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Atlanta's Bobby Cox, Jonny Venters Suspended By MLB

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Bobby Cox, the Atlanta Braves manager, as well as pitcher Jonny Venters have both been suspended for throwing at Milwaukee Brewers slugger Prince Fielder in a game on Saturday.

Venters will be suspended for four games while Cox will be suspended for just one, though the latter will be unable to appeal the suspension.  The MLB announced the suspensions Monday.

Brewers manager Ken Macha called for the suspensions to happen in his post-game comments to the press after the incident occurred.

"I don't know what's going on there," manager Ken Macha said before saying Major League Baseball should get involved. "(Vice President of rules and on-field operations) Bob Watson ought to take a look at it. Braun hits a home run, they drill (Fielder). He hits a home run, his next at-bat they drill him. That's evidence enough for me for some guys to get suspended for quite a bit.

"Now if they're just wild, tell them to get the ball over the plate. We're respecting what's going on. Hit the ball, run around the bases. ... Apparently they want to pitch Prince inside but in the middle of the back? That's a little more than inside."

Talking Chop, SB Nation's Atlanta Braves blog, is very unhappy with the suspension.

When the book on a player says to pitching him high-and-inside, that's what a team is going to do. Sometime the guy is going to get hit, especially someone like Fielder who dives into the ball. Fielder had already been hit 12 times coming into this series, now he's been hit 14 times, which ties his career high, and currently ranks third in the National League.

This suspension is essentially saying that teams cannot pitch Prince Fielder inside unless the pitcher on the mound has pinpoint control, and that's just so rarely going to be the case. Venters obviously didn't have his control with him when he came in the game. That's why Bobby went to Brewers manager Ken Macha the next day and told him this wasn't intentional. If it was intentional, Bobby never would have gone out of his way to talk to the opposing manager. This further adds to the silliness of the suspension. I'm incensed.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.