It was Tuesday night that Brett Lawrie went crazy in front of home-plate umpire Bill Miller, and it was Tuesday night or Wednesday morning that most people wrote about it. Wednesday afternoon, Lawrie found out he was being suspended four games and fined. Among those people who wrote about Lawrie before a decision was handed down was Yahoo!'s David Brown, at Big League Stew. Brown?
That's the best lesson we can take from the game, eh? That when things don't go your way, just mindlessly rage against the machine. By that logic, Lawrie should share some of the blame for inciting the fan to throw the beer at the ump. (And maybe he should.)
At least by apologizing immediately, Lawrie should lessen the penalty that's coming. What will the MLB disciplinarian (Joe Torre) give him? Yadier Molina got five games for his spitting tirade at Rob Drake a season ago. Back in 2000, MLB suspended Carl Everett for 10 games for a head-butting quarrel with Ron Kulpa. When he was in the minor leagues, Delmon Young got 50 games for throwing his bat at an umpire. That was unquestionably intentional.
Lawrie should get at least 10 games.
Let's look at the precedent that Brown lays out. Molina got five games for spitting. Everett got ten games for hitting an umpire's head with his head. Young got 50 games for throwing his bat at a person on the fly. And then Brown thinks that Lawrie should be punished more than Molina, and as much as Everett? If all Lawrie did was argue, he would not be suspended - he'd just be ejected. He's being suspended because he threw his helmet. He threw his helmet at the ground, not at the umpire directly, and so he didn't directly assault the umpire the way those other guys did. He did act way out of line, obviously, but he didn't hit anybody, spit on anybody, or attempt to injure anybody. He threw a helmet at the ground. It bounced up and off the umpire.
For Brown to suggest at least ten games for Lawrie is one thing, but to base that off precedent doesn't make good sense. Lawrie didn't do what the other players did, and he was ultimately punished accordingly.