Much has been made about Wednesday night's brawl between the Marlins and Braves, which started when Braves young star Ronald Acuna was nailed in the elbow with a 99 mph fastball from Jose Urena. The strangest part of the whole situation was that it seemed like Urena was unprovoked by Acuna or any of the Braves players prior to plunking the former No. 1 prospect in all of baseball.
The ever wise Cubs skipper Joe Maddon was asked about the incident prior to Thursday's game, making it clear he felt plays like these needed to leave the game entirely.
Dear Baseball Twitter, please take Joe Maddon's advice, if only this one time. pic.twitter.com/ul65VqNljw— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) August 15, 2018
Joe Maddon’s reaction to Jose Ureña intentionally hitting Ronald Acuña with a pitch: “There’s a Neanderthal part of our game that has to go away.”— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) August 16, 2018
It was announced Thursday afternoon that Urena would be suspended just six games for intentionally throwing Acuna, which means the Marlins starter will likely only miss one game for trying to hurt Acuna. The good news is that Acuna did not sustain any serious injuries, but Joe Maddon is right there is no reason for people to be hurling nearly triple-digit fastballs at players. Whether provoked or not, intentionally throwing at players is something that needs to be phased out of the game, and it's safe to assume Maddon would agree.