As the Oakland Athletics await the news of their discipline following the team's benches-clearing tussle with the Astros, right-hander Chris Bassitt sounded off on MLB and the way it has protected Houston.
"MLB has created an environment where the Astros feel like they're protected and we're - as an opponent - can't do a single thing," Bassitt said on MLB Network Radio. "And, unfortunately now you have coaches, I mean, basically antagonizing players to do something."
After Ramon Laureano was hit by a pitch for the second time of Sunday's game, the A's outfielder exchanged words with both Astros pitcher Humberto Castellanos and catcher Martin Maldonado. Tensions subsided as Laureano made his way up the first base line, but Houston hitting coach Alex Cintron seemed to continue yelling at Laureano from the dugout, causing him to storm the bench.
"Ramon Laureano does not have that in his body to just attack people like that," Bassitt added. "He's not like that. He's a great ballplayer who has great character.
"When you have a coach antagonizing a player to come fight him, I mean, I don't know what you're expecting."
As for the forthcoming punishments, Bassitt believes the league has created a double standard and is defending the Astros, a perk that isn't granted to the 29 other teams.
"I think they hit five of our guys during that series and I would just love to know the answer of if we hit five of their guys, what would happen? We have a double standard every single time anyone plays the Astros ... and it's something that needs to be addressed and fixed."
Punishments for Sunday's brawl have yet to be announced by the league office and are expected to come down on Tuesday. Laureano was ejected for his part in the benches-clearing incident, as was catcher Austin Allen and right-hander Mike Fiers.
Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly was suspended eight games earlier this season for throwing at - but not hitting - Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman while also jawing with the Astros shortstop. The right-hander has appealed the decision and there has yet to be a resolution.