On Monday, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig suspended Atlanta Braves pitcher
John Rocker until May 1 as punishment for his statements against
ethnic minorities, immigrants and homosexuals.

Jeff Bower: This is patently absurd. It certainly seems that the
repercussions from fans and players are more than adequate punishment for
the "crime" and act as an adequate deterrent.

Rany Jazayerli: The problem with the Rocker situation transcends
MLB, in my opinion. If Selig hadn’t suspended him, there would have been a
public outcry that would have so surpassed the nature of the crime as to
defy belief.

That doesn’t excuse the decision, but it explains it. I wouldn’t even mind
it so much if it weren’t for the inevitable lack of punishment handed out
to Bobby Chouinard. Was Wil Cordero suspended at all for his
domestic violence charge? I don’t think so, though I can’t recall whether
he was formally convicted on those charges either.

(Ed. note.: Cordero was never suspended.)

Anyway, the MLBPA is going to file a protest, and I’d think there’s a good
chance an arbitrator will turn this over. Which, come to think of it, may
be what Selig wants after all: Rocker gets off, and his hands are clean.

Michael Wolverton: This may be too cynical, but my first thought was
that this is a labor move. By handing out such a stiff punishment, MLB has
forced the union to come down unambiguously on the side of the presumed
bigot. The union could take some PR hits as a result, and could face some
dissension from its own members.

JB: I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, but I
can’t advance it here. It seems like it’s a given that the union is going
to support one of its own, and thus probably won’t get much, if any, bad
press by doing so.

Chris Kahrl: Hell, this makes as much sense as the Marlins trying to
get a work visa for Elian Gonzalez, in order to make him a batboy. It’s MLB
trying to make a feel-good move that ends up being totally inappropriate.

I’m with Rany. I think Czar Bud is counting on the union to get him off the
hook. MLB ends up looking politically correct, while the MLBPA ends up
doing its job.

Thank you for reading

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