San Francisco Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland was suspended for six games for his role in Monday’s brawl, while Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper earned a four-game suspension.
Predictably, not everyone is thrilled with that. One such man is Bryan Harper, Bryce’s brother, who took to Twitter to note the discrepancy.
It’s a compelling argument. But we only need to do some math to expose the flaws.
First of all, Harper’s punishment is fair. Had he not thrown his helmet, something in the 1-2 game range would have worked. But he did, and we can’t let him off of the hook because the helmet came nowhere near Strickland. After all, we wouldn’t let Strickland off the hook if he threw behind Harper but triggered the same brawl. Strickland was the instigator here, but Harper was far from innocent.
Because he was the instigator, Strickland could have gotten a few more games. But if the goal of Bryan Harper is to match up the innings, it’s not going to work.
In 2016, Strickland threw a total of 61 innings. Using that as a guide, a 36-inning suspension would be more than half of the season. A 54-inning suspension (six nine-inning games) would be nearly a full year.
That doesn’t quite add up. If Strickland threw at or near Harper’s head, it would be a different story. But that’s not what happened. Heck, even Harper credited Strickland for throwing below the waist.
We have to credit Harper for sticking up for his brother. Still, don’t be sucked in by his argument. It’s calling for a standard that would be impossible to enforce.