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San Jose GM John Doyle has a go at MLS disciplinary committee

Apr 20, 2012, 8:10 AM EDT

John Doyle

I know not everybody agreed with me on yesterday’s verdict about the MLS disciplinary verdict on Rafa Marquez. And fair enough.

I know for darn sure that San Jose Earthquakes GM John Doyle didn’t agree with me.

“I’m very, very disappointed that Rafa Márquez only received three games, and that we lose Shea Salinas for eight weeks,” Doyle told reports yesterday.  “I think that’s terrible for Shea, because he was playing great for us. And then the fact that Marvin Chavez – for him to get a game’s suspension for that, I don’t think that’s right, either. I totally disagree with the (Disciplinary) Committee.”

So let me say this one more time, perhaps putting it another way:

Rafa Marquez is an unpopular figure around MLS. I get that. But if we’re assessing fines and suspensions based on popularity that’s a super-icy-dangerous-slippery slope.

What Marquez did to Shea Salinas makes him a stinker, for sure. But the injury was kind of a freak thing.

Meanwhile, a tackle like Marvin Chavez’s on Roy Miller could be a career ender. Chavez got one game.

Marquez got a stiffer fine because Salinas was injured, and I think that’s fair. Marquez won’t miss as much time as Salinas, and that falls under “unfair” in the life sense, but eye-for-an-eye or week-for-a-week suspension justice is another super-slippery slope.

Here’s the bottom line: Anybody now complaining about the disciplinary committee’s tough job has lost all right to ever say “This league needs to protect its players.” Because that’s exact what MLS is doing now.

I’ve beat up on MLS for so long for not taking action just like this. Is the science exact? Hardly. But the movement is in the right direction. They won’t always get it right, and the consistency requires constant adjustment – but it’s still better than the previous status quo.

  1. footballer4ever - Apr 20, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    For someone’s historical background, having Rafa Marquez is more detrimental to the RB and to MLS. Ship him out of here already and have another league deal with his shenanigans.

    • meeremia - Apr 20, 2012 at 10:07 AM

      But who in the world would want to take Rafa’s behemoth contract? And would Red Bull North America even allow RBNY to ship him out in the first place? I doubt it. New York’s stuck with him for another two seasons.

      I agree with Steve on the DC, great write-ups on this whole situation.

  2. manutebol - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    NFL/rugby style tackle from behind, BALL NOWHERE NEAR THEM, and THEN a dirty kick to the head… that should be wayyy more than 3 games. Shoulda been 7 games.

    Chavez… at least the ball was there and he played the ball. Sure he deserves a 1 gamer for the trailing leg but he didn’t scissor his legs closed.

  3. starybyk3 - Apr 20, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    The injury was not “a freak thing.” The injury could be described as freakish if Salinas had been walking all alone on the soccer field, stumbled somehow, and then broken his collarbone.

    The injury was the result of Marquez’s actions, and so a significant punishment is warranted. It hardly matters whether Marquez intended to break Salinas’ collarbone; he had no business wrapping his arms around Salinas in the first place.

    Seeing that MLS suspended Marquez 3 games for throwing a ball at Donovan, and now they give him the same punishment for sending someone to the hospital, I can understand why some people think that Marquez got off lightly.

  4. teamperkins11 - Apr 20, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    I personally see nothing wrong with eye for an eye punishment. I think that it would prevent dirty play. Does it mean that there will never be injuries? Of course not. However it will at least give pause to those who play recklessly with intent and cause harm to others.

    If we are going to punish Chavez for a studs up tackle, why not Henry? Because there was no injury! MLS is already punishing for causing injury, why not give some bite to the rule?

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