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Brett Lawrie’s suspension is ridiculously light

Toronto Blue Jays' Lawrie bounces his helmet in front of umpire Miller during their MLB baseball game against Tampa Bay Rays in Toronto

Toronto Blue Jays batter Brett Lawrie bounces his helmet in front of home plate umpire Bill Miller (L) after being called out on strikes during the ninth inning of their MLB American League baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Toronto May 15, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Cassese (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)


No matter the circumstances, no major league umpire should ever feel unsafe on the field. MLB simply didn’t do enough to protect its men in blue Wednesday by handing Brett Lawrie a mere four-game suspension for his outburst in Tuesday’s game.

Lawrie’s helmet spike was no mere accident. I’m certainly not going to argue that he intended to injure home-plate umpire Bill Miller, but he could have. He knew exactly where Miller was when he spiked the helmet in that direction. Furthermore, he remained aggressive afterwards, and Miller may well have spent a couple of split-seconds wondering if he was going to get punched.

There’s an awful lot to like about Lawrie’s play on the field, but the 22-year-old has plenty of growing up to do. That he was so completely out of control last night should have earned him a 10-game suspension from the league. The lesser penalty is a slap in the face to those making the calls on the field.