Brett Lawrie was hit by this pitch from Royals Yordano Ventura Saturday, and Ventura got an undisclosed fine Tuesday.
Much in the manner in which he walked to first base after being hit by a 99-mph fastball from the Royals’ Yordano Ventura Saturday, A’s third baseman Brett Lawrie took in stride the news of the fine handed Ventura and the suspension given Kelvin Herrera.
Herrera was given five days for throwing a fastball behind Lawrie in the eighth inning Sunday mostly for getting too close to Lawrie’s head, although the fact that he yelled at Lawrie and tapped the side of his head in a threatening manner didn’t help.
Although Ventura hit Lawrie a day after Lawrie slid into Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar, he was only given an undisclosed fine because Ventura hit Lawrie in the elbow, an area where baseball traditionally gives more leeway.
In saying that the suspension of Herrera wasn’t up to him, Lawrie said he believed the reliever got what he deserved. And he said he expects no carryover in the late June series when the Royals visit Oakland.
“They’ll be watched closely,’’ Lawrie said. “If it happens again, the penalty will be 10 times what it was this time.’’
Some of Lawrie’s teammates took a harder line.
“It’s not my call, but if someone truly threatens someone else, then the suspension should be more than five games,’’ catcher Stephen Vogt said. “I think what he got was a little light.’’
Right fielder Josh Reddick said “7-10 games would make more sense.’’
“Five games for a reliever isn’t that much,’’ Reddick said. “That’s maybe two or three appearances. And with the lineup they have over there, many they wouldn’t need to use him at all in five games. For me, it had to be definitely at least 10 games for Herrera.’’
What Lawrie did do was to take on the Kansas City fans for their part in what he called “probably the worst baseball series I’ve ever been a part of … that wasn’t baseball.’’
“Shame on their fans for antagonizing everything that went on there,’’ he said.
And he said the one thing the Royals, who had six uniformed personnel ejected in the series, have done in the early weeks of the season is to open the eyes of people around the Major Leagues.
“There are a lot of people that have been watching the way that team (plays),’’ Lawrie said. “I think they definitely have a star on their back.’’
Lawrie said that he talked to Angels’ first baseman Albert Pujols while he was on first Monday and got a pep talk from the three-time MVP.
“He said `you were just playing the game hard,’ ’’ Lawrie said, talking about the slide Friday not that got the Royals so riled. “And the Royals did some bush league stuff.”
Lawrie said “in retrospect, I wouldn’t do anything different. This isn’t the UFC. We’re trying to win baseball games.’’
That included Lawrie himself, who took the heater from Ventura and just walked to first base while Ventura was busy getting ejected.
“I was never going to give them what they wanted,’’ Lawrie said, saying it would do the A’s no good to start a fight where there might be multiple ejections and possible injuries. “I hope people look and see I took the high road.’’