Rodney to appeal suspension

A Tigers spokesperson said Tuesday that Fernando Rodney plans to appeal his three-game suspension handed down from Major League Baseball for his throw into the press box at Tropicana Field Friday night. The suspension otherwise would’ve started tonight against the Royals.

The heave came after Rodney gave up two runs in the ninth inning but still held on to save a 4-3 Tigers win over the Rays. After giving up an RBI single and double, Rodney stranded the potential tying run at third base and go-ahead run at second with a groundout. Rodney got the ball from first baseman Miguel Cabrera and flung it towards the seats behind the plate. The ball hit off the front row of the press seats and bounced into the back of the press box.

Nobody was hit, but it obviously raised safety concerns at the Commissioner’s office, as well as in the press box. Rodney insisted there was no malice intended.

“I was throwing the ball to the fans,” Rodney said afterwards. “[I was] emotional. It’s nothing bad. I know I’m not supposed to throw the ball, but I’m feeling in the moment. … I don’t throw it to hit nobody. I think if I throw it in the right spot, I don’t hit nobody.”

UPDATE @ 2pm: There is some precedence for this suspension. A Major League Baseball spokesperson cited former Astros reliever and current Diamondbacks reliever Chad Qualls, who threw a ball into the third deck of seats at Angel Stadium after blowing a five-run lead in the seventh inning against the Angels on June 18, 2007. He, too, was suspended three games along with a $3,000 fine. Qualls’ appeal was denied about a month later.

Carlos Zambrano also had a ball-tossing incident this year, but his throw went from home plate into the outfield. That, plus other actions during a memorable tirade, drew a six-game suspension from MLB, but as we know from Rick Porcello’s ordeal last month, the lengths on suspensions for starting pitchers are a little different.

12 Comments

I have copied this from the previous BLOG heading as it is mor appropriate here:
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I just read about Rodney’s suspension. Ridiculous. Guys have been given less for PED use for crying out loud.
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At least Lyon is on his game now and I think I have to give Leyland some credit for easing him into the role as he anticipated this outcome with MLB.
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IMO, a suspension of this sort that does not occur during the course of a game and does not have a potential effect on the outcome of the game does not warrant a player suspension. A fine, yes. A steep fine, if you want to pursue the ridiculous, yes. But suspending a player and punishing his whole team for a very minor incident is absurd. Especially in a pennant race. MLB executives should be ashamed of themselves on this one.
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I am actually stunned with this decision.

I’m sick and tired of what MLB passes off as fair rulings. They never rule on the actual circumstances of an event, but rather with an eye to future “miscreants.” Every case that comes before this “ruling body” becomes an opportunity for them to set an example and bully the players. I’m sure that many casual non-Tigers fans will think this hilarious, but real fans won’t find it so funny.
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A suspension is way over the line. He had a fine coming and I said so at the time, but that’s all. Who benefits from suspending players for trivial offenses? Anyone think The Great Albert Pujols would get a suspension for this? Derek Jeter?
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Fortunately, we have a very able pitcher in Lyon who will be able to fill in. Just choose the time carefully and drop the appeal. I don’t think I’d take a chance on dropping it after we clinch, because you just don’t know when (or even if) that will be. There’s no point in fighting it unless the union wants to become involved, and I don’t know the rules regarding that. Oh, and the precedent sited is ridiculous. This game was over. People had left.
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I’m not in any way excusing Rodney for his actions. That was a very stupid thing to do.
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–Rich

As Rich says, the precedent is realy irrelevant.
MLB is not big on making concessions after a ruling so if it is felt this is going to hold–then they might just take their medicine now, send Rodney home to get ready for the homestand and let the red-hot Lyon continue to roll in the role.
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Looking forward to watching Tiger baseball again….

Just as I thought the suspension of Porcello was crap at the time – and several talking heads that know a lot more than me were shocked that he was. There were incidents cited where Jenks and Garza admitted to throwing at players and were not suspended, Porcello said he didn’t do it on purpose and was??? Rodney hit the facing of the upper deck (I think) and he was suspended?? What is this crap on the Tigers?? Or what??
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MLB suspends who they want to and don’t suspend the big superstars it all depends on who you are and what team you play for. IE Giambi and Pettite, and A-Rod were not suspended for using and admitting to using illegal drugs and Rodney throws a ball and Bang. It is about who you are and who you play for.

Seven times Papelbon has been fined for entering from the bullpen late, “holding up the game”. I don’t hear of any suspensions for that!
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Sure, maybe Rodney could have hurt somebody, and MLB wants that incidence cut down. THEN maybe he should have been fined, and told to sit in the stands with the fans for humilityfor one game. Maybe Rodney would have gained a better understanding of the comforts, and discomforts or watching the game from a fans viewppoint- amongst fans who come to see their heroes, or favorite players.. for the love of the game!
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It sounds like Detroit insn’t too well liked, amongst MLB hierarchy, and this would never have happened to say, to the Cards, or Dodgers, or NY!
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Go TIGERS!!!
Don’t let them get you down.. keep er up!

It is difficult for me to comment on this without knowing how well documented the player code of conduct covers player conduct and disciplinary penalties.
Given all MLB appears to do is quote past precedent, I assume the CofC is either non existent or extremely loose. Basing fines on past precedent alone is poor as the player intent would unlikely be translated – were they in a sign of relief with zero malice or anger shown, not aimed at anyone and after the game was over?
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Are players allowed to toss balls back into crowds on foul balls or catches – is handing balls to a person in the crowd OK but not throwing it to them or maybe a few rows back? Given that every close tennis match seems to end with a customary ball hit into the crowd, how does MLB see this incident as bringing the game of baseball into disrepute? If they don’t want it, a fine would surely be the correct message to players that it is unacceptable.

This subject came up at dinner tonight. Yes, my wife and I actually do talk about baseball at dinner more often than one would expect. Anyway, the discussion turned to balls that are thrown or tossed into the stands on a regular basis, a practice that MLB not only allows but probably promotes. Sure, you have the easy flip from a coach to the box seats, but you also have those 3rd out catches that outfielders toss up into the stands from a distance. It’s easy to imagine a clumsy or drunk fan taking one of those in the face. In that scenario, a sharp lawyer can make an injury case regardless of what the disclaimer says on the back of your ticket. There’s a big difference between a ball accidentally thrown into the stands during a play, and a ball that is deliberately thrown into the stands, even though it’s done with good intentions. If we’re going to start suspending players as they did Rodney, we’d better stop the practice of tossing balls to fans altogether. MLB always wants it both ways and hands down these dictatorial decisions.
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–Rich

As you can see ignorance never stopped me from commenting!! :-)

Hey RIch – maybe part time defense lawyers are the go?? :-)

I have a question. Is there any time frame on an appeal, or is that also up to the whim of MLB? For instance, 30 days after the event in question would mean the season is over and the suspension would be served in 2010.
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Are there any facts on this issue?
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–Rich

MLB pretty much picks and chooses who or whom they decide to punish. IMO, the choose too many Detroit players. And, no, there would not have been this type of suspension on Mariano Rivera or Joe Nathan.

My question if like you said with Qualls it was appealed and they took their time and waited 30 days to decide, would it be served in 2010 or would it be in the playoffs if in fact we make it there???

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