Time and time again, pitchers intentionally hit batters who show them up (or for whatever reason), yet they (the pitchers) hardly ever get seriously penalized. Further, when they are penalized, it's usually only a 4-6 game suspension (of a 100+ game season). So my question is, given how incredibly dangerous a pitcher's fastball is, why doesn't MLB punish pitchers harder for hitting the batter?
I'm aware that there are "unwritten rules of the game", but honestly I think that's just an incredibly terrible excuse for bad behavior. The batter is completely defenseless, and the argument can even be made that the batter can't even properly do his job as an offensive player, due to the psychological effect of thinking that he's gonna get dinged. Parallels can be drawn between this and the NBA's rule of "allowing shooters to come down in their space". In the NBA, you can no longer contest a shot and move into the shooter's space, because doing this prevents them from coming down safely, and also prevents them from developing a psychological block (thinking that they're going to come down on someone's foot and twist their ankle when they go up to shoot). This leads to better shooting, better offense, and more entertainment for fans.
Though we can't always determine a pitcher's intention, shouldn't a reasonably hard suspension be enough to deter throwing at batters no matter what? If a pitcher knows he's gonna get a hefty suspension regardless of his intent, I feel like he'd be much more careful in his pitch placement.
I personally just feel like it would just be better for the game of baseball to leave out the intentional hitting of batters. So why hasn't baseball worked to change this yet? Does MLB feel like this isn't an issue? Is it just too deeply rooted in the culture for this ever to change?