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Stiffer Penalties Sought for Beanball Culprits

July 18, 1987

It is ominous when home run leaders Mark McGwire and Andre Dawson are beaned by pitchers in the very same week Dickie Thon quit the Astros, having never fully recovered from a beaning of a few years ago.

The penalty for hitting a batter (award of first base) should be raised and I have two suggestions. First is the "floating DH"--anytime a National League pitcher hits a batter, the batter's team wins use of the designated hitter for the remainder of the game; the offending American League pitcher's team loses the DH for the remainder of the game.

A second rule would be aimed at direct retaliation after a home run. If a player who has hit a home run earlier in the game is later hit by a pitch, then the pitcher is automatically suspended for seven days--no exceptions and hopefully no more Dickie Thons.

DAVE QUICK

Los Angeles

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