Guy gets hit high and tight for the second night in a row – after getting domed the night before – and has been hit an exceptionally large number of times recently by one particular team. Guy reacts, in the moment, by verbalizing his displeasure. He doesn’t rush the mound, he doesn’t start a fight. He just indicates, yeah, I’m pissed off, and he wants that whole team to hear it.
It’s baseball, so there’s a big reaction by everyone else, and it becomes a benches-clearing thing. Does the batter’s action warrant punishment in the age of COVID? Whose fault is it, anyway?
Well, I guess MLB’s answer is that Willson Contreras deserved a fine for getting ticked about multiple HBPs:
After a HBP today, Willson Contreras again shared his frustration with how often he's getting hit by pitches. He said he was fined $7,500 following the Cubs and Brewers benches-clearing incident for breaking COVID protocols.
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) April 11, 2021
For his part, Contreras also wants to think about health and safety:
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said MLB fined him $7,500 after benches-clearing incident last week vs. Brewers: “They said I broke the COVID rules. But I was trying to defend my health because that hit by pitch to the head could have ended my career.”
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) April 11, 2021
I am all on board with punishments designed to reduce on-field skirmishes when we’ve still got lots and lots of players who aren’t’ vaccinated against COVID-19. But did Contreras’s actions (and/or the Brewers’ pitching staff) get to that level? Just seems a little unfair when you consider the whole history there.
The Cubs and Brewers start another series tomorrow in Milwaukee.