NEW YORK – Houston pitcher Russ Springer was suspended for four games Friday after throwing several times at Barry Bonds and eventually hitting the San Francisco star earlier this week.
Astros manager Phil Garner was suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball.
The strange sequence Tuesday began when Bonds led off the fifth inning of the Giants’ 14-3 win. Springer’s first pitch went behind the seven-time NL MVP’s back, drawing a warning from plate umpire Joe West.
The next three pitches all came inside, including one that hit Bonds’ bat handle for strike one. On the fifth pitch of the at-bat, Springer hit Bonds in the right shoulder. Springer and Garner were then ejected, and Bonds took his base without incident.
Bonds has hit 713 home runs, one shy of matching Babe Ruth for second place on the career list. Hank Aaron holds the record of 755, and many people believe Bonds’ accomplishments are tainted because of alleged steroids use.
Unless there is an appeal, Springer will begin serving his suspension Friday night when the Astros host the Texas Rangers. If he appeals, the suspension will be held up pending a hearing.
Springer’s suspension was predictable. MLB has had a record of suspending players for such conduct.
MLB suspension policies don’t make sense however. Kenny Rogers got suspended last year for 20 games for an incident with a cameraman. For a starting pitcher that comes out to five games at most. MLB pitchers pitch on four days rest at least. So Rogers penalty works out to almost the same as Springer’s. Who do you think was worse?
By the way I think there shouldn’t be any celebration for Bonds for besting Babe Ruth mark of 714. Ruth is the all-time homerun champ still in the AL with about 708 homeruns.(Sorry I don’t have the record books.) Ruth finished his career in the NL with the Boston Braves.
Next up for Bonds is Hank Aaron’s all-time NL mark of 733(approximately again). Aaron finished his career with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Too bad there isn’t a Pittsubrgh AL team for Bonds to finish with.
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