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No suspensions for Strasburg, Johnson

Aug 20, 2013, 4:36 PM EDT

Associated Press

CHICAGO — Major League Baseball has determined neither Stephen Strasburg nor Davey Johnson will be suspended after each was ejected from the Nationals’ game Saturday night in Atlanta, essentially ruling Strasburg did not intentionally throw at Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

No announcement has been made by MLB regarding the situation, but a league source said the commissioner’s office reviewed the events of Saturday’s game and concluded neither Strasburg nor Johnson merited a suspension, the punishment typically doled out when a pitcher is ejected for intentionally throwing at a batter.

The decision comes on the same day MLB suspended Red Sox right-hander Ryan Dempster five games for intentionally hitting the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez on Sunday night, even though Dempster wasn’t ejected from that game.

Strasburg became embroiled in the Nationals-Braves feud, which began when teammate Bryce Harper was hit by three pitches in three games against Atlanta, the last of which knocked the 20-year-old outfielder from the next night’s game with a bruised left triceps muscle.
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  1. Catcher50 - Aug 20, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Thus proving that the current crop of umpires have absolutely no set of standards, nor do they, apparently, understand baseball.

  2. SonnyG10 - Aug 20, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    Well, I don't think they should be fined either. To me, Stephen clearly wasn't trying to hit Simmons.

  3. Jeff Wang - Aug 20, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    Isn't that highly problematic. I remember a poster saying that he'd be disturbed if SS did it on purpose, but even more disturbed if he didn't.

  4. Doc - Aug 20, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    This ain't over.We still owe them. The hurt that the cowardly Braves put on Harps, still needs to be 'dealt with'.

  5. JD - Aug 20, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    SonnyG10, No,he wasn't trying to hit Simmons. He was trying to throw behind him. I think the idea is to make the hitter very uncomfortable. No way StraS command is that far off. Watch his next game. He will magically have pinpoint command.

  6. Holden Baroque - Aug 20, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    "I want you to hit the mascot."

  7. David Proctor - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    For those Moore-ites out there, T-Mo is in the lineup today at 1B.

  8. David Proctor - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Oooh, I just realized that if you want to insult a Tyler Moore defender, you could call them Moore-ons. Get it? Morons.But I like Tyler so I'd never do that.

  9. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    That would be me, but then having me as your staunch fan is usually the kiss of death. Just ask JZ. Perhaps it's time for me to start dissing TMo.

  10. David Proctor - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    We destroyed this guy last year. Rusin. I hope we can do it again.

  11. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    had he hit Simmons then he would be suspended.

  12. Candide - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    SonnyG10 said… Well, I don't think they should be fined either. To me, Stephen clearly wasn't trying to hit Simmons.Might be more accurate to say that it's not clear that he WAS trying to hit Simmons. came awfully close on that last pitch. I don't buy the business about how he lost command all of a sudden. What an amazing coincidence that he lost control of his pitches in the exact game where retaliation was expected, and just before Simmons came up, and just enough to barely miss hitting him in the back on the third WP.Coincidence. Yeah, sure.That should be the end of it. We'll know for sure September 16.

  13. Whynat - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    there is a funny story in "The Baseball Codes" about a pitcher who hit a guy in the on deck circle on purpose for standing too close and timing his pitches.

  14. SonnyG10 - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    JD said…SonnyG10,No,he wasn't trying to hit Simmons. He was trying to throw behind him. I think the idea is to make the hitter very uncomfortable.No way StraS command is that far off. Watch his next game. He will magically have pinpoint command.August 20, 2013 4:51 PMI hear you JD and I can understand you and Ray Knight thinking Stras was still sending a message, but that just doesn't make any sense to me. Remember, Stras had a long half inning to wait in the dugout on a cool rainy day before he went back out on a mound he has never felt comfortable on and he walked the first batter on four straight pitches and gets a visit from Cat. His first pitch to Simmons is a wild hook that missed way wide to the left side of the plate. Then he missed with a fastball so far behind Simmons that it would be close to the on-deck circle. He's obviously (to me) trying to correct his delivery as he gets the next pitch closer to, but still behind Simmons.There is no way in my mind that Stras is going to throw away that run that scored just to send an additional message after the first one was sent. Additionally, Simmons is not the most likely target of any other messages. McCann or Freeman would be the most likely other target of something intentional.Ray Knight thought it was perhaps intentional because Stras didn't complain or say anything about the ejection. I think Stras didn't do anything because he knew he was done and was more likely to hurt his team if he stayed in. So getting ejected was probably a relief for him.I'm not saying I don't think SS would send another message if one were warrented, but I'm just saying my interpretation of the events is that SS was not doing it.Atlanta knew they had it coming and they took it like men. At that point (plunking of Upton) it was over for both teams.

  15. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    I am convinced the first one was intentional. The later pitches were a loss of command- there was no need for more. No way Stras gives up runs and bases on purpose after the message had been sent. Too bad. I would like to have seen him send the message and then totally shut them down.

  16. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Sonny, I agree with you. Stras has a history of sudden meltdowns when conditions are no suitable. I think he's very tightly wound, and when he comes unwound, it's yarn all over the place. If there was going to be anything further done, it would have been against Teheran on Sunday (not Stras' responsibility). I think he said nothing because he was in shock that he lost it again, just like against Miami. What I don't understand is why he didn't go into the tunnel and keep himself warm and loose as soon as he saw it was going to be a long inning with Mike Minor–also–having control problems. Yes, Stras could come back with pinpoint control, of course he could, on a sunny Thursday afternoon…

  17. JD - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    SonnyG10, All I know is that Stras went into the dugout and was getting and giving fist pumps and high fives all around. He did not look like a pitcher who just had a terrible day, more like someone who accomplished what he set out to do. I think it may have been over had the Braves just hit Harper once. but since they insisted on making sure that their message was delivered Stras had to respond in kind. kind of 'Yeah, I am crazy, don't get too comfortable in there'. The outcome of the game was secondary. We play the Braves 18 times a year and they are awfully cocky right now.

  18. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Ken Gurnick ‏@kengurnick 7mDon Mattingly said Yasiel Puig was fined for arriving late to ballpark Tuesday.

  19. JD - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    NL, 1st of all the comparison to the Miami game is apples to oranges. he was missing in Miami but not by that much and again, he did not have the look of an upset pitcher when he left the game on Friday. That was no loss of command, I've seen enough baseball to say it with a fair amount of confidence.

  20. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    So now Puig is not so much the media darling. He is having issues. But excuses are made for him. After all, he is only 22. I just feel that everyone has been harder on Bryce than anyone else. I have protective feelings for him. I hope those close to him are looking out for him. He is still a baby. Professional baseball is a meat grinder.

  21. JD - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Swami, The problem with your outlook (IMO) is that you are looking at it from the game results point of view. I think Stras came to the park with a different primary objective on that day. I think he and Davey clearly didn't think that the Upton plunking was sufficient.

  22. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Davey says he is going to start platooning LaRoche/Moore and Hairston/Span. He now has enough body of work to justify sitting LaRoche and Span vs. lefties…

  23. JD - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Swami, I think that a huge part of the reason teams are attacking Harper is his age and his fame. A lot of players feel like he needs to go through this initiation, Hammels admitted it but a lot of players think it. This is why it was very important for the team to show that they have his back.50% of the reason Stras did what he did was a support gesture to Bryce. Good for Stras.

  24. JD - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    NL, He can play DeJesus for Werth once in a while too.

  25. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Could be. I absolutely saw purpose at first. But knowing how Stras is, I just don't see those three wild pitches as anywhere near intentional. He is too proud to look that bad and give up that many bases. And other posters are correct when they point out how quickly he falls apart when something is not quite right. I seriously hate all this garbage. If you disagree with someone boo them. I can't go outside right now and throw a baseball at my neighbor because he is an idiot. And my throw would probably not even hurt. Too much margin for error and potential for escalation.

  26. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    JD, I understand the initiation thing, but Harper isn't a rookie. BTW, Puig has been HBP 5 times this season (but so has Andre Ethier). Does Harper lean in over the plate?

  27. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    JD- is there more venom towards Bryce because he is good at such a young age when some of these guys took years to get to the majors? Sometimes the level of haterade is so out of control I actually fear someone will do something to hurt him. Sometimes it is totally out of proportion.

  28. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Game post.

  29. FL Bassist - Aug 20, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Here's my perspective on Bryce, as someone who spent nealy 30 years in DC before moving on. The main reason there is so much resentment against him is that the national sports media goes way, way, way over the top in "educating" the listener about him. Watch a Nats game on TBS or ESPN, and the Harper monologue never stops. So this is not Bryce's fault, and the fans are guilty of being mad at Bryce, when it is the media that is guilty of trying to build the same "compelling" story line again and again. It is easy to wrongly ascribe blame, and Harper, who is really a good kid, is the one who takes the rap.

  30. Candide - Aug 20, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    JD said… All I know is that Stras went into the dugout and was getting and giving fist pumps and high fives all around.That was after the plunking. When he got tossed for throwing behind Simmons, he walked straight back into the clubhouse, didn't appear to say a word to anyone, or vice versa. Went looking for the video I saw, but can't find it.

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