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Reds get off too easy

Major League Baseball has handed down suspensions in relation to the Tuesday night fracas between the Cardinals and Reds:

Cincinatti starting pitcher and aspiring Kung Fu combatant Johnny Cueto was suspended for seven games. Reds Manager Dusty Baker and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa each got two games. Reds players Brandon Phillips and Russ Springer and Cardinals Chris Carpenter and Yadier Molina were fined an undisclosed amount.

What a joke.

First, Cueto was really suspended for ONE game because he's a starting pitcher and that's how many turns through the rotation he will be unavailable. I have watched the video of the fight over and over again. And one thing that is certain is this: Cueto's claim that he started kicking Cardinals players with his metal-spiked shoes was in self defense is a bald faced lie. I invite you to watch the video. Cueto is very conspicuous because of his long, braided hair. If you follow his actions, he was not innocently trapped up against the screen. He was actually on the periphery of the scrum on the opposite site of the screen when he decided to attack St. Louis players. You can see his eyes open wide before he sprints into the middle of the fracas clearly on the offensive. He also clearly continues to kick after space opens up around him and -- miraculously -- as he desperately tried to save himself with his feet, no Reds players were caught in Cueto's line of fire.

Click here to watch the video. Cueto's actions are more clearly seen in the second run through from an alternate angle.

Make no mistake about it. If his actions would have taken place on a local softball diamond instead of in the professional sports contest, he would have been hauled off to jail.

Second, it's ridiculous that Brandon Phillips didn't get suspended. Not for his ridiculous comments that instigated the bad blood between the Birds and the Reds. But because of the physical contact he made with Yadier Molina at the start of the bottom of the second inning Tuesday. He should have been smart enough not to try to greet Molina with a tap of the bat on Yadi's shin pads after Phillips called the Cardinals players a vulgar and insulting name. But, again watch the video closely, after Molina kicks the bat away and tells Phillips to stop it the Reds second baseman taps him AGAIN.

Phillips is clearly trying to start trouble. AND, he escalated things further when Molina took exception by taking off his batting helmet.

On the bright side, I'm glad MLB didn't suspend any Cardinals players just to make things seem even. But the Reds really got off easy in this case.