|Mattingly, Barajas an Kershaw argue with plate umpire Bill Welke|
There’s a Giant fan friend of mine named Bob that lives and dies baseball. He is knowledgeable about the game and holds strong opinions about how it should be run. Like me, he prefers the National League style of ball, and he’s partial to clubs that build through the infrastructure of their minor league system. He hates trading deadline moves and particularly those involving the movement of numerous prospects for 2 month rentals. Those topics could be discussed at length, but that isn’t where I’m going with this posting.
Bob and I strongly disagree on one topic. That is the gamesmanship that has been developed throughout the history of baseball with the “brush back” pitch, retaliation, and ejections surrounding what are perceived by umpires as “bean balls.” Bob thinks there is no place in the game for purposefully throwing at or near a hitter. I think he’s dead wrong.
|My new "favorite" player, Gerardo Parra|
Gerardo Parra in my opinion is a punk. I don’t know the guy from Adam, but his actions on the field the past two nights were “punkish” in my opinion. Yet, he did more to impact the game in the last two nights than any other player on the field. His head games he worked to his and the Arizona Diamondbacks advantage, and as a result, he almost stole two games from the Dodgers in the process with what I considered to be unprofessional and unethical behavior that merited punishment by MLB. Instead, he got in the Dodgers heads and almost pulled it off.
Here is what I think happened. After Tuesday night’s Kuo “brushback” or “wildness,” whatever you perceived it to be, Parra, showboated in offending style. We’ve seen it before. The Barry Bonds pirouette, the Sammy Sosa hop, heck, even Hong Chih-Kuo did it with his only major league homer with his bat toss. It is showing up the opponent, and for years, baseball had it’s way of rectifying those situations with a little minuet called “Chin Music.” But for some reason, Bud Selig and his minions have got it in their heads that there is no place for it in the game.
Though they glorify the history of the game by honoring such head hunters as Marichal, Gibson, Drysdale, and others with hall of fame inductions. Those same players would have had the intimidation factor removed from their arsenals if they were pitching today. I’m about 99% convinced that last night’s umpiring crew was instructed to toss Kershaw if he plunked Parra last night. How else can you explain his immediate ejection after that irritant was struck on the elbow last night? The decision was made before game time and it had been directed from above. I’m convinced of it.
|St. Louis Cardinal Hall of Famer, Bob Gibson|
Rhubarbs are so discouraged nowadays that baseball is suffering from what I call the “wussification” of the sport. Disputes used to be settled with one brushback pitch by each side. Now, the constant ejections have caused these disputes to linger on for game after game, because they rarely get settled as they should. Do you think that this matter between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks was settled last night when Kershaw was ejected? No way. In fact, I foresee more fireworks in the future. Perhaps in the meaningless 3 game series in Arizona to close out the season, but most likely it’ll be sometime next year, when MLB officials memories start to fade on the issue.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers are ticked. Kershaw may face a suspension which could impact his Cy Young award chances and Gerardo Parra? Nothing is going to happen to him. He is allowed to make obscene gestures, mouth off and instigate the whole thing. In the end he gets rewarded for it. Kershaw, who did the honorable thing by sticking up for his teammate is the one that gets punished, and the fans that were there to watch his mastery on the mound were punished too.
In the 60’s, Parra would have been hit and that would have been the end of it. They understood back then that his showboating wouldn’t be tolerated and that there would be payback for that behavior, but today, with MLB’s protection of this abhorrent behavior, they have exacerbated the problem and encouraged other showboats to engage in their offensive and unsportsmanlike behavior.
Josh Lindblom gets the game MVP for last night. Turning what could have been a disaster into calm as he shut down the D-Backs for his two innings of work. Striking out 5 of the 7 hitters he faced, Josh was instrumental in keeping the Dodgers focused on victory and not the fiasco of the two unjustified ejections. That was incredible poise for the youngster who I hope has solidified his roster spot for next year.
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