Major League Baseball should’ve sent a stronger message to Jose Urena, but missed a golden opportunity by docking him less than a week.
During Wednesday’s game between the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park, Marlins pitcher Jose Urena committed one of the most heinous actions we’ve seen in baseball. He intentionally threw at Braves hitter Ronald Acuna Jr. simply for no reason other than that he was on a hot streak.
To sum that up, he plunked Acuna because he was doing his job well.
Major League Baseball had a chance to send a message to Urena and force him to miss a good chunk of his upcoming starts. Instead, they took a page out of the NFL’s playbook and gave him a simple slap on the wrist. The league decided to suspend Urena for six games and give him a fine.
As a starting pitcher, a six-game suspension is essentially no different than asking him to go sit in the corner for an hour. Instead, Urena will just miss one scheduled start. And since the Marlins will most likely just push his scheduled start back a day, he practically isn’t even missing a start. It’s just getting delayed by a day. Might as well not even punish him at all.
Hitting batters is part of the game, for the most part. But it’s only an acceptable action if the batter has done something to “deserve” getting thrown at, like making a dirty play or trying to intentionally injure another player.
In Acuna’s case, he had homered in five straight games, and that was what warranted being thrown at in Urena’s mind. He didn’t do anything wrong. He was just simply on a hot streak. The Marlins couldn’t figure out another way to slow him down, other than to just take him out of the game entirely.
Urena deserved much more than a slap on the wrist for his actions. He deserved to miss, at the very least, a couple of starts, rather than just his next start being delayed by a day. Major League Baseball dropped the ball on this one.