Pitchers who deliver discordant chin music should be punished—by the league, not by vigilantes from the opposing team's dugout. Bench-clearing brawls raise the likelihood of injuries to players and only make ugly situations uglier. Anyone who saw Darryl Strawberry's sucker-punch last week knows just how ugly. It's time lawless players were shown that though baseball has no commissioner, it has a sheriff.
True, such a rule would ensure that no batter charged the mound. (Who's gonna pick a fight when outnumbered nine to one?) But, like it or not, the bench-clearing brawl is a necessary evil. It holds the pitcher accountable. Face it, the only thing that keeps American League hurlers from plunking Albert Belle four times a game is the prospect of having him storm the mound, supported by a horde of teammates.