Should charge LaRussa with assault for the way he runs Molina out there so much that he only had LaRue play 16 games worth of innings behind the plate this year.
LaRue's out, Cueto's in: Is that fair?
BY ROGER HENSLEY | Posted: Friday, August 20, 2010 12:03 pm | (22) Comments
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buy this photo Jason LaRue goes on the 60-day DL and his season is likely over after being kicked in the head by Johnny Cueto at a game in Cincinnati. Meanwhile, Cueto gets a 7-game suspension (essentially, one start). Does that seem fair? (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)
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If justice can be attained in the whole LaRue-Cueto affair, how do you think it should come?
MLB changes suspension rules
LaRue files criminal charges against Cueto
Cards will get payback on the field
Other (submit your ideas in discussion field)
* Related: Cards Talk: File charges on the LaRue assault
QUESTION: An agreement between the commissioner’s office and the Players Association stipulates that punishment for on-field incidents should be handed down within 48 hours. Given the news Thursday that catcher Jason LaRue is headed for the 60-day DL, essentially ending his season, due to being kicked in the head last week by Reds’ pitcher Johnny Cueto, two questions arise: 1) Was Cueto’s 7-game suspension nearly enough for ending another player’s season? And, 2) Should the league and the PA allow for exceptions to be made on punishment deadlines, or for those punishments to be amended, until the full extent of a player’s injury in such an incident can be determined?
Cueto’s suspension probably was a little light, but you may not know the full extent of LaRue’s concussion for months – or even years into his retirement – so punishment needed to be meted out when it was, and there isn’t much reason to go back into it now. The Cardinals needed a way to get Pedro Feliz on the 40-man roster and they put LaRue on the 60-day DL, not figuring he would be able to play the rest of the season but not really knowing that either. In theory, LaRue would be eligible for the postseason even though in practice he probably wouldn’t play.
But rest assured the Cardinals haven’t forgotten what happened. Not that there will be any vigilante justice the next time the teams play because the games should be too important for shenigans, but there will come a day, perhaps even next year, when someone will try to get even. Ballplayers sometimes can’t remember what pitch they hit from one day to the next but they don’t forget something like the Cueto matter.
Of course the punishment appears inadequate. But MLB follows precedent and that is what the violation brings. Juan Marichal got 8 games in 1965 for hitting John Roseboro over the head with a bat, but a PED user gets 50 games. Sounds out of whack. However, any attempt to “push the envelope” on on-field discipline would result in a grievance. This stuff needs to be hashed out with the Players Association. However, it has not appeared a priority in the past. The player is fined by MLB but doesn’t even lose salary during term of suspension. There does seem to be a need for more teeth. Doctoring a baseball and seriously injuring an opponent shouldn’t bring similar penalties.
It would be a bad precedent for the league to go back and revise a suspension based on information or injury that developed after the ruling had been finalized. Perhaps the 48-hour window isn’t long enough, or perhaps baseball could consider injuries and not just actions when leveling punishments. Either would be fine.
What seems to be the biggest whiff here is the seven-day (read: one-start) suspension for Cueto. Yeah, yeah, I know some will throw the word used above around: precedent. MLB reportedly compared Cueto’s kicking to Chan Ho Park’s flying kick attempt back in 1999. Park received a seven-game suspension, so Cueto did, too. This a convenient use of the word precedent, and a fraudulent application of it. The events aren’t similar, not remotely enough to call the Park suspension precedent. Park was facing pitcher Tim Belcher, had just exchanged forearm blows with Belcher, and made one laughable, unsuccessful sweep with his foot as he lost his balance. Cueto? Cueto was cornered against a net and lashed out repeatedly, wildly with his cleats. He strafed players who had their backs to him. Kenny Rogers got a 20-game suspension for shoving a TV cameraman. In hindsight, he should have kicked him. Apparently, there’s precedent.
I went looking for actual precedent, not “reach” precedent and found ... not much. Izzy Alcantara once suddenly kicked a catcher in the chest after a pitch and then charged the mound in the minors. He got six games from the International League. Heck, that’s closer to Cueto than Park. Delmon Young fired a bat at an umpire after disagreeing with a call, and he got 50 games. At least that has the “weapon” element that Cueto’s cleats brings to the discussion. No, the closest I’ve found was in 2000. Detroit coach Juan Samuel was suspended 15 games for entering a brawl and wildly throwing punches. Isn’t that akin to what happened here? Substituting kicking for punching, and maybe there’s a precedent. Or maybe there was no precedent for what Cueto did. It and other actions in that scrum deserved punishments all their own.
An easy solution: Allow the other party to appeal any punishment meted out for fights, beanballs, etc. and argue for harsher sanctions. The resulting time lapse would allow the league to gain a clearer view of the impact. If Johnny Cueto has the right to appeal his suspension, why shouldn’t Jason LaRue have the right to appeal the verdict too?
LARRY BOROWSKY (Founder of Viva El Birdos and editor of “Maple Street Press Cardinals Annual”)
Cueto clearly got off easy. I agree with the opinion (expressed by Bernie and others) that the league didn’t want to impose too harsh a sentence for fear of being perceived as hurting the Reds’ chances. I wonder if the league would have issued a stiffer penalty if the player kicked in the head had been Chris Carpenter instead of Jason LaRue.
Regarding changing the enforcement policies, some changes may be in order but there will never be a perfect system. In this case, the Cardinals will have an opportunity to get justice when the Reds visit over Labor Day weekend. Should be a lively series . . .
LaRue is nothing more than a reminder of bad seasons gone by.
Everytime somebody starts a thread about that board about 20 people come trolling.
What is funny is no one realizes that the Cards needed a spot on the 40 man, and 60 day DL'ing Larue was the easiest way to clear room. They hardly ever use their backup catcher, and this way they didn't need to expose anyone else on the 40 man to waivers.
Of course that would be logic instead of stupid, ignorant fandom.
Leroy GoCUBSGo is offline
Joined: 20 Aug 2010
Post subject: Re: File charges on the LaRue assault
Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:38 pm
he should be brought up on charges and deported back to Mexico where he came from. (I wish he'd take Ozzie Guillen wiht him too)
LaRue was a big piece to cardinals contending rest of year. cueto new wut he was doing. i though BIG Z had a tempur
Ah yes the pwnage continues.Had the jerks been winning you would have never heard anything else about this incident.
ROLL TIDE ROLL!!
If Cards do get ''payback'',it may well be in vain.Hopefully by the time we face those stiffs again we will have won the division.
ROLL TIDE ROLL!!
Cueto was lucky that the suspension was imposed within 48 hours of the incident. Bob Watson even said had they known the extent of LaRue's condition, the punishment may have been different. If LaRue had been knocked unconscious and carried off of the field, I would guess a couple to few weeks may have been imposed. LaRue was of marginal importance to the Cardinals with only a role of pinch hitting in an emergency or giving Molina an occasional break. All this additional talk with LaRue's placement on the 60 day DL will only serve to create an uglier scene in St. Louis come Labor day weekend.
Man, they let them get away with murder on that board. If I had no life I still wouldn't go trolling over there.
If LaRue had any importance to the Cards he would not be on the 60 day DL, and it's questionable if he would have been put on the 15 day DL. Yet there is no doubt the only reason he is on the 60 day DL is the Felix deal. Amazing how they happened at the same time, isn't it?
Heck, they have 5 catchers on their 40 man. LaRue was as expendable as it gets, and that is why he is on the 60 day DL. The guy only has 63 plate appearances and is hitting below the Mendoza line. He has 5 freaking RBI. A case could be made he would have been released after the Felix trade anyway. He is 36, a free agent at the end of the year, is not playing above replacement level, and the Cards have 4 other catchers on the 40 man. Perfect guy to kick to the curb when in need of a spot on the 40 man.
It's all for show. Just part of the Larussa drama machine. That's all.
Tell Carpenter to keep his mouth shut and it never happens.
"I can't take this homerism anymore." - 10xWSChamps, August 11, 2010. A Cardinals fan having a problem with all the homerism on Redszone. Classic.
"Man do I miss the days where were didn't need a calculator and an encyclopedia of baseball metrics to enjoy a baseball game ... - MikeS21" - 8/2/12 game thread
Lol, going over there and reading some of those comments had me cracking up.
...and they wonder where their crybaby reputation comes from.
The whining never stops from that town.