Tagged: Suspension

Insanity in San Diego: Greinke Injured in Brawl, Kemp and Quentin Fight After Game

dodgers padres brawl

Update (4/12/13): Greinke is out for approximately eight weeks. Quentin has been suspended for eight games, Hairston, Jr. for one game. Both of those players have appealed.

This blog has already morphed and transformed 100 different times tonight as more and more details are released about the ridiculous brawl at Petco Park. We have embedded videos from sources like MLB and ESPN to give you a clear timeline of what went down. Enjoy the madness, and vote in the polls below!

Bottom of the 6th inning:

Carlos Quentin, leading off the 6th for the Padres (who were down 2-1 at the time), took the count to 3-2 against Zack Greinke. That next pitch got away inside and nailed Quentin on the elbow, at which point he charged the mound. You can see the fight in its entirety here:

As many Tweeters reminded us, Quentin routinely leads the league in hit by pitches:

These things happen when a batter crowds the plate and takes away the pitcher’s inside corner. And it doesn’t help that Quentin clearly has no idea how to get out of the way of an inside pitch (from the first game of the series on Tuesday):

As you see in the video of the brawl, Quentin and Greinke collided shoulder-to-shoulder, and the 50-pound advantage of the batter definitely took its toll on the smaller pitcher. The benches cleared as Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis tackled Quentin to the ground. Many people thought Greinke may have yelled something to Quentin after the beaning, which this ESPN video shows is true (embedding ESPN videos does not work on WordPress):

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:9162952

My expert lip-reading abilities tell me that Greinke said something along the lines of “F— off.” Hardly grounds for a rage-induced attack on Quentin’s part. For all I know, Greinke may just have been tired of Quentin’s act, as a fellow NL West pitcher became last season:

Before we go any farther, let me bring you back a few years…

April 8th, 2009:

Different teams, a different division, in a different league; same matchup. In Greinke’s 2009 Cy Young year with the Kansas City Royals, he beaned then-White Sox Quentin in the 4th inning of an early-season game. Quentin took a step toward Greinke before being cooled off and taking first base.

After that outing (the Royals won 2-0), Greinke said it was an accident, and even mentioned that he was “scared” for Quentin at first, thinking it might hit his head:

“He had a reason for [being upset],” said Greinke of Quentin. “Any time you throw it that high, it’s justified. You’ve got to be better than that and not pitch like that. You’re going to make mistakes, but the last thing you want to do is hit someone where it could seriously hurt them. As soon as I let go of it, I was scared for him.”

So there was history. Whether or not it was intentional then, or intentional this year, is a matter we can likely never pinpoint. But in both instances, Greinke held a slim lead–hardly a situation in which you want to put anyone on base purposely.

Unless Quentin slapped Greinke’s mother years ago for some unknown reason, there is no motive for Greinke to throw at Quentin in the first place. Not to mention, that little dust-up was four years ago now. That’s a long, long time for someone to hold a grudge in sports.

Okay, memory lane was fun. Let’s bring it back to present day…

Halfway through the brawl:

In the video of the fight, you can see Matt Kemp going absolutely bonkers in the scrum (kerfuffle, if you will). At one point, he had multiple teammates restraining him after getting in a face-to-face shouting match with Padres manager Bud Black.

After it looked like the dust had settled, Dodgers utility man Jerry Hairston, Jr. took off toward the Padres dugout with his finger pointed at someone. If Don Mattingly’s postgame comments are any indication, the Padre in question was backup catcher John Baker, who was raised in my hometown of Walnut Creek, CA and does not seem the type to be involved.

But as Hairston, Jr. tweeted later, he was going at the Padres because he saw a player making fun of Greinke:

Finally, the skirmish ended and Greinke was walked off the field by head trainer Sue Falsone. The umpires eventually ejected the pitcher, along with Quentin, Kemp, and Hairston, Jr. Shortly thereafter, Chris Capuano relieved Greinke on the bump for Los Angeles, and promptly allowed a game-tying single.

Though the unlikeliest of heroes, Juan Uribe, went deep later to help seal a 3-2 victory for the Dodgers, nothing could take the sting out of the news that broke after the game.

Postgame press conferences:

As soon as the game ended, fans demanded answers. Mattingly was happy to give them his, with multiple microphones stuck in his face. But first, the Dodgers got awful news regarding their $147 million pitcher:

According to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, who is by no means a medical expert but does his research very thoroughly, the Dodgers can expect to miss Greinke for at least six weeks:

So needless to say, Mattingly was upset with the result of everything except the win. When pressed about the incident, Mattingly referred to Quentin as an “idiot” who has “zero understanding of the game of baseball,” given the situation in which he charged the mound.

Most shockingly, the skipper also declared that Quentin deserved to be suspended for as long as Greinke was on the shelf. Many writers on Twitter agreed with this sentiment, and yours truly can’t argue the idea. Of course, Quentin won’t get a lengthy suspension. Chances are, he’ll be looking at a four or five game suspension at the most. But we will have to wait and see what kind of action the league decides to take, and also to see if they discipline Kemp for his actions.

As if Quentin needed anyone else against him, A.J. Ellis told Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times that a few Padres apologized to him on their teammate’s behalf:

We also have the video of Quentin’s postgame chat with reporters here, which is full of blame deflections and question avoidance. Black, Quentin’s manager, said the history between the two players did play a part in the brawl. Greinke responded with some comments of his own, insisting he didn’t mean to hit Quentin and never has in the past. Plus, additional notes from Mattingly on the injury at the beginning of the video:

After cooling off, you’d think the situation would be put to rest. Alas, this night got crazier…

In the clubhouse tunnel:

Kemp couldn’t let the issue go, and stayed extremely fired up at Quentin for injuring Greinke. He went after Quentin by the player’s exit, reportedly asking why he charged the mound and ended up injuring Kemp’s teammate:

The Associated Press was able to snag a picture of the two players arguing (see below) before they were separated. The scene could have gotten much uglier, but it was luckily diffused in time. On one hand, you have to admire Kemp’s willingness to defend his pitcher and not back down from what he considered a threat. Leadership like that can pull a team closer together.Matt Kemp, Carlos Quentin

But on the other hand, the last person the Dodgers need getting suspended or playing upset is Kemp. The star center fielder is already struggling with the bat so far in 2013, and needs to recognize the difference between playing hard and playing pissed.

At the end of the night, Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (who was injured in the World Baseball Classic and has been on the DL all season) tweeted a slight silver lining, apparently in an attempt to calm the angry hordes:

So the Dodgers won the game, the series, and a bit of hope from Ramirez. But losing Greinke is a huge blow for the Dodgers pitching staff, who will likely replace him with either Ted Lilly or Chris Capuano–both massive downgrades. San Diego and Los Angeles reconvene at Dodger Stadium for a three-game set on Monday, prompting the Dodgers official Twitter account to put out this gem after the game:

At the very least, that series will be under an intense microscope by fans, players and journalists everywhere. For the Padres, a chance to be relevant. For the Dodgers, a chance to prove that they are more than a rich all-star team–that they can win with talent and heart and team chemistry.

Stay tuned to Three Up, Three Down for more coverage as the news continues to roll in. Please vote in the polls below, and feel free to share your comments with us, too.

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

Follow @3u3d on Twitter and LIKE us on Facebook at Three Up, Three Down for all your breaking MLB news!

Advertisements

**UPDATE: Melky requests to be ineligible for batting title** MLB Unlikely to Interfere If Cabrera Wins NL Batting Title

UPDATE 12:30 p.m. 9/21/12: According to multiple sources, Cabrera has requested that he not be eligible for the NL batting title, and the league has obliged in a one-time exception!

First of all, let me give Melky the thumbs-up for a very smart, classy move. He knows he did wrong and doesn’t want to earn a rare honor based on a tarnished season. No matter how much I despise the guy, I can appreciate and respect this act.

Now the question becomes, why is this a one-time exception? If a player knows he cheated and the league has recognized that with a suspension, why not let them request this in the future? Why not make it a policy, in fact, to banish suspended PED users from award consideration anyway?

That’s all for now…check out the new poll below and let us know how you feel!

——-END OF UPDATE——-

…what? No, no. This must be a joke. BLAST! It’s no gag:

“We’ll see how it all plays out,” baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday after taping an episode of “CenterStage” for the YES Network. “We generally don’t interfere in that process. We’ll take a look at it at the end of the year.”

That quote comes directly from this Fox News story posted earlier today, and also includes this gem:

During the YES interview, scheduled to air for the first time Sept. 27, Selig was asked whether records set during the Steroids Era should be revisited.

“You can’t change records because once you get into that it would never stop,” Selig said. “It would create more problems than it would solve.”

Okay, first things first. It’s not “if” Cabrera wins the NL batting title. It’s “when.” And everyone knows that. I’m sorry, but Andrew McCutchen is not going to hit nearly .500 over the final 14 games of this season and overtake Cabrera. If he does, this blog becomes pointless and worthless and I will gladly eat my words.

“It would create more problems than it would solve?” The problem is that it isn’t being solved! SOLVE THAT, BUD!

Technically, Cabrera stands at 501 plate appearances, one short of the 502 required to qualify. But according to some rule in the rule book of rules locked deep within the rule hall in the annals of Major League Baseball’s rules department, the rule troll himself points out that an 0-for-1 can be added to the average to make Cabrera qualify, as long as it’s still above the second place finisher.

So it sounds as if Cabrera’s testosterone-induced .346 average will stand, no matter how much people like me cry and kick and scream. What I don’t understand is this: how can a Commissioner, so hell-bent on saving his own reputation by instituting one of the harshest drug-testing penalty systems in modern sports, just ignore this incidence?

Selig put so much work into creating a fair, stringent testing system to catch all those Popeye-lookin’ sluggers who were breaking home run records left and right. And now he’s going to let one of the players his system caught make a mockery of it?

And this isn’t Ryan Braun or Barry Bonds – both innocent, technically. This is a guy who was caught this year and said “Sorry I’m not sorry, dudes. I cheated.”

Okay, I’m sure Melky’s admission was a little more professional, but you get my point.

While Selig is in a giving mood, let’s pass out some other free milestones, shall we? Andres Galarraga and Al Kaline both retired with 399 home runs. Screw it, they get 400! Miguel Cabrera needs two more home runs to be leading the Triple Crown categories in the American League. All yours, Miggy! Or this, from Twitter:

Baseball is a hard-fought game in which accolades and milestones are earned, not given. And when a player directly, unabashedly disregards the integrity of the game for personal gain, it’s like a slap in the face.

Would you give someone who just slapped you in the face a diamond ring right after? It’s like Paul Edgecomb in “The Green Mile” (R.I.P. Michael Clarke Duncan) letting Wild Bill Wharton out of prison to accept a Nobel Peace Prize.

Give me a freakin’ break, Selig. Man up and make the move. Cabrera should absolutely not be allowed to win the NL batting title, based on three things:

1) Common sense

2) The integrity of the sport

3) More common sense

All I know is that this is an awful idea. And that Selig would not want this to be his last move as Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

End, rant. Let us know what you think about Melky Cabrera’s likely NL batting title in a PED-tainted season in the comments below. And VOTE in the poll!

Don’t forget to follow @3u3d on Twitter and LIKE Three Up, Three Down on Facebook.

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

Should the A’s and Giants Face Further Punishment?

We briefly brought up this topic on our most recent podcast: Should the A’s and Giants as teams be punished further for their PED-suspended players?

Everyone knows the names. Melky Cabrera for San Francisco and Bartolo Colon for Oakland, both major contributors to their respective teams’ success in 2012, were suspended for 50 games apiece by Major League Baseball for testing positive for testosterone.

And under the improved, more stringent suspension rules, they got a fair punishment. Both players will lose a lot of money in that span, don’t get to play in playoff races, and likely will receive a lot less interest as free agents. And even though the teams probably had no idea what was going on, should they be punished too?

Before you jump on me for being “biased” as a Dodgers fan, let me remind you that I’m also an A’s fan. I hate that PED’s are still a part of the game, and am not clamoring for an excuse as to why my Dodgers trail the Giants. The Giants have simply been better, and I’d rather beat them with Melky in the lineup if that was at all possible.

Now, back to the question. I truly believe that players would never screw around with serious PED’s if they knew it would take away wins from the group of guys that become like brothers to them over the course of a 162-game season. Do you think Cabrera would have screwed over his manager and buddies on the Giants for personal gain if he knew the team as a whole would be docked?

Would Colon have cheated if he knew that his rotation-mates and all the passionate fans in Oakland would lose in the win column? I doubt it.

I researched Cabrera’s WAR before the suspension for the 2012 season. It hovers around 4.5, depending on the source. You can reasonably assert that Cabrera was worth 4-5 wins for the Giants before his suspension this season. Colon is a trickier case because he’s a pitcher, but his WAR is listed as 2.8. I feel fine going out on a limb and saying a starting pitcher’s WAR can be doubled, considering they have a hand in every play.

So let’s say Cabrera was worth 5 wins for the Giants this year, and Colon was worth 6 for the A’s.

That would put the A’s in third place in the AL West, way back in the Wild Card race, and scrambling to make a comeback much like their division rival Angels are. It would put the Giants either tied or 1 game back in the NL West, and still on the verge of a Wild Card spot.

Personally, I think it’s worth discussing. Sure, the teams didn’t know what was going on. But they still benefited from the testosterone-fueled success that player may have brought to the team before the suspension kicked in. It may be difficult to figure out a system, but even having that provision in the doping rules would potentially reduce use by a good margin.

Do you think this is something MLB should take into consideration? Should a suspended player’s team also be punished for the wins they accumulated with that player on the roster? VOTE below, and let us know your opinion in the comments!

Don’t forget to follow @3u3d on Twitter and LIKE Three Up, Three Down on Facebook!

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

Stinky Colon: Next PED Suspension Victim

Well, it seems we know where the PED’s all come from. Much like babies come from storks, presents on Christmas come from the North Pole, and penguins come from Antarctica, all performance enhancing drugs taken by baseball players clearly originate in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I do live here. I am NOT on PED’s. I swear. Test me.

But after Melky Cabrera became the second San Francisco Giant to be suspended for use of an illegal substance, the fun was just beginning. Apparently, the Oakland A’s “fluffy” (for lack of a kinder term) starting pitcher Bartolo Colon wasn’t all beefed up on In-N-Out alone.

He was also suspended earlier this week for use of testosterone, and much like Cabrera, straight up admitted guilt without appealing.

I don’t get it. At least try to fight the suspension. DON’T try to make a fake website. But as Colon and Cabrera have so aptly demonstrated, abandoning your teammates, management and fans is the new thing to do these days.

I won’t go into the detail of why taking PED’s is stupid and wrong and unfair, or how it affects the MLB policies and all that jazz that I mentioned in the Melky blog.

But, I’ll tell you how this affects the A’s: not as much as you might think.

Why?

If you haven’t noticed (you haven’t – nobody outside Northern California follows the A’s!), the young pitching staff of the A’s has been absolutely rocking it. And just when the rookies like Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker are beginning to experience growing pains, back come Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson to improve the rotation.

Losing Colon hurts. He’s been the team’s most consistent pitcher in 2012 (alas, it was all a dream!). But the two guys they are getting back off the DL are both better than Colon, meaning the A’s may have actually improved their rotation. Imagine that.

So will Colon’s suspension knock the A’s out of playoff contention? Tell us below in the comments!

Don’t forget to follow @3u3d on Twitter and LIKE Three Up, Three Down on Facebook!

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)