The Weekly World in Baseball w/Tim Kurkjian
With a second full week of the Major League Baseball season in the books, are the Yankees in trouble? Are the Mets for real? How far can the Red Sox pitching take them?
But the burning questions for me are: why aren't pitchers allowed to catch pop ups? And if MLB doesn't like pitchers throwing at batters or at least the optics of a batter charging the mound and the mayhem that follows, why aren't the punishments for brawls harsher?
The Red Sox Joe Kelly got 6 games and the Yankees' Tyler Austin got 5 games. What if those suspensions were 15 and 10? Pitchers wouldn't be so quick to retaliate and batters would think twice before touching off a benches-clearing "brawl" by charging the mound.
As much as I am entertained by most of these situations involving a pitcher backpedaling and a batter swinging and missing with a punch instead of a bat, there is too much gray area in baseball's self-policing. Austin's slide wasn't dirty (or at least dirty enough to warrant a 98-mph fastball to the ribs), but Kelly felt differently and that's the problem. One vote is enough to start a brawl, there's no majority vote and there are no true, written rules.
ESPN's Tim Kurkjian joins Big Board Sports for his weekly segment: