OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 09: Players from the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics get into a shoving match after Ramon Laureano #22 of the Athletics was hit by a pitch and charged into the Astros dugout in the bottom of the seventh inning at RingCentral Coliseum on August 09, 2020 in Oakland, California.
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Houston Astros are public enemy No. 1 in MLB and Alex Cintron’s relatively light suspension won’t help anyone move forward.

The coronavirus hiatus didn’t do anything to cool tensions between the Houston Astros and…well, every other team in baseball. Houston’s second major altercation of the season is resulting in more suspensions. According to multiple reports, suspensions include six games for Oakland Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano and 20 for Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron.

A 20-game suspension looks massive on its face, especially in a 60-game season. But here’s the thing, Cintron is escaping with a very, very, very light suspension. Twenty games aren’t nearly enough.

Laureano, 26, was hit three times in the series and twice on Sunday. In the moment, he has a right to be angry, but by the time he reached first base, things were winding down. However, Cintron reportedly uttered a disgusting remark about Laureano’s mother and challenged him, reigniting the tensions which set off the benches-clearing brawl.

Of course, Laureano is not completely innocent in all this, but coaches should be held to a much higher standard than players. Of all people, Cintron should have been trying to de-escalate the situation and allow cooler heads to prevail. Instead, Cintron wanted to be a tough guy until he actually had to be a tough guy.

As soon as Laureano charged, Cintron made sure he was safely behind a wall of Astros. A classic case of a guy yelling, “Hold me back! Hold me back!”

The vast majority of players who spoke out after Joe Kelly’s suspension were up in arms about MLB’s response. The perception is that the league office is protecting cheaters. This latest incident won’t do much to change that perception.

It’s also important to remember that Cintron was one of the coaches reportedly involved in Houston’s pervasive cheating scandal that rocked baseball. He still has a job in the organization.

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