A.J. Burnett Suspended Six Games For Errant Pitch

Pitch came after Mark Teixeira was hit twice by Rangers

After Mark Teixeira got plunked twice by Vicente Padilla of the Rangers on Tuesday night, Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett sent a fastball above the head of Nelson Cruz. You would have to be truly gullible to believe Burnett's worn explanation of things happening when you pitch inside. It's what every pitcher says when they throw at someone's head, part of baseball's unwritten rules about throwing at hitters that has existed for years. 

Major League Baseball suspended Burnett for six games on Thursday, a move that's right in line with previous responses for similar incidents. The suspension expresses their displeasure with Burnett without actually hurting the Yankees or Burnett. The pitcher is appealing the suspension, and history says that it will get knocked down to five games. That means the Yankees can work the rotation around off days so Burnett never actually makes a start, just as the Red Sox did with Josh Beckett earlier this season.

You can get upset about it if you like, but Burnett knew what he was doing and no one should be the least bit surprised about MLB's decision. If you want to get upset about something, get upset about the fact that Padilla was fined and not suspended at all for his role in creating the situation.

Baseball's response to retaliation is well-defined, but if they really want to stop beanball wars from happening or getting out of hand they need to take harsher action against the people instigating them. Especially in the case of Padilla, who has hit 98 batters in his career and seems to often find himself in the middle of these flaps.  

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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