Cliff Lee Suspended

Dave · March 17, 2010 at 4:17 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

MLB’s selectively enforced rules strike again – they have reportedly suspended Cliff Lee for five games, which may or may not end up being the first five games of the season, depending on who you believe. Lee, as you’ll remember, threw a couple of pitches near Chris Snyder’s head the other day, and baseball decided to send a message, despite the fact that: a) it’s spring training, guys are wild b) No one got hurt and there was no fight c) Chris Snyder does MMA as a hobby, so odds a pretty good that pitchers don’t throw at him on purpose.

This whole thing is ridiculous. The M’s will appeal, of course, and there’s quotes floating around twitter from his agent saying that the suspension may not be applied to the regular season (so they’d suspend him from the Cactus League, I guess). If the suspension is part of the season, the M’s should fight this like crazy. If you assume that Lee’s performance is worth about $20 to $25 million in 2010, then each start is worth around $700,000. That’s not a trivial punishment for the M’s.


30 Responses to “Cliff Lee Suspended”

  1. georgmi on March 17th, 2010 4:28 pm

    So the rule we’re talking about here is 4.15 “A game may be forfeited to the opposing team when a team–” (h) “Fails to be both i) not the Mariners and ii) not looking to have a chance at the postseason for a change”, right?

  2. Breadbaker on March 17th, 2010 4:28 pm

    Am I right that players also don’t get paid for the number of days suspended? Doesn’t that mean that a starting pitcher who gets a five-game suspension (which is supposed to only mean he misses one start) gets five times the monetary penalty that a regular or reliever would get for the equivalent offense?

  3. dkamas on March 17th, 2010 4:31 pm

    And Zito doesn’t get a game…

  4. scott19 on March 17th, 2010 4:38 pm

    Hmmm…I wonder if MLB would be going out of their way to dole out suspensions that quickly if, say, it were a guy like Sabathia, Beckett, Jered Weaver, or some other ace pitcher from one of their “favorite” markets?

  5. scotje on March 17th, 2010 4:38 pm

    Would there be any precedent to a spring training incident leading to a regular season suspension? (Apart from substance abuse violations I suppose.)

  6. GripS on March 17th, 2010 4:39 pm

    What gets me so much about this is the fact that the highly publicized Zito incident went unpunished. If you’re going to try sending a message wouldn’t a higher profile incident such as that one make for a better example?

  7. Liam on March 17th, 2010 4:41 pm

    a) it’s spring training, guys are wild

    Cliff Lee tripped over Chris Snyder on a play at the plate in the first inning and then throws over his head in the fourth. How much are you willing to believe that this was just a coincidence?

  8. Dave on March 17th, 2010 4:47 pm

    Enough to think a suspension is ridiculous.

  9. scott19 on March 17th, 2010 4:50 pm

    Also, though I know he got tossed from that particular game, did John Lackey ever wind up getting suspended for throwing at Ian Kinsler last year?

  10. Jeremariner on March 17th, 2010 5:57 pm

    If the suspension is served in the regular season, should he pitch the sixth game, or would it be too detrimental to bump Felix back?

    Lee L
    Felix R
    RRS L
    Snell R
    Vargas L or Fister R

    If Fister wins the fifth starter job, putting Lee into the ace-hole (remind me not to use that homonym again) after the suspension could help prevent three consecutive righties while keeping RRS slotted at number 3, and we can still see Felix on Opening Day. And if Vargas wins, all the simpler.

  11. Jack Swan on March 17th, 2010 6:01 pm

    Cliff Lee must have seriously pissed someone off. Or maybe it is Selig and his neverending quest to screw Seattle any which way he can.

  12. tenthinningstretch on March 17th, 2010 6:21 pm

    [see comment guidelines]

  13. thehemogoblin on March 17th, 2010 6:32 pm

    Jeremariner, it’s better than Fister in the ace-hole.

  14. jordan on March 17th, 2010 6:41 pm

    [nothing to see here, move along]

  15. Rick Banjo on March 17th, 2010 7:50 pm

    This is the stupidest suspension I’ve seen come out of spring training–ever. Especially after Zito vs. Fielder.

    Completely stupid.

  16. egreenlaw9 on March 17th, 2010 11:07 pm

    First, I don’t agree with the suspension at all. Lee was simply showing Snyder (with his impeccable control) – “Hey, you lay behind me (intentional or not) and trip me, you’re screwing with my career. Let me screw with you a bit”

    Right or not, I get it.

    I also get the league’s response.

    Zito hit Fielder. But he didn’t aim for his head. That’s where I think the line is drawn, intentional or not.

  17. ideat on March 17th, 2010 11:13 pm

    The suspension is rediculous. Lee doing what he did (if it was on purpose) is great. We know at least 1 M’s pitcher who’ll have his teammates’ backs this season.

    Did you say Snyder does MMA or watches MMA as a hobby?

  18. egreenlaw9 on March 17th, 2010 11:22 pm

    Does MMA as far as I heard.

    And I’m sorry, but throwing at people’s head’s isn’t okay. It just isn’t.

    Rump is fine, back is fine. Legs are questionable. Head and that area is totally unacceptable. You think it’s okay for a batter to charge the mound with the bat?

    Same thing really.

  19. egreenlaw9 on March 17th, 2010 11:27 pm

    I ‘argued’ a bit with my girlfriend tonight about this. She doesn’t feel bad for Lee at all. Her contention is that he knew what he was doing and that he deserved what he got.

    I agree that he knew what he was doing, and that he knew what might happen, but either way the suspension was unnecessary.

    Let the players take care of it on their own. They will. Just ask Prince 😉

  20. DaveValleDrinkNight on March 18th, 2010 12:25 am

    Suspension? For that?

    I call BULLSHIT.

  21. Liam on March 18th, 2010 12:36 am

    a) it’s spring training, guys are wild
    Over at AZ Snakepit the point was made that it’s not as if getting hit in the head is any less dangerous in Spring training than it is in the regular season. Also, this is Cliff Lee we’re talking about. Dave Allen has a couple paragraphs in the Mariners Annual about how good his command is. Now a couple balls are getting away from him on the same guy that he had a run in with earlier in the game? I don’t buy it.

    c) Chris Snyder does MMA as a hobby, so odds a pretty good that pitchers don’t throw at him on purpose.
    Does Snyder have a history of charging the mound? Are MMA players more likely to be confrontational? How many pitchers even know about his MMA hobby? It might not even matter to some, as they’ll pitch however they want to. (See Cliff Lee)

    I think he knew what he was doing and should be willing to accept the consequences of his actions. That being said, I don’t know that it warrants a suspension.

  22. scott19 on March 18th, 2010 1:48 am

    When Clemens the Neanderthal chose to throw a bat shard at Mike Piazza during the 2000 World Series, he didn’t so much as get thrown out of the freaking game for doing so, much less fined or suspended.

    But, of course, if you’re pitching for the Yanks and there’s a championship at stake, I guess such disciplinary action automatically gets waived.

  23. Off_pace on March 18th, 2010 9:15 am

    5 games for something like this is a huge over reaction. There is so much leeway for interpretation for what happened, I could see 1-2 games, but not 5.

  24. Kazinski on March 18th, 2010 9:40 am

    Lee hit one of our own players in an intersquad game a few weeks ago. So it isn’t like his control is that flawless. If they can push the suspension back past the opener, then maybe they can fix it so he doesn’t miss a start, but just gets pushed back a day or two.

  25. ideat on March 18th, 2010 10:40 am

    He didn’t hit him. I’ve got to believe if he really wanted to he could and would have. So what he threw one over his head? It’s part of being a pitcher – you don’t want anyone comfortable in the batter’s box.

  26. egreenlaw9 on March 18th, 2010 10:42 am

    He didn’t hit him. I’ve got to believe if he really wanted to he could and would have. So what he threw one over his head? It’s part of being a pitcher – you don’t want anyone comfortable in the batter’s box.

    Pretty sure if he would have hit him in the head (and MLB deemed it as intentional) then Lee would have been suspended for a lot more than five games.

  27. 6-4-3 on March 18th, 2010 10:49 am

    I think MLB is pretty much saying they have a zero tolerance policy for throwing at guys’ heads and I agree with them.

  28. twitchytsj on March 18th, 2010 10:56 am

    C’mon guys. He aimed at the guy’s head, missed, and tried again. It’s pretty blatant what he did and he should be suspended. If it had been Gutierrez up there instead of Snyder, you guys would be applauding the suspension.

    You want to send someone a message, throw behind him (once), or hit him in the chest/thigh/butt. Not up high near the head. That’s just dangerous, and irresponsible.

    The difference between Zito and Lee? Zito hit a guy in the back. You bet your ass if Zito had aimed for Fielder’s head that he’d be suspended too.

  29. ideat on March 18th, 2010 12:08 pm

    You can say it’s dangerous and irresponsible, fine. Fact is pitchers have been doing it for a long time. I would much rather have Lee (and any pitcher with his ability and nasty streak) on my team than against it.

  30. scott19 on March 18th, 2010 1:05 pm

    I think MLB is pretty much saying they have a zero tolerance policy for throwing at guys’ heads and I agree with them.

    Which is fair enough. I only hope that, from this point forward, such a policy goes across the board to apply to anyone in either league — and that certain guys who pitch for certain teams don’t wind up getting exempted while other guys end up getting made “examples” of.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.