Major League baseball shouldn't suspend Manny Machado for punching out Yordano Ventura last night. They should honor Machado instead.
This is just the hard-throwing 25-year-old Ventura's third full year in the majors and already he's established himself as a classless punk, despised in many cities, including Oakland, Anaheim, Chicago and Baltimore.
Ventura was out to get Machado. That was clear during Machado's previous at bat when he dodged two brushback pitches. Ventura didn't waste any time during Machado's next at bat hitting him with a 99-mph fastball between the numbers on the back of the jersey.
I've never taken a 99-mph fastball to the back, but I can say with a great deal of certainty that it can't feel good. If somebody intentionally threw - and then hit me - like Ventura did to Machado it would be a natural instinct to go after that person, who is playing with your life. That's what Machado did landing a solid right hook to Ventura's head escalating a dugout-clearing brawl.
This isn't an isolated incident either involving Ventura. He caused the benches to clear last April against the Angels when he screamed at Mike Trout while Trout was scoring. Ventura followed that game up by hitting Brett Lawrie when the Royals played the A's drawing a fine from the league. Then Ventura was ejected in his next start against the White Sox for causing a brawl by yelling at Adam Eaton while Eaton was running out a chopper to the mound.
Adam Jones had a great quote after last night's game about Ventura: "I knew it was going to happen. You can foresee things like that. Like I said, the guy, he's got electric stuff. The talent is all there, but between the ears, there's a circuit board that's off balance. I don't get it. I don't get it. He wants to be Pedro Martinez? Cool. Be Pedro Martinez. Have a damn sub-two (ERA) like Pedro Martinez. Don't go out there trying to hurt somebody. That's what Pedro didn't do. So, hopefully the league catches onto it. ..."
I hope the league catches on, too, and puts forth a statement that reads like this: Yordano Ventura has a 5.32 ERA. He's an immature, punk who has been the cause of repeated brawls and intentionally hit batters. Since the Royals can't control him we will. Ventura is suspended indefinitely. As for Machado, we applaud him for saying enough is enough and taking matters into his own hands. No suspension for him. Instead we give him a hearty thanks for doing what a lot of players and fans would have liked to do to Ventura.