
Update 2: According to Rosenthal, it may not be a suspension afterall.
CLARIFICATION: Discipline for Sale, if administered, will not necessarily be suspension. Could be something less - warning or fine.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 3, 2017