Joe Garagiola Jr., senior vice president of standards and on-field operations for Major League Baseball, announced the punishments for both Carlos Quentin and Jerry Hairston Jr. today for their participation in Thursday night’s bench-clearing brawl in San Diego that left Dodger co-ace Zack Greinke with a broken collarbone. 

Quentin, who initiated the fight, will receive an eight-game suspension and fine, while Hairston Jr. will receive a one-day suspension and fine for their roles in the incident.  Both players are looking to appeal their suspensions; however, both could realistically play in a three-game series between the Padres and Dodgers starting this Monday in Los Angeles.

Don Mattingly, Matt Kemp, Jerry Hairston Jr. and the entire Dodger organization have every right in the world to be mad at the outcome of brawl, but did Quentin’s punishment fit the crime?

Look, it’s never easy losing a player to injury, especially when the player is your newly acquired staff co-ace that was expected to start 33 games this season.  And sure, it’s unfortunate that Greinke broke his collarbone in the event, an injury that could potentially keep him out from one to three months, but this is baseball. Accidents happen, as unfortunate as they can be sometimes.

I’m not defending Quentin and his actions, but Greinke didn’t look very apologetic after he hit Quentin, and whatever words came out of his mouth immediately after didn’t look like words of remorse to me. 

And though these two have had a history of beanballs in the past, in Quentin’s defense, it must be frustrating to be hit by the same pitcher time and time again (this was Greinke‘s third plunking of Quentin). 

Quentin is an emotional guy; I think we all saw that last night in his reaction to being hit.  Does that justify his actions?  Of course not, but these guys are young and passionate and sometimes emotions can get the best of you. 

So does Quentin deserve to be suspended as long as Greinke is on the disabled list? 

I don’t think so.  Eight games and a fine is fair, and I’m sure there will be further retaliation at some point during the Padres/Dodgers series this coming Monday.  However, regardless of what happens, we need to remember that this is a rivalry that will always have bad blood, high emotions and heated exchanges as long these two teams play.  That’s what makes divisional rivalries so fun and exciting.

So Dodger fans, I’m very sorry that Greinke went down, but I guess the ball is now in your court.  Let’s see what happens next; it should be fun.

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