Rougned Odor of the Texas Rangers has been tagged with an 8 game suspension for his actions in Sunday’s infamous brawl with the hated Blue Jays. He will appeal.
We all knew it was coming, a lengthy suspension was in the offing for young Rougned Odor from the moment he gloriously slugged Blue Jay’s villain Jose Bautista in the jaw, with a right hook that former Ranger Jeremy Guthrie deemed the “Cleanest punch I’ve ever seen landed in the big leagues.”
By now, all of us around the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays organizations know the stories behind what has turned into a heated feud between the two clubs. An explosion like what transpired on Sunday has been brewing since the two teams famously met in a game 5 that was filled with controversy and ill-will last October.
Now that the blow-up has come and gone, we are left with images that will live on forevermore in the annals of Texas Rangers lore. The video and still images of “the punch” are sure to surface regularly, often alongside that other legendary Texas Rangers beatdown, where Nolan Ryan showed Robin Ventura who was boss.
But unlike in hockey where fighting is tolerated if not encouraged. Socking someone in the jaw is frowned on in baseball, whether that particular someone deserves it or not. As a result, we all knew discipline was coming for the Texas Ranger’s fiery second baseman. That discipline was delivered on Tuesday, as the league announced that Odor would be forced into an 8 game hiatus.
As is often the case following the announcement of a lengthy suspension, Odor is expected to appeal in hopes of getting his ban reduced. Now that I’ve had a little time to reflect on the events of Sunday, I believe 5-8 games is a fair sentence for Odor’s actions. I am a little bit surprised however, that Jose Bautista received only a one game ban for his late slide into second base, and that Josh Donaldson and Kevin Pillar both escaped supplementary discipline for their actions in the ensuing melee.
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There is little doubt that the Texas Rangers will miss Odor, regardless of how long he ends up being sidelined at the completion of his appeal. The kind of production Roogie brings, especially in his newly acquired lead-off role will be tough to replace, but the Rangers are deep enough to pull it off, and there is another bright-side here as well.
The Texas Ranger’s are likely to bring up former uber-prospect Jurickson Profar to man second base in Roogie’s absence. A Profar cameo in the major leagues could help to reestablish his value as a potential trade chip for later this summer or in the off-season.
Regardless of how this all shakes out, one thing is for sure. The Texas Rangers are not going to ask Rougned Odor to change the way he plays. Ranger’s manager Jeff Banister was quick to shoot down such an idea, saying they aren’t going to do anything to take away the passion Roogie plays with.
This suspension is a first for young Roogie, but my guess is that it will not be his last. The hard-nosed and agitating play style he possesses will likely lead to more dust-ups throughout his career. I can guarantee you that the Texas Rangers would have preferred that someone less vital to the team would have been the one to settle the score with Bautista and the Blue Jays, but settled the score is, at least from the Texas Rangers perspective.
The general feel around Texas Ranger nation seems to be that settling the score so emphatically makes the consequences bearable. It all sets up for a very enticing rematch if the two teams happen to meet once again in October.
So what are your thoughts on this situation? What do you think of the actions of Odor and Bautista? What about the suspensions and fines handed out today? Please feel free to discuss in the comments below.