I’m getting the impression that Bob Watson doesn’t actually review any incidents. Or if he does review it the incident doesn’t actually correlate with the punishment. It’s like he has a roulette wheel that he spins to levy the punishment. In this case Fernando Rodney was suspended 3 games and fined for chucking the ball into the stands on Friday night.
I’ll be the first to admit it was a dumb move on the part of Rodney, and one that should be punished. Rodney didn’t not throw the ball at anyone in particular and he did not throw it with intent to injure. He threw it in frustration skyward and ultimately hit the press box.
I understand that players can’t be taking out their frustrations with a baseball and this is especially true when the ball is directed towards the fans. But a 3 game punishment is excessive and potentially impactful of a pennant race. Earlier this year Bobby Jenks threw a ball at a batter, admitted to throwing the ball at a batter, and received no punishment. I understand the rules for on field personnel and fans need to be different, but intent and potential consequences need to be weighed in both cases.
Hopefully the Rodney appeals(UPDATE: He will). I understand MLB’s sensitivity around the issue, especially in light of the minor league brawl last year where a ball was used as a weapon and it went into the stands. But this was a completely different set of circumstances.