On the heels of a convincing 8-2 victory over the woeful and increasingly star-crossed Baltimore Orioles, the Mariners scored another win. More accurately, Cliff Lee scored his first victory of the season, before throwing his first pitch of the season (yeah, he's that good). This morning, Major League Baseball rescinded Lee's five-game suspension.
Finally, this ridiculous situation is over. I felt that Lee never should have been suspended in the first place, and this decision validates my stance. The punishment did not fit the crime at all. It is quite rare for a player to get suspended in spring training, most commonly occurring in response to big spring training brawls. Cliff Lee threw one very bad-looking pitch that happened to go over the head of the batter, during an outing where he was struggling with his control. After the game, he was diagnosed with the abdominal strain. It looked to me like Cliff Lee was being suspended for getting injured, and being rusty.
However, what bothers me even more is how poorly baseball handled the appeal. Lee was supposed to have a hearing near the end of spring training, but some baseball official forgot to show up. That is what pushed the appeal into the season, and even this decision took almost a week to come down. Major League Baseball moved at a glacial pace from the start, which I find incredibly unfair to Cliff Lee and the Mariners. It was getting difficult to time Lee's rehabilitation because of their slow pace.
It is kind of ironic that this is the same office that likes to complain about the slow pace of baseball games, but I digress. Major League Baseball handed down an unfair suspension, and then poorly handled the appeal process. The least they could have done was drop it, and to their credit, they did.
Finally, it is okay to get all excited over Cliff Lee again!