MLB suspended Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Tepera three games despite the fact he didn’t actually hit anyone with a pitch.
Tepera did Willson Contreras’ dirty work, throwing a pitch well behind Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Brandon Woodruff at the dish. Woodruff didn’t take kindly to it, and had he wanted to could’ve easily started another benches-clearing altercation. Yet, Woodruff knew what the ramifications would’ve been for his team. Losing one of their best starting pitchers for an extended period of time was not something Craig Counsell would advise.
Instead, Woodruff stood pat, motioning to both dugouts and the Cubs infield to go back to their respective positions. He made sure to glare at Tepera, but that’s it. To put matters simply, this is how all MLB drama ought to be handled during a pandemic — with as little contact as possible.
MLB suspended Ryan Tepera because they had no choice
Tepera put MLB between a rock and a hard place. While his decision didn’t lead to an altercation thanks to Woodruff’s restraint, if very easily could have. The Brewers were more than willing to come to their pitcher’s aid had he requested it.
He’ll appeal his suspension, but given MLB has already made it quite clear they have a zero tolerance policy for the unwritten rules of the game this year, I don’t like his odds.
Throwing a live baseball at someone’s head (or in this case behind them) to make a point is not a solution. Instead, it gives the league office a reason to forcibly remove you from the field of play. This is what Tepera has to look forward to, and the rest of baseball ought to adjust now.