MLB’s punishment for Reds-Cardinals melee is just

May 05, 2010 - Cincinnati, United States - epa02144773 Cincinnati Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto throws against the New York Mets during the second inning at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, 05 May, 2010.

Seeing as how Brandon Phillips escaped with only a fine for his role as instigator in Tuesday’s Reds-Cardinals brawl in Cincinnati, some fans may be up in arms with the way Major League Baseball handled the situation.

But the punishment levied in the melee was just.

Reds’ starter Johnny Cueto was suspended seven games for his Jet Li impersonation during the brawl, while Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker each received two-game bans by the league. In addition, Phillips, Cincinnati reliever Russ Springer (who came on the field while on the disabled list, which is apparently a no-no), Cardinals’ starter Chris Carpenter and catcher Yadier Molina were each fined an undisclosed amount.

Keep in mind that while Phillips kicked everything off on Monday by slamming the Cardinals for being “little b*tches,” his role in the actual brawl was minute. Him going toe-to-toe with Molina at home plate hardly deserved a suspension. The league reserved the right to come down hardest on Cueto, which they did.

Even though he was backed into a corner and claims he was just trying to defend himself, there was absolutely no need for Cueto to start flailing his legs and kicking his feet at other players like a little school girl. Carpenter was in a similar situation (if not a worse situation) and he didn’t feel the need to start kicking people with metal spikes. Cueto’s actions were ridiculous.

Some may also feel that La Russa and Baker should have avoided suspensions, but had they got their players under control and not felt the need to spit venom at each other, maybe the situation wouldn’t have escalated like it did. They couldn’t put their personal differences aside and this was the result.

Everyone got what they deserved here. Phillips opened his mouth and his team got its ass kicked three straight days. La Russa and Baker couldn’t get the situation under control and they were punished. Cueto acted like a nut job and he too was punished.

Molina is the only one that got the short end of the stick here. Phillips crapped on his team and then thought he was just to tap Molina’s shin guards. To hell with that – Molina’s reaction was perfect, although the league had to issue a fine to him as well. He was too involved in the brawl for the league not to.

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