Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland have been suspended for four and six games, respectively, for their role in a benches-clearing brawl in the eighth inning of Washington’s 3-0 win over San Francisco on Monday.
Robert Flores was not a fan of the punishment – for one side, anyway.
“No, I think they were a little light on Hunter Strickland,” the MLB Network host said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “Look, if you’re just going apples-to-apples, if the Nationals are forced to be without Bryce Harper for four games and Hunter Strickland for six games, the Giants will say, ‘Yeah, we can do without Hunter Strickland for six games. He’s a decent reliever, but Bryce Harper is a transcendent player. He’s arguably the best player in Major League Baseball.’ So I think they were a little low on Hunter Strickland’s punishment. I would have liked to see somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 games. That’s just how egregious and absurd and ridiculous I thought his actions were.”
Strickland was apparently still bitter that Harper homered off of him twice in the 2014 NLDS – a series that the Giants won in four games.
“Just holding this grudge for all these years, you just look at the actions of his teammates, Buster Posey and the other players in the infield,” Flores said. “When this happened, Buster Posey stands up and just gives this little, ‘Ugh, not this.’ When you look at the Giants, they’re already a bad team. They are one of the biggest disappointments in 2017. And then you’ve got this guy who takes it upon himself (to start a brawl). How did this help the team? I just didn’t get that at all. And by the way, Hunter Strickland still has not gotten out Bryce Harper.”
Posey, who is hitting .351 with a .449 OBP, avoided the brawl altogether, opting to let Strickland fight his own vendetta. Shouldn’t Posey, a captain, defend his teammates no matter what?
Flores says no.
“Look, if Buster Posey is somehow injured and is on the shelf for say a week or two weeks, then you can just totally write the season off,” Flores said. “There is no way. I would put their chances at coming back and getting in playoff contention at this point at, say, 15-20 percent. If Posey goes on the shelf, then it’s 0.0. So I don’t have a problem with him deciding to stay out of the fray. Maybe if you’re splitting hairs, you could say he’s got to grab somebody and he’s got to say, ‘Look, I’m grabbing you here and we’re going to look like we’re dancing for a little bit.’ But look, you had Jeff Samardzija, a big dude, running out of the dugout, looking like he’s going to spear someone like Roman Reigns and knocking his own teammate out, putting big Michael Morse on the ground. So there was a lot of bodies flying around. There was a lot of hair. It looked like a Motley Crue video there at one point. So I don’t have a problem with him just staying out of the fray.”
The Giants (22-32), as a team, have stayed out of the fray in the NL West this season. They trail the Dodgers (33-20) by 11.5 games entering play May 31.