I'm trying to make sense of the suspensions announced by MLB for series of purpose-pitch skirmishes in Boston over the weekend. This kind of thing is usually pretty routine, but I raised an eyebrow at the fact that Kevin Gregg received the same four-game suspension as David Ortiz.
Not to let Gregg off the hook for knocking Ortiz off the plate, but he didn't ever hit Ortiz with a pitch and he wasn't the one who charged the mound and started the brief melee. He did yell at Ortiz for swinging at a 3-0 pitch in a blowout game, but that happens all the time in baseball. It appears that he was punished heavily because Ortiz took offense. If you watch the replay of the confrontation, Gregg gave Ortiz a shoulder to stop his charge and dodged a haymaker before taking an ineffective swing back.
I don't see where that rates an equal suspension, but I guess the fact that they were the two main combatants -- and perhaps the recognition that four days for Gregg may only cause him to miss one or two appearances -- creates a somewhat logical framework for that decision.
The only other multi-game suspension was assessed against Michael Gonzalez for throwing behind Ortiz, and that one is hard to argue. Several other players were fined for their roles in the bench-clearing incident.
We're still waiting to find out why Buck Showalter was suspended and -- apparently -- Terry Francona was not. I always thought that when the manager gets an automatic ejection after both benches have been warned that it came with a one-game suspension. Dan Connolly is trying to run that down and will have an update on Orioles Insider.