San Diego's Carlos Quentin isn't a coward for dropping his appeal of the eight-game suspension he faced for his part in a bench-clearing brawl against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but I can understand why you'd call him one.
His timing stinks.
Quentin would have been better off never appealing the suspension in the first place, if for no other reason than to make it look like he was taking his medicine like a big boy. Instead, he looks like the kid who throws the first punch, then steps back and lets his older brothers fight his battles for him.
But here's the thing: Despite the wishes of the players on the roster and the team's legion of fans around the world, the Dodgers were never going to get payback on Quentin during the three-game series between the NL West rivals that starts Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
For those who missed it, Quentin was hit by Los Angeles' Zack Greinke in a game at Petco Park last week, charged the mound after Greinke apparently said something to him, a move that sparked a bench-clearing brawl and left the Dodgers' $147 million investment with a broken collarbone:
Zack Greinke will undergo surgery to stabilize his left clavicle tomorrow. Greinke's expected return is eight weeks.—Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 12, 2013
It's understandable why revenge is on everyone's minds these days—including the minds of the umpires assigned to work this three-game tilt.
Both teams will be warned before the start of each of these three games that nonsense of any kind will not be tolerated, and that any player involved in throwing at a batter or anything of that nature, along with their respective manager, will be tossed from the game.
While that serves as a fine deterrent, that doesn't guarantee that something wouldn't have transpired were Quentin in the lineup. And yes, I have no doubt that the thought played a part in Quentin's decision to drop his appeal.
Just as I'm sure there's some truth behind what manager Bud Black told reporters following Quentin's decision:
I think the underlying thing was let's get this behind us. Let's start playing baseball. Let's get this distraction away from our club as quickly as possible. That's something that's been talked about for the last four days.
Letting emotions on both sides settle down is always a good thing, especially when you're the one with a bull's-eye on his back.
You really can't blame Quentin for dropping his appeal. What exactly was he going to tell Bud Selig and the powers that be at the MLB offices? That he didn't mean to charge the mound?
Quentin has already come out and said that while he is regretful that Greinke was injured, he has no regrets about his decision to charge the mound against a pitcher who has hit him twice before:
It's unfortunate that someone got hurt in this instance. But I do believe that I had to protect myself. And I will stand by that statement and at the same time I will begin my suspension.
Quentin had nothing to gain by appealing the suspension. Considering the severity of Greinke's injury and the global appeal of the Dodgers brand, there was little chance of his punishment being reduced by even a game.
So don't call Carlos Quentin a coward for bowing out of this three-game series against the Dodgers.
Save it for if and when Quentin backs out of one of the 12 games that will remain between the clubs this season after his suspension has been served—especially if it's a game in which Greinke is scheduled to take the mound.
At that point, I'll join you in clucking like the San Diego chicken when Quentin returns to action.
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