I hate Roger Clemens (unless he pitches for my team). He's a selfish prick who tries to come off as the ultimate team guy when in fact it's always all about him. If you think his signing with the Yanks was about anything more than the amount of zeroes on his paycheck, then you are an idiot. He'd have signed with the fucking East Podunk Scrotum Schwabbers if they paid him $2 million a start and allowed him to skip weekend starts so he could co-habitate with Pettitte on Fire Island. I don't have enough bad things to say about this "true Yankee" who will go into the hall with a Red Sox cap on. All that being said, the fact that Clemens was suspended for plunking Alex Rios right between the 1 & 5 on his jersey while Josh Towers walks away scott free is f'n absurd.
If you didn't watch what happened, A-Rod was thrown at twice in retribution for the "Ha! / Mine!" incident a couple months ago. He was hit once on the f'n left knee by Josh Towers (thank you Josh) and through it all it was clear as daylight that the Jays were throwing at him. In fact, it was so clear that home plate umpire Angel Hernandez warned everybody and then took the time to walk Clemens to the mound the next inning to talk to him about what would happen if he were to throw at someone. He knew Towers had thrown at A-Rod. Why he didn't just throw Towers out I have no idea. He would have been well within his rights to do so. Clemens didn't immediately respond to the A-Rod beanball and as YES broadcaster Al Leiter presciently predicted, since he was throwing such a good game and because it was a pretty important game for the Yanks to win, Clemens would likely bide his time and wait until his pitch count was such that he would be taken from the game anyway. So when he came out in the seventh he hit Rios and was immediately ejected along with Torre. That makes sense to me as you don't want this thing to escalate and everyone was warned. But suspending Clemens without suspending any Blue Jays is the absolute wrong message you want to send.
Here's what happens now that this is the precedent: The guy who intentionally throws a pitch at someone without the specific provocation of a previously hit batter is faultless regardless of whether he meant to just throw inside or if he meant to end a career by shattering a kneecap. The guy who responds to a plunked batsman by making the symbollic statement that says "you can hit all the guys you want, but we'll clip you right back if you do" in the form of 90 mph cheese to the backside is ejected, fined and suspended. So you can hit a guy on purpose, just don't do be the second guy to do it. How is this in any way fair? Doesn't this always give the advantage to the team who hits someone first? Why wouldn't you throw at the best player on the other team every time? You know the other team can't afford to respond and you know that you will likely not get thrown out or suspended (though I'd assume that after awhile the MLB would catch on, find a special investigator and launch a 7 year inquiry into your practices resulting in a 300 page report and strongly worded letter to each team). There is no reason not to throw at someone. It's fucking moronic. Here's what should happen (SIDEBAR: In my opinion nothing should happen because it's a stupid fucking rule that makes the players seem like pussies. If you act like a dirty player at any time on the field, you should get thrown at so you don't do it again. A-Rod and AJ Pierzynski should be thrown at constantly. But since the MLB has chosen to penalize players in this way rather than let them do it themselves, my suggestion is in line with the current MLB penalization procedures.):
If the ump feels as though a player was thrown at on purpose and issues a warning, that player can continue to pitch. But if the opposing pitcher intentionally hits someone later in the game (ump's discretion), both pitchers are ejected and both managers are ejected. Since the incident has now escalated, they both should pay the price. THEY BOTH DID THE EXACT SAME FUCKING THING: THEY HIT BATTERS ON PURPOSE!
Lastly, I also think they should take age into account when they penalize players. A 25 year-old needs to be treated differently than a 50 year-old because they react differently to instigation. Clemens is old. He's ornery. My grandmother gets angry when the mail arrives at 10:30am as opposed to 10:15am. It's like George Costanza once said, "The sea was angry that day my friends. Like an old man trying to send back soup at a deli." Clemens was that old man and seeing A-Rod get hit was like receiving a cup of cold soup at a deli. It angried up his blood. It doesn't take much to set them off so you can't treat them like normal people. Plus, I don't think the penalty fits the crime anyway. How is missing 5 games going to affect Clemens? He already skips 4 of them, what's one more? If they really wanted to punish him, they should move his locker away from Andy's and take away his HGH. Then maybe he'd learn his lesson.