MLB Reduces Suspension For Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman’s Despite Throwing At Rays’ Mike Brosseau

Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Major League Baseball came down extra hard on teams and offenders in 2020 for throwing at players and potentially starting benches-clearing brawls.

The first to learn that was Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly, who was suspended eight games for appearing to throw at the Houston Astros during a series at Minute Maid Park at the beginning of the season.

Considering the 2020 season was shortened to 60 games, many felt that Kelly’s suspension was a bit harsh, even after it wound up being reduced from eight to five games after an appeal.

The length of Kelly’s suspension made even less sense when New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman was only given a three-game ban for throwing at the head of Tampa Bay Rays infielder Mike Brosseau.

It was the last incident of an ongoing feud between the American League East rivals. Kelly and Chapman had both been suspended for similar incidents prior and were considered repeat offenders.

Chapman also appealed his suspension, so he has yet to serve it. His appeal hearing took place this week and according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Chapman’s suspension was reduced to two games:

Kelly has expressed displeasure with MLB’s process for these suspensions on numerous occasions, particularly taking issue with Chapman getting fewer games than him when Kelly did not even hit a batter against the Astros.

“It definitely looks kind of fishy for myself,” Kelly said in September of the length of his suspension compared to Chapman’s. “I originally had thoughts on when I saw the whole Chapman thing and I obviously knew that he was a person, and with the language they used against me was I was the ‘repeat offender.’

“I already had one strike on my record and Chapman had the same exact thing. But obviously I probably said a little bit more words than Chapman has said. I don’t think the words that I used to the people who make these decisions were very nice when the appeal process went down behind closed doors.

“I ruffled some feathers, so it just shows that their feelings get hurt just like everyone else’s feelings get hurt. So it is what it is.”

Fortunately, for Kelly, he got his suspension out of the way this season, so he will be good to go in 2021 while Chapman will now miss the Yankees’ first two games.

Roberts takes issue with length of Kelly’s suspension compared to Chapman

When Chapman’s suspension was announced, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was also not happy with it, coming to Kelly’s defense.

“I saw it. I know there’s some history between the two teams, but I don’t know Chapman’s history with that and suspensions, so it’s not necessarily apples to apples as far as what’s deemed intent with Joe and Chapman,” Roberts said at the time.

“I do know to go glove side, at the head, that’s very difficult for a pitcher to do. I don’t know much and I’m just glad I’m not a part of that situation.”

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