Ryan Tepera was suspended three games, while David Ross received a one-game ban, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy Brewers manager Craig Counsell.
Major League Baseball took a step towards making a statement against the unwritten rules of the game on Thursday with their punishment of both Tepera and Ross. Tepera, the pitcher who threw behind opposing hurler Brandon Woodruff, called the league “soft” as a result. Ross was also unhappy, but as the team’s manager and unquestioned leader, was bound to receive some sort of suspension.
Despite MLB’s unprecedented decision to punish Tepera and Ross despite the fact Woodruff wasn’t actually hit by a pitch, Counsell thinks it wasn’t enough.
“Nothing has changed in their (the league) policy. I don’t think what they’re doing is any deterrent at all,” Counsell said, per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell isn’t necessarily wrong
MLB was between a rock and a hard place. There remains a good chance Tepera could win his appeal against the league, meaning his suspension would be reduced. Had they gone even further with the punishment of both he and Ross, it would’ve made more headlines, but inevitably served as nothing more than that.
Still, Counsell is right in one aspect: Players will not feel dissuaded from committing such an act again. The unwritten rules of the game aren’t going anywhere, despite the efforts from MLB to limit them in any capacity. Baseball is governed by an imaginary rulebook, one that holds players accountable for acts they didn’t even commit.
This is why Tepera is on the books for defending his teammate Willson Contreras, and why Ross is likely facing a similar fate despite potentially not ordering such a move by his pitcher in the first place.