When I first read about former Rockies Catcher Yorvit Torrealba’s 66 game suspension and the fact that he got it for “pushing” an umpire, i felt the punishment was way over the top. Players only get suspended 50 games for their first offense on being caught for performance-enhancing drugs, so how can pushing an umpire rank worse than that? Then i thought that maybe it was the way things were in Venezuela, that penalties were more harsh than here.
I finally saw the video and, while i still think that 66 games is too steep, I can completely understand the need to bring down a harsh punishment. As I was watching it I kept waiting for him to “push” the ump. I thought it wouldn’t be that bad. When I finally saw him “SHOVE” the umpire extremely hard, in his face, it completely stopped my breath. Expecting a push and seeing a violent shove sure changed my perspective on the subject. He later apologized:
I wanted to express my sincere apologies to all parties for my actions during the Venezuelan Winter League game on Friday. I have extended an apology to the Rangers organization as well. I am embarrassed for my conduct and personally relayed that feeling to the umpire after that night’s game … On the field, I strive to be an example for children, especially those in my native Venezuela, and I regret my actions. I understand the reactions to the incident and will make every effort to set a positive example in the future.
Take a look and see if you agree with 66 game suspension, or if you feel it should be more/less.