Oakland A’s outfielder Ron Laureano is intercepted before he can get to Houston Astros coach Alex Cintron in the Astros dugout on Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum (sfgate.com photo)
Baseball With or Without Covid: There will be Brawls
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
By Amaury Pi-González
As long as athletes are competitive in the game of baseball, brawls will happen. Doesn’t matter if there is a Pandemic. Nobody expected the A’s and Astros players, to put their masks on, and then go and exchange a few punches with the Astros after Ramón Laureano was hit in the back by a pitch by Astros rookie Sunday during a beautiful and warm August afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum.
Ramón Laureano’s 2020 start has been hot, he is hitting well and he is driving in runs for the A’s. This was the second time in Sunday’s game that he was hit and the fifth (5) times that Ramón has been hit during the first two weeks of the season. Laureano charged the Astros dugout after he was taunted by Alex Cintrón from inside the dugout. Then all hell broke loose. Both teams went into battle mode. I remember how mad A’S manager Tony LaRussa used to get every time they hit his slugging first baseman Mark McGwire, which at one time was like the “punching bag” of the team, he was hitting all those home runs and the pitchers did not like it. As simple as that. No need for a great sports psychologist to come over.
Just like when the A’s or other teams hit a walk-off hit, there is a celebration and many times it is not totally contained. I have little doubt that brawls in the game will continue to happen this year, it is human nature. These guys have been trained to be competitive all their lives and in the moment, this is going to happen in the passion of the game, thing happen.
I know some in this culture like to see sort a utopian society behavior, but this is not going to happen, especially in professional sports. The A’s are hot, they have won the last nine games, swept the 3-game series over the reigning divisional champion Houston Astros, a team that is marked after their sign-stealing scandal. A team that in a way is lucky to have escaped much embarrassment returning to the field with no fans during this unique season.
About the brawl Sunday. “That’s one of those things in baseball where you don’t really think about what’s going on with mask-wearing in a pandemic when stuff like that is happening”. Said ex-A’s now Astros right fielder, Josh Reddick who added “You’re looking to get in there and protect your teammates the best you can, and try to minimize a situation that can get out of hand and do something that can keep going the rest of the season that we don’t want to have.
On July 28, Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly threw a ball near Alex Bregman’s head, and then taunted Carlos Correa. That started a benches-clearing incident at Minute Maid Park in Houston, between the two teams. Kelly was suspended for eight (8) games. In a 60 game season an eight game suspension is large, compared to a regular 162 game season.
This weekend we saw photos and videos in the news of lots of people at Dolores Park in San Francisco, not socially distancing, enjoying a sunny day, a lot of them not wearing mask, picnicking, rubbing elbows, throwing Frisbees to their dogs to catch and having a good time. These people were not working, but enjoying some leisure time. In contrast, a brawl happens in the heat of passion when players are working, this is their job to play baseball, and sometimes emotions will run hot and unfortunately are not possible to control.
Because of the Pandemic, Major League Baseball is very strict enforcing suspensions and fines in these types of incidents. Ramón Laureano, has been the best hitter and most consistent player for the Athletics this season, and is sure to get a costly suspension for the team. There will be others suspended on the other side.
Stay well and stay tuned.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Oakland A’s Spanish radio talent for 1010 KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com