You may have seen yesterday that Marlins pitcher Scott Olsen was suspended yesterday for an act of "insubordination" after he was relieved from his start on Sunday. The Marlins and manager Fredi Gonzalez did not elaborate as to exactly what happened, but whatever the incident was it wasn't a first for Olsen as far as misbehavior. Last year Olsen got into a fist fight with Randy Messenger, and just last month Olsen was fined for making an obscene gesture after being taken out of a game. (I guess he doesn't like being taken out...) Well, it certainly is a good thing that the Marlins have suspended him, missing some time on the field will certainly do him....
What? Olsen isn't actually going to miss any time on the field?
That's right, the Marlins chose to dole out the dumbest and most useless punishment in all of sports on Olsen; they suspended a starting pitcher less than five games. Olsen is only suspended for two games, meaning he is in absolutely no danger of missing so much as a single inning he would have otherwise pitched. The only real penalty for Olsen is the roughly $4 thousand in game checks he will be missing out on, but for a young pitcher with a bright future on the mound that is just a drop in the bucket.
So why did the Marlins do it? Why go to all the trouble of "suspending" Olsen when you could have just fined him four grand and had the exact same result. Here is the ugly reason why; the Marlins likely were just looking to save face, and did not want to do anything that might actually hurt the team, i.e. Olsen missing a start. While that might work in some situations, this instance just smells foul. Olsen is not a first time offender. He obviously has not learned how to control himself on the field and in the clubhouse when he is frustrated. So you suspend him for two games he wouldn't pitch in anyway? Please.
Think of it this way. When you were a kid, if you broke your sibling's toys and your mother said to you "You are grounded! As soon as you go to sleep you are not allowed to get out of bed until you wake up! Now go outside and play!"
That makes about as much sense as how the Marlins are handling Olsen.