A Process That Is Not Appealing

That thing has burst, my friend. - Rob Carr

So today suspension(s) will be handed down in the case of Manny Machado vs. The Reality The Rest Of Us Are Experiencing. (UPDATE, 11:09am PDT: Machado has been suspended for 5 games and fined, while Fernando Abad has been fined.) And then will come a circus known as the appeals process.

Of course there needs to be an appeals process, to guard against ridiculous decisions that need oversight of the enforcers. But does the appeals process really need to be stuck somewhere roughly in the early 1800s? The current appeals process is only slightly more advanced than: "You will hand write, in proper calligraphy, on unblemished parchment paper, your complaint, which you will deliver to the East Coast by carrier pigeon, no sooner than 34 days and no later than 73 days, after the ink has dried. Payment for filing the appeal shall be the greater fee of either 2 cows and a chicken, or 2 chickens and a cow, depending on whether poultry or beef has a higher value on the day the ink dries."

The actual appeals process goes as follows: Once you appeal, you can continue playing until your appeal is heard. You can also drop your appeal at any time and thus rig the system to begin serving the suspension when it is most convenient for you. The appeal is generally heard when you happen to be in New York.

Let me introduce our fine MLB law enforcers to the year 2014. We now have replays available that allow people on different coasts all to view the same evidence, the same way, at the same time. We have Skype, which allows for meetings that differ from in-person meetings only in that each speaker appears to be an actor in low-budget Japanese film.

There is absolutely no reason that an appeal has to wait until everyone can convene together at Derek Jeter Cafe on 129th St. (where the meat isn't "free range," it's "no range," and where the burgers are flipped backhand). And if you appeal then you should not be allowed to drop your appeal. Either appeal or don't, and the appeal should be heard, and ruled on, within 72 hours.

It's not as if MLB is backed up for weeks with appeals. They are heard about once every bizarre tantrum. Suspensions for Machado, and possibly Fernando Abad, Wei Yin Chen, or a "mystery brawler," will be handed down today. By tomorrow, any appeals should be filed, and by the weekend any appeal rulings should be final. Then suspensions are served and we all move on. Regardless of when we happen to be in New York.

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