What type of punishment should Ramon Laureano expect?

We all know that Oakland A’s center fielder Ramon Laureano will have some sort of punishment handed down for his actions on Sunday.

On Sunday, Oakland A’s outfielder Ramon Laureano became the latest player to become beloved by the baseball community at large. He had charged the Houston Astros dugout, perfectly willing to fight the entire bench on his own. When he ran forward, the benches cleared, igniting an incident that will certainly have the MLB Morality Squad on the phone in short order.

It is without question that Laureano will be punished. Just look at Joe Kelly, who was suspended for eight games for throwing at several Astros hitters and his taunting of Carlos Correa, prompting a benches clearing incident. The question is just how severely Laureano will have the hammer fall upon him.

First, let’s look at what precipitated the incident. Laureano had been hit by pitches three times in the series, including twice in the game. In total, Astros pitching hit A’s batters five times, with Laureano getting the brunt of those pitches.

Next, let’s look at Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron. He was jawing at Laureano from the dugout, and as they continued to trade barbs, began climbing the steps. Cintron then stepped on the field, gestured for Laureano to fight him, and made an aggressive move as though he was going to come at the A’s outfielder. Then, as soon as Laureano charged, Cintron hid behind the rest of the team.

Chances are, Laureano is going to be viewed as the aggressor. After all, he is the one that charged the Astros dugout, being tackled by Dustin Garneau as he attempted to get around three players to step up to Cintron.

Context absolutely should matter here. The Astros had drilled Laureano thrice during the series, likely putting him on edge already. Then Cintron started the incident, jawing at Laureano and moving towards him as though he was going to throw down. Yes, Laureano should be suspended, but Cintron needs to be handed a more severe punishment than whatever the A’s center fielder is given.

A five game suspension should be fair for Ramon Laureano. Houston Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron, meanwhile, deserves far more.