Astros: Laureano, Cintron should be suspended after brawl

Suspensions will be coming for Ramon Laureano and Alex Cintron after the Astros and Athletics got into a brawl.

If you thought the dustup between the Astros and Dodgers was something, Sunday’s game between Houston and Oakland was a whole different thing. Players were beaned, words were said, benches cleared and one particular player got tackled. Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano and Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron should receive lengthy suspensions for their roles in the brawl.

For those who will say this is all a result of Houston’s sign stealing scandal, please don’t waste your breath (or Twitter characters). Laureano had been hit by a pitch earlier in the game by Brandon Bailey, who the Astros actually received in the 2017 trade sending Laureano to Oakland. When he got hit a second time by Humberto Castellanos, he clearly wasn’t too thrilled.

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Now the chances of either of those being intentional are remote. Both pitchers are rookies who are trying to establish themselves, and the Astros had no reason to intentionally hit Laureano. But as soon as he got beaned a second time, Laureano took verbal exception.

Then Cintron only made things worse. When Laureano was standing at first base, the video showed Cintron clearly arguing with him, and it didn’t look pretty. Then Laureano dropped his gloves and bolted right at the Astros dugout, immediately getting tackled by Dustin Garneau.

Big shout-out to Garneau there. He’ll probably end up getting a suspension as well, but that was an impressive tackle. He played football in high school, so he already had the technique down, and he probably prevented this situation from getting even worse. The league might not like what he did, but Astros fans sure do.

Dropping the Hammer

Of course Commissioner Rob Manfred will be sure to levy punishment on the parties involved, and rightfully so. Fighting isn’t something that is tolerated in the sport, especially considering the need for social distancing. I would expect the punishment to be strong.

Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly got eight games for throwing at two players’ heads, so Laureano’s suspension will certainly exceed that considering he charged the opposing dugout. It’s pretty easy to tell there was no intent behind him being hit by those pitches, and he simply has to do a better job of controlling himself.

With that being said, Cintron played a rather important role in instigating that brawl too. He was clearly the one Laureano was responding to and was the reason he charged. Reports are floating around the Cintron said something insulting toward Laureano’s mother, so he should take his share of the blame too.

Unfortunately Garneau will probably get hit with a short suspension, but he’s come away with a great deal of respect from Astros fans. Cintron, on the other hand, is probably deserving of some harsh words from manager Dusty Baker, who’d been ejected earlier in the game. Considering the team’s offensive struggles, he might do well to keep his mouth shut.

In the end, Laureano should get the longest suspension considering he charged the dugout. I’d say he should get a 15-game suspension and Cintron should get 10. That’s one-fourth and one-sixth of the season, respectively, which admittedly is pretty steep. But Manfred needs to set an example that fighting (and instigating a fight) cannot be tolerated in this environment.