Amir Garrett’s suspension is excessive, but Javier Baez’s fine is disgraceful

Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson (37) and Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Sal Romano (47) hold back Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Amir Garrett (50) as the benches clear in the eighth inning.
Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson (37) and Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Sal Romano (47) hold back Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Amir Garrett (50) as the benches clear in the eighth inning. /
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It’s no surprise that Major League Baseball imposed a suspension against Cincinnati Reds reliever Amir Garrett for his actions during Saturday’s game versus the Chicago Cubs. While Garrett’s seven game suspension is a bit excessive, the fact that Javier Baez only received a fine is one of the most disgraceful actions levied by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.

Garrett roared and pounded his chest forcefully after striking out Anthony Rizzo in the top of the eighth inning on Saturday. That drew criticism from Cubs shortstop Javier Baez who leapt over the railing in the dugout and charged the mound only to be held back by Reds third baseman Mike Moustakas. Cooler heads eventually prevailed and Garrett ended the inning after induing a fly out.

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett was suspended seven games for showing emotion.

I’ll be the first one to say that Amir Garrett’s celebration following the strikeout of Anthony Rizzo was excessive. There were only two outs, it was a non-save situation, and it’s only May. Settle down, AG!

However, Major League Baseball cannot tout their slogan of “Let the kids play,” and allow hitters to flip bats like their going out of style, only to turn around and slap a seven-game suspension on a pitcher for excessive celebration. In the NFL that’s a 15-yard penalty, but in MLB it’s a seven-game ban.

Garrett is an emotional player, and we’ve seen his emotions boil over before; remember when he charged the entire Pittsburgh Pirates dugout in July of 2019? Of course you do; nobody in Reds Country is ever going to forget that. To be honest, that could be part of the reason for the excessive suspension.

Javier Baez’s fine is another example of how tone-deaf MLB really is.

I don’t have as much of a problem with the extent of Amir Garrett’s suspension as I do with the fact that Javier Baez, who leapt onto the field of play and charged the mound while flipping Garrett the bird, received nothing more than an undisclosed fine.

If the reason that Garrett received the suspension was do to the fact that he “incited” the benches-clearing incident, then there’s no way you cannot find Baez culpable as well. This is the Nick Castellanos vs. Yadier Molina argument all over again. The double standard being set by MLB is dangerous.

This light punishment for one party while excessively heaping blame on another will not end well in the court of public opinion. Fans of baseball already see Commissioner Rob Manfred as the one who’s single-handedly responsible for running the sport into the ground. These inconsistent punishments will be just another reason for his critics to continue their assault.

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Amir Garrett is appealing his suspension, as he should. And just like Jose Alvarado’s suspension was reduced from three games to two, I expect AG to have some time taken off his suspension as well. Regardless, it’s the lack of punishment for Javier Baez that is the most egregious action in the punishments, or lack thereof, doled out on Tuesday.