Alex Cintron Suspended 20 Games, Ramon Laureano Suspended Six For Brawl

Ramon Laureano Alex Cintron

Much anticipation surrounded the handing out of suspensions by Major League Baseball following a brawl between the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics on Sunday. Yesterday, the league announced the suspension of Alex Cintron, Astros hitting coach, for 20 games, and Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano for six games. 

The Brawl

Laureano, a teammate of Mike Fiers, the whistleblower in the Astros scandal which rocked baseball this offseason, was hit by a pitch twice in Sunday’s game against the Astros. The day prior, the same pitcher hit Laureano with a pitch. Given the situation, some jawing back and forth between Laureano and the pitcher who hit him, Humberto Castellanos, ensued. Following the exchange of words with Castellanos, Laureano made it to first base without incident. That was, until Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron began taunting Ramon Laureano from the first base dugout. Cintron asked him to bring it on and stepped out of the dugout towards Laureano. Laureano charged Cintron but a pair of Astros players tackled him before he made contact. Both benches emptied, but nothing aside from some pushing and shoving followed.

Laureano later told ESPN that Cintron “said in Spanish something you don’t say about my mother.” It was clear that emotions were already high, and all it took was the wrong word to turn the situation into a brawl. 

Discipline By MLB

Major League Baseball has been more strict than ever about brawls this season. Especially in the middle of a shoving match which is near impossible to socially distance. A majority of the players in the mob of Astros and A’s did not have masks on. Recent outbreaks in two MLB clubhouses have left the league office on edge. 

The league was widely scrutinized for its suspending of Joe Kelly for eight games last month. This after he threw two pitches in the vicinity of Astros hitters, but his intent was debatable. MLB was looking to make an example out of Kelly and send a message for players not to brawl. Also, to prevent teams from throwing at Astros batters. The majority of the game is strongly against the Astros due to their cheating scandal in 2017. 

Cintron is suspended for 20 games, the equivalent to one-third of the truncated 2020 season. That’s the largest number of games handed down to a coach throughout baseball history. The initial reaction to the suspension on social media indicated fans satisfaction with the suspension.

For the A’s, losing their leadoff hitter in Laureano for six games is a significant blow to their lineup. Laureano currently leads the league in hit by pitches, which contributed to his frustration on Sunday. Laureano, who hit .288 over the last two seasons with the A’s, will reportedly be appealing his suspension.

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