While the fight may have been exciting to some, I was more frustrated than anything else. For those of you that were actually excited about it let me point these items out:
1. Runyelvs Hernandez is a punk. This has been established. What he did to Carlos Guillen was intentional and inexcusable. But as near as I can figure, nobody actually fought with him.
2. It is great that Jeremy Bonderman wanted to stick up for his teammates. By now the pitching staff should have definitely earned the respect of the hitters. Between this and Nate Robertson in Tampa, the hitters know they will be protected. But did anybody really want to see Bonderman in the middle of that? The term “career ending injury” just kept running through my head.
3. Yes, Kyle Farnsworth is Superman and the take down was very entertaining. But I’m not sure what he did could be construed as protecting anyone. I don’t know what Jeremy Affeldt did or said, so I can’t really say whether or not he “deserved” it. What I can say is that instead of talking about Farnsworth striking out the side on Saturday night and possible future bullpen roles, I’m talking about a tackle instead.
As for suspensions, the Tigers will be without Bonderman’s and Farnsworth’s services for a couple of days. Carlos Guillen shouldn’t receive any suspension. He was hit twice in the same at-bat, and went to first base. Yes he needed an escort, and he said his piece but the guy just got hit in the head.
The suspensions I’d really like to hear about are those for the umpiring crew. They did a good job issuing warnings early on. However, the home plate umpire missed Guillen getting hit in the foot. If he calls that, Guillen takes his base and there is no brawl. Even setting that aside, the bigger issue is that they failed to get Hernandez off the field. Hernandez came towards Guillen unrestrained. Hernandez’s presence and actions on the field are what allowed this to escalate. The serious fighting came after Guillen had gone to first only to have Hernandez approach him. If Hernandez is in the dugout it would have been over with only some shoving and words being exchanged. The umpires are as culpable as any player (except for Hernandez) for not controlling the situation.