I rarely lose my cool or openly criticize athletes or teams for their behavior and culture but what happened last night at Dodger stadium was simply preposterous and deserves some attention.
I have never had anything against the Los Angeles Dodgers as on organization, the fans of the club, or individual players. I also never bashed Manny Ramirez for his appearance on a steroid users list and for his 50 game suspension due to using a gender enhancing drug. I am also a big fan of Joe Torre as a coach and a person.
Well, I am not so fond of that team anymore.
For those of you who did not see last night's domination of the Dodgers over the Brewers I will provide more details shortly. You are likely already wondering what happened that upset me so much and lead me to react this way.
And for those of you who saw the game, and already know exactly what I will be writing about, I have a question. Are you content with what your team did?
It was the seventh inning of a blowout game, with two outs, one man on, and a count of one ball and no strikes Manny Ramirez was at the plate. The Brewers pitcher, Chris Smith, lost the handle on what looked like a mix between a fastball and a curveball, missing up and in on Ramirez. Manny's shirt got brushed barely but he reacted as if the Halley's Commet blasted him.
All replays showed that, and I am convinced the players on the Dodgers bench, and the pitchers in the bullpen saw it clearly.
That did not prevent Guillermo Mota, a former Brewer, from coming out in the ninth inning and purposely drilling Fielder in the hip with a 95mph fastball.
Mota walked out there with the sole intention of hitting Fielder. It was some twisted form of retaliation for a lost pitch to Ramirez that did not even hit him. Right after Motta threw the ball he started walking off the mound knowing he was going to be thrown out of the game. Dodgers catcher Russell Martin did not even bother hiding the Dodgers' intentions.
"It’s part of the game," Martin said. "Our premier hitter (Ramirez) gets hit and he’s been hit around quite a bit this year. It’s just kind of protection. That’s all it is, it’s part of the game. It’s been a part of it since I first started playing.
Wait a second! So the Brewers are the ones you take it out on when the rest of the league has been pitching at Manny and when a ball that clearly got away barely even touched his jersey?
Give me a break!
Much was made of Prince trying to storm the Dodgers clubhouse after the game and I personally agree it was wrong, even if a little funny at the same time. I just wonder what type of conversation would have transpired had Prince been able to go past the lines of security and teammates.
But good thing it didn't happen because Prince would have received some deserved criticism from me in this column. And that is not to say that he does not still deserve to hear a pep talk from his coaches but at least his actions put a smile on the faces of people rather than hurt anyone.
Nonetheless, what really took me out of my shell were the additional comments that came from Andre Ethier and Russell Martin.
"Some people have different manners at their homes," Dodgers rightfielder Andre Ethier said. "Some people don’t have to knock. Some people just let themselves in. Who knows? Maybe that’s the type of environment (they) seem to have over there."
"He (Fielder) is known for having a temper, so we are not that surprised," Russell Martin added, obviously referring to the only time Prince Fielder showed a rush of emotion in a game last season when he shoved Manny Parra to the bench because the young pitcher gave up on watching his teammates bat in a game.
Were Ethier and Martin really talking about temper and good behavior? Why did Guillermo Mota not get a mention here?
They mean to tell me that one of the nicest teammates you will ever get in baseball has a problem with temper, and that he lacks a good behavior because he was from "over there"?
"We don’t want the same scenario as in last year’s playoffs where the Phillies tried to intimidate us by throwing at Manny and we didn’t really retaliate," Martin said. "We don’t want to be considered as a team that doesn’t have our players’ backs. It’s about keeping the team unified and pulling the wagon altogether."
Mr. Selig are you listening?
Guess what, the Brewers have had to put up all year with teams drilling Ryan Braun, too. And that is knowing that he has been experiencing lingering muscle problems in his rib cage. If you would like to see a bad hit look at how the Pirates have pitched to the Brewers all year after being smothered by the Crew over a stretch of 18 consecutive outings.
And yes, there were some retaliation pitches the Brewers threw, which is something I was always critical of. But to walk out on the mound with the sole purpose of drilling a player, and a former teammate at that, and then to have the club admit to it and say it was not a big deal is simply wrong and it never should be done.
I don't know if a lot of you will agree with me but I am of the opinion that any hit of a batter, be it intentional or unintentional, should be severely penalized. And since a multi-game suspension typically has little effect due to the unavailability of pitchers in immediate games, the penalty has to be tailored so that it actually affects both the player and the club he plays for.
Tonight is the last game of a three game series, as well as the last time this season, that the Brewers and the Dodgers will play. It will be interesting to see if anything transpires tonight.
As a fan of the game of baseball I hope both teams leave the shenanigans "over there", at home, and come out to play baseball. And if they would like to entertain us in any other way outside of playing baseball, I suggest that they cross the nearby Hollywood hills and try performing in a different segment of the entertainment industry.
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