Thursday, June 4, 2009

Just call him Anti-Yankee Bob! Watson imposes outrageous suspension on A.J. Burnett

I'm spitting mad over A.J. Burnett getting suspended for six games, while the real headhunter of Tuesday's game, Vincente Padilla, gets off with only a fine.

Let me get this straight. Padilla has hit 98 batters since 2000, putting him at a faster HBP pace than even Randy Johnson. The Rangers pitcher has repeatedly targeted Mark Teixeira, ever since Tex hit a homer off him. And he hit Teixeira not once but twice Tuesday night. Padilla's actions apparently so disturbed the Rangers front office that there are reports that the Texas team is planning on putting him on waivers.

Yet the newly-mustachioed Burnett, who didn't hit anybody with his up-and-in pitch to Nelson Cruz in defense of his teammate, is the one getting suspended for six games? Gimme a break.

Why should Burnett be suspended for standing up for Teixeira? It's an outrage. It's not like he had violated any sort of umpire's warning - the umps didn't say anything until after his pitch. And he wasn't thrown out of the game, either. His suspension is completely unjustified. What the heck is Bob Watson thinking?

Red Sox fans derisivelly call MLB's Watson "Yankee Bob," for what they perceive as a bias in favor of his old team. I think Watson's real nickname ought to be Anti-Yankee Bob, or maybe Ranger Rob, for this ridiculous decision. But it's typical of Watson - time after time, he's let other teams like the Red Sox do target practice on Yankee players, but the moment a Yankee retaliates, the way Joba Chamberlain did in 2007, it seems to be an automatic suspension.

Speaking of which, I don't want to hear Sox fans gripe about how Josh Beckett got suspended this year even though he didn't hit anybody, and wasn't thrown out of the game either. It was a very different situation. Beckett threw at Bobby Abreu's head because the Angel called time. When Abreu squawked, Beckett stormed off the mound and walked towards him. Much more aggressive than anything Burnett did.

Burnett is appealing this dopey decision. I hope he wins.

What do you think of MLB suspending A.J. Burnett for six games? Leave us a comment!

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