On a relatively calm Wednesday evening in Los Angeles, the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Dodgers, 8-6, in 12 innings. It was a standard game with an exciting conclusion, featuring six runs scored in the final inning, but it also had a dark cloud hanging over it from the night before.
Tempers flared and egos ran high on Tuesday night, when all hell broke loose at Dodger Stadium. It all started when Arizona starter Ian Kennedy threw a pitch high and tight that grazed Yasiel Puig's face.
Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke retaliated in the top of the seventh inning by hitting Miguel Montero in the back with a pitch. The benches emptied, but it was contained quickly and nothing escalated.
Then, almost as if to prove a point, Kennedy threw a pitch high and tight that hit Greinke right in the shoulder and was inches from catching him in the head. Both benches emptied again, with brawls all over the field and six people were ejected.
It was an ugly incident for a sport that has been trying to fight off bad publicity in recent months. Kennedy was going after the heads of Puig and Greinke, which could have resulted in serious long-term damage if he had succeeded, so even if you don't agree with what Greinke did, at least he aimed for Montero's back.
But this raises a bigger issue about what the Dodgers were going to do when the two teams played the next night. As previously mentioned, they didn't do anything. It was just a normal game that moved along at a brisk pace.
However, that didn't stop the Dodgers from talking after the game about how this blood feud is far from over and that vengeance is coming.
Talking to reporters, Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario simply said, per ESPN Los Angeles, that "it's not done."
Manager Don Mattingly had some very interesting comments about the situation after Wednesday's game.
If you really want to get technical about it, in baseball terms, it really shouldn't be over. Again, I don't want to come here to fight. I want to come to win a game today.
While this Diamondbacks-Dodgers series ended on Wednesday night, they do meet again in Arizona July 8 to July 10.
That is when you can expect some sort of retaliation from the Dodgers, especially if Kennedy is on the mound for one of those games. I think that last night would have been way too soon for some kind of payback given how fresh everything was and the fact that suspensions hadn't yet been handed down.
But, and this is the key thing for me, it is time for this whole thing to end. These are supposed to be professional athletes, so to keep carrying petty grudges for months and years at a time is just dumb and part of that whole macho facade most athletes apparently need to have.
Just to add to the ridiculousness, Mattingly was also quoted as saying that Greinke had to hit someone or else "he loses a lot of respect in the clubhouse." Because that makes complete and total sense.
Since the Dodgers feel like they were wronged by the Diamondbacks, give them their one moment to retaliate and be done with it. Of course, the umpires will be on high alert during that next series and quick to eject if anything appears fishy.
So let's stop trying to prove how tough we are by attacking your guys and just play baseball again. If the Dodgers really want to send a message to someone and be able to look each other in the eye in the locker room, go out and win games.
The payback is coming, it will be whatever it is and then we can all move on from this complete and total mess of a situation.
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