Royals’ Kelvin Herrera Suspended Five Games

Kelvin Herrera, a relief pitcher for the Kansas City Royals, was suspended today for five games in response to throwing behind Oakland Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie during Saturday’s contest.

Herrera, 25, has pitched 5.2 innings this season with six strikeouts and two walks. He currently owns a 0.00 ERA.

Things began stirring between the two teams on Friday when Lawrie allegedly executed a “take-out slide” versus Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar as he was covering second base and attempting a double play. Lawrie wasn’t going to seemingly make it (he was called out on the field) and put his cleats up in an attempt to stop the double play from occurring. In doing so, he hit Escobar in the in the left knee, who sustained a mild sprain and contusion. Escobar is now listed as day to day. From then on the entire three game series was anything but tension free. There were numerous ejections and both benches cleared twice.

On top of this was Herrera, who not only threw behind Lawrie but was also in the game when Escobar was injured. Yordano Ventura, who also threw an intentional pitch at Lawrie, was fined an undisclosed amount by the MLB. As Herrera was escorted from the field he pointed at his own head while mouthing something to Lawrie. Royals manager Ned Yost chimed in, mentioning, “You better think about it. Because we’ve got guys that throw 100. You want to mess around?”

In the end this is all childish. I understand the need to “protect your teammate,” but vengeance isn’t protection. In a world where unnecessary violence, especially domestic, is on a staggering rise how are these “gents” setting an example for all of those who look up to them? I’ve said the same thing about hockey fights for years: It’s not a part of the game. It’s senseless and vulgar. These are grown, adult men acting like children and exposing themselves to harm unnecessarily.

What if one of us did the same thing? What if I in my softball league decided to take some aggression out on an opposing player? Odds are there would be a fight and I’d be arrested. Battery is battery any way you look at it. Assault is using a weapon or item of choice instead of your bare hands. Oh, like a baseball?

I’m all for standing up for one’s family and friends, but there are better ways to do it. Accidents happen and so do fluke injuries during sports. I’ve had my share. Not that I’m saying what Brett Lawrie did was an accident, but he claims it wasn’t intentional and even owned up to it after the game. None of us really know and all that we can do is take him at his word. That should have been the last we heard of it. But it wasn’t because these grown men can’t let things go just like the rest of us are expected to in everyday society. These men aren’t helping the situation, only perpetuating a larger problem and that in itself is an issue the league should be looking into more closely than an isolated incident that incurs a small suspension and fine while never really dealing with the big picture.

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