ESPN insider Buster Olney doesn’t think so, on a number of levels.
Why was Rangers’ reliever Matt Bush, whose pitch to Bautista’s ribs set in motion the events that led to the brawl, not suspended or exonerated entirely?
Olney writes: Either Bush threw at Bautista with intent or he didn’t. If MLB determined that he didn’t, then he shouldn’t get any penalty for hitting Bautista any more than any of the hundreds of other pitchers who will inadvertently hit a batter with a pitch in 2016. If MLB officials determined that Bush threw at Bautista on purpose, he should be subject to at least the same level of suspension that Jesse Chavez jersey cheap got. To give Bush merely a fine is a cop out, a search for a middle ground that really doesn’t exist. (And by the way: I haven’t spoken to a single player or team official who believes Bush’s fastball was an Innocent jersey cheap mistake.)
Olney writes: Andrus turned and threw a punch that missed, so it’s not really a surprise that he was sanctioned. But if a primary question is about who escalated the brawl and who did not, then Pillar and Donaldson, like Andrus, were in supporting roles, both of them flying into the mix, aiming for Odor; Pillar went in with arms flailing, and Donaldson took Odor to the ground.
How did Bautista get just one game?
Olney writes: He really did nothing out of bounds through his slide into second base, which was clearly aimed to send a message but not to injure, as Bautista said. He didn’t sweep the leg as he went into Odor, and didn’t go into a roll block. Bautista was angry that Bush hit him with a fastball and wanted the Rangers to know it. But Bautista also had the opportunity, after his slide through second base, to pop up and run off the field to the visitors dugout on the third base side. He didn’t do this. Rather, he turned, glared at Odor and moved toward him, a choice that was a domino in setting off the brawl. If Bautista gets up and runs off the field, it would’ve been over.