Major League Baseball—and to a similar extent fellow pro leagues NBA, NFL, and NHL—have a precarious duality on their hands when it comes to discipline, and MLB's disciplinarians—Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre and Senior VP of Standards and On-Field Operations Joe Garagiola Jr.—must walk a unique tightrope each time a player, coach, or manager does something worthy of supplemental discipline.
|In baseball, ejections are theatre. (The Naked Gun)|
|...Followed by anything involving Joe West.|
Yet at the root of a majority of baseball ejections is a distinct disrespect of the umpires, those uniformed personnel charged with officiating the game, upholding its rules so as to make the game fair for all, and, according to the rulebook, serving as the only official representatives of baseball on the playing field during a game. Clearly, to disrespect the umpire is, to a logical extent, a disdain for the Commissioner's office and the sport itself, and must be addressed: After all, to intimidate the umpire or otherwise campaign for calls is to take the official's 50-50 sense of impartiality and turn the tide in one's favor to 51-49, or some similar edge. Doing so clearly bends the rules of the game and makes the game unfair, if by only a fraction of a percent. Such intimidation tactics must clearly and immediately be denounced.
|Umpires derive authority from the league, and|
wear very specific logos to reflect that fact.
Yet Bryce Harper was suspended for just one game (he dropped his appeal during the second game of a doubleheader, a game he may well have sat out regardless of the discipline) after returning to the field following an earlier ejection and yelling profanity at the ejecting umpire; Gibbons did a similar thing last season...and also this season.
|How to get the crowd into the game?|
Have a meaningless "baseball fight."
It's on par with past violent brawls. When Carlos Quentin charged Zack Greinke and broke the pitcher's collarbone, Quentin too received eight games.
|KC fans live through Ned Yost for this ejection.|
|Bochy speaks for all of SF as he berates Much.|
If Odor were to have injured Bautista—or himself—the game would stand to lose a certain amount of business and popularity. Some order must be maintained, and that order appears to be the (relative) health—insomuch is practical for business purposes—of its participants, and namely its player participants. That's why the home plate collision rule (Posey Rule) exists and why the bona fide slide rule (Tejada Rule) exists. And it is also why pitcher suspensions for intentionally throwing at batters are similarly more severe than ordinary ejection penalties. Baseball loves its bench clearing brawls—just as long as it stays a "baseball fight" where everyone stands around and ultimately does nothing of consequence. Crossing over into hockey territory is too much of a good thing.
|Ejections, fights: it all trickles down eventually.|
|Lest we forget: It's all competitive entertainment.|
In all, ejections survived the onset of instant replay, and will continue to persevere through any computerized strike zone or mandatory slide rule: as long as no discernible physical harm befalls its participants, big league baseball will continue to dole out weak discipline for ejections and manager theatrics. After all, it's just good business.