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Morning Mound Visit: Alex Cintrón suspended 20 games, Ramón Laureano suspended 6

Cintrón received the longest suspension in 15 years, and boy, did he deserve it.

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Houston Astros v Oakland Athletics Photo by Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

MLB handed down suspensions for the brawl instigated by Astros hitting coach Alex Cintrón. After Ramón Laureano had been hit by a pitch for the third time in the series and the second time by Humberto Castellanos, Cintrón goaded Laureano into a fight with a “vile comment” about Laureano’s mother. For their involvement, Cintrón received a 20-game suspension while Laureano will be suspended six games pending an appeal.

Laureano’s suspension is a perhaps a bit longer than what we would normally see from such an infraction, but MLB doesn’t have consistent punishments. Instead, Manfred just turns a big dial that says “Suspension Length” on it and constantly looks back at the audience for approval like a contestant on the price is right. Engaging a hothead hitting coach in a brawl in the middle of a pandemic probably added to the length.

As for Cintrón, his suspension was much longer. According to ESPN, the last time a player or coach was suspended for 20 games or more was when Kenny Rogers fought with two cameramen in 2005. As a coach, Cintrón is held to a higher standard.

Whether Cintrón’s suspension is appropriate or too short is somewhat immaterial. Cintrón’s childish, craven, and irresponsible behavior ultimately shouldn’t be the responsibility of MLB to correct. The Houston Astros need to evaluate whether Cintrón is someone they want leading and representing their team. For an organization with some amount of scruples, that question would be an emphatic “No,” but this is the Astros we’re talking about. Jim Crane has already tried to rehabilitate Brandon Taubman’s image. Something tells me he doesn’t care about Alex Cintrón being a provocateur and a coward.

Rachael McDaniel | FanGraphs: Ballparks can feel like home in a way that dwelling units cannot, and in the midst of a pandemic, millions have been ripped from this home.

Eno Sarris | The Athletic $: It’s weird to think that in a season where Donovan Solano has a chance to hit .400, league-wide offense is down. A variety of factors including changes to the ball, the lack of preparation, and the absence of talent are suppressing offense.

Ben Lindbergh | The Ringer: Another contributing factor to depressed offense is a starling drop in BABIP. That, too, is the product of a whole ‘nother slew of compounding factors.