“Clark will serve the nine-game suspension throughout the remainder of the 2007 regular season, MLS Cup playoffs and into the 2008 Regular Season until the nine MLS games are complete.”
It’s official: the Houston Dynamo’s Ricardo Clark picked up the biggest suspension/fine combo I’ve ever seen; I don’t see anything in the release, or elsewhere, on punishment for Carlos Ruiz.
So, what are people’s thoughts on this? If you think the suspension is too high, at least the $10,000 fine won’t put too much strain on Clark’s reported $195,000 pay-check (details here). But no playoffs for Clark means there’s no question in my mind the player is being punished; there’s also no question the Houston Dynamo get caught up in that. Given all that, then, is Don Garber’s version of justice too much, too little, or just right?
UPDATE: It occurs to me I ought to say what I think. If interpreted as a form of protest against Carlos Ruiz’, um, on-field tactical decisions, I think Clark’s kick draws a lot of sympathy. But the way he did it – wailing away in front of god, Don Garber, and everybody – gave the league very little choice. In that sense, it fits; a statement really does have to be made. In terms of justice – and, here, I’m speaking more personally than practically – I accept that Ruiz is definitely dirty, but he’s rarely outright vicious, so I think the punishment fits well enough. I have, literally, never seen something so blatant that it can only be called an attack.
UPDATE II: It seems fair to give a dissenting view some pride of place. Sure, it’s an interested opinion – being the Houston Offside and all that – but it’s also a respectable case for casting Ruiz as the villain, or, at very least, seeing that he burns along with Clark.
UPDATE III: For the sake of equal time, Sideline Views posted an unequivocal defense of the MLS Commish Garber’s suspension…this makes me feel like a weenie.