Full disclosure: I fully expected Rougned Odor to earn himself a suspension for his role in Sunday's on-field brawl with the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista. 8 games seems reasonable enough, with the assumption being that he can potentially reduce that by a few games on appeal.
What I also expected, however, was a bit less of a double standard by Major League Baseball.
For starters, we're talking about a league that relished every second of the whole ordeal. They even published and showcased video of the incident on their Website. Forget MLB.TV customers needing to go back into the archives to find it within the game, the league had its people decide it would be better to cut that footage out and showcase it in a video all on its own. Then hand down fines and suspensions to the players involved while simultaneously thriving in the river of attention the sport gained from it. If that's not a double standard, I don't know what is.
And now we get to the fun part: The actual punishments. As I've mentioned, Odor's falls pretty much in line with what many of us expected. It's maybe a bit on the high side for my liking, but again, comes down upon appeal. Probably.
Jose Bautista getting one game? I can't wrap my head around it. Consider for a moment the slide that came before the entire brawl. It was deemed illegal; against MLB's new slide rules that have been implemented this year. Say what you want about Odor being a culprit of this himself at times, but I was happy that these are being phased out. Much like headhunting in the NFL, it's a dangerous play that stuck around for far too long. Many still don't like the rule change, but if it were a Clayton Kershaw or Mike Trout taking these slides, that tune would surely change.
Bautista had already cost the Blue Jays a game with such a slide earlier this season. He knew the slide was illegal, but didn't care. He had one mission on his mind: He was pissed off at getting plunked minutes before, and he wanted to make that known to Rougned Odor, who had absolutely nothing to do with him getting plunked in the first place. He cared so little about anything going on the field that he decided, game results be damned, he'd rather let the Rangers know how pissed off he was at them.
So, we have intent and aggression with an illegal slide, and that's before baseball's biggest diva decided he'd go ahead and get up and pretend he wanted to be a tough guy. Rougned Odor's punch was solid and squared up, but I'm not sure what people though Bautista was preparing to do by cocking his fists and pulling one back while having an arm already extended in the way a fighter does in preparation to hit their opponent.
Essentially, MLB is saying that because Rougned Odor literally beat him to the punch, he's the "worse" guy in all of this. And it's mind-boggling.
Elvis Andrus got the same suspension -- one game -- as Jose Bautista. Andrus gets as much as the instigator of the entire ordeal; the man with whom none of this happens without.
Toronto's manager, John Gibbons, who had already been ejected from the game but headed onto the field from the clubhouse anyway? Three games.
There's zero rhyme or reason behind any of it. It's almost as if MLB decided to to draw numbers to determine the appropriate punishments, and now the Rangers will clearly wear the brunt of this because they had one player who was, simply, quicker and better at punching than the guy in front of him.
I'm not saying there's an intentional bias here, but something has obviously gone wrong. And because there's no sound reasoning behind it, I can't figure out exactly what that is. Except that Major League Baseball botched this one.