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Sunday, August 03, 2014

Pouliot: Just Fire Kirk Gibson Already

On Saturday, the Diamondbacks flat-out embarrassed themselves. Because of their mentality, it was a given that they’d seek revenge after Paul Goldschmidt suffered a broken finger when he was hit by a pitch during Friday’s game. There was nothing intentional about that pitch, something Goldschmidt himself acknowledged. But the Diamondbacks were going to drill Andrew McCutchen last night regardless.

No, what was pathetic about the whole incident was that the Diamondbacks did nothing the first three times McCutchen was up. They waited until they were down 5-1 in the ninth, then they had Randall Delgado throw a 95-mph fastball at the small of McCutchen’s back. A little higher, and a team with no postseason aspirations might have had a huge effect on a team aiming to play in October.

It was a true act of cowardice from baseball’s most ludicrous tough guys.

MLB will suspend Delgado for the incident, but what it really needs to do is go after the director. Delgado was following orders. Gibson orchestrated things. An uncommonly long suspension would serve him right.

Harry Balsagne, anti-Centaur hate crime division Posted: August 03, 2014 at 10:49 AM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: diamondbacks

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   1. Spahn Insane Posted: August 03, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4763346)
Not that this has anything to do with TFA, but I had no idea Randall Delgado was a D'Back. Last I remember hearing of him was when the Cubs were trying to trade Ryan Dempster in 2012, and supposedly a deal to send him to Atlanta for Delgado was done but fell through, leaving much of Cub nation disappointed. We ended up "settling" for Kyle Hendricks and Christian Villanueva from Texas, which I'd have to say I'm pretty happy with in retrospect.
   2. JE (Jason) Posted: August 03, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4763350)
In fairness, was there any reason to keep Kirk Gibson around before last night's game?
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: August 03, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4763359)
This article may be 100% factual, but as people like to point out about the Cardinals high hit by pitch totals (and the Pirates lead the league in hit by pitch) the high totals indicate a willingness to come inside, while not having the command to place it right where they want it, if they don't want teams to retaliate against accidental beanings, then they have to stop trying to come inside with pitchers less than good control.

The issue wasn't that Goldschmidt got hit, the issue was that Goldschmidt was the third Diamondback to be hit after two games of the series. You absolutely have to hit one of their players if they are treating your team like it's a shooting gallery. Earlier this year Matt Holliday was hit by the Dodgers because of a Hanley Ramirez accidental hitting, everyone in the stadium knew it was going to happen, knew who was going to get hit, and everyone on both sides of the bench knew that the Ramirez hbp was an accident.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 03, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4763366)
This article may be 100% factual, but as people like to point out about the Cardinals high hit by pitch totals (and the Pirates lead the league in hit by pitch) the high totals indicate a willingness to come inside, while not having the command to place it right where they want it, if they don't want teams to retaliate against accidental beanings, then they have to stop trying to come inside with pitchers less than good control.

The issue wasn't that Goldschmidt got hit, the issue was that Goldschmidt was the third Diamondback to be hit after two games of the series. You absolutely have to hit one of their players if they are treating your team like it's a shooting gallery. Earlier this year Matt Holliday was hit by the Dodgers because of a Hanley Ramirez accidental hitting, everyone in the stadium knew it was going to happen, knew who was going to get hit, and everyone on both sides of the bench knew that the Ramirez hbp was an accident.


If it's accidental, you take your base. You don't have the right to retaliate for poor control, unless it's at head level, and really dangerous. Mediocre pitchers need to throw inside even more than good ones.

If you get your hand broken, that's on you. Learn to get out of the way. If hitters don't want to get hit, stop leaning over the plate.
   5. McCoy Posted: August 03, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4763369)
That is silly logic. Pitchers aren't going to stop pitching inside and occasionally hitting a player because the other side intentionally beans a batter now and then. If major leaguers and managers actually believe this then they are much dumber than I thought was possible.

The reality is that it is basically motivated by revenge and retaliation. The thought of "we have to do something to get back at them". Plain and simple. Which is still pretty dumb but at least a human motivation that we can understand.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 03, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4763372)
The reality is that it is basically motivated by revenge and retaliation. The thought of "we have to do something to get back at them". Plain and simple. Which is still pretty dumb but at least a human motivation that we can understand.

True, but rational human beings don't take revenge for accidents. If you cause a accident and my car gets total, I don't vandalize your house.

If the guy is head-hunting, sure, throw at him next time he bats (in the NL there's no reason not to hit the pitcher himself). But a chest-high fastball hitting you on the wrists is just an accident; no retaliation is called for, or justified.
   7. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: August 03, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4763373)
You absolutely have to hit one of their players if . . .


. . . if nothing.

It's against the rules to intentionally throw at a batter.
   8. McCoy Posted: August 03, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4763377)
True, but rational human beings don't take revenge for accidents. If you cause a accident and my car gets total, I don't vandalize your house.

Driving down the road isn't a competition. If you're competing and one of the other competitors accidentally knocks you out you're going to get ticked. If it happens several times you're going to strike back. I'm not saying it is justified but it is a natural human reaction to the events. And really driving doesn't really work as a comparison. If a fellow driver repeatedly knocks you out of races then you showing him that you'll knock him out of the race if he doesn't back off is a rational thought. Throwing at pitcher's teammate isn't going to stop him from pitching inside.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 03, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4763380)
Driving down the road isn't a competition. If you're competing and one of the other competitors accidentally knocks you out you're going to get ticked. If it happens several times you're going to strike back. I'm not saying it is justified but it is a natural human reaction to the events. And really driving doesn't really work as a comparison. If a fellow driver repeatedly knocks you out of races then you showing him that you'll knock him out of the race if he doesn't back off is a rational thought. Throwing at pitcher's teammate isn't going to stop him from pitching inside.

OK, to use your analogy, the Pirate opponents should start pitching in side, and moving them off the plate. That's perfectly legit, even if a few of them get hit.

There's always been a recognized difference in baseball between a "brush-back" and literally trying to hit the guy. I think that difference is meaningful. The pitcher has a right to throw inside, and the hitter has an obligation to be aware of that risk, and be ready to get out of the way. Trying to hit the guy is out of bounds, under most all normal circumstances. But, if the batter choose a style which makes him unable to react to a normal inside pitch below the shoulders, getting hit is on him.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: August 03, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4763383)
True, but rational human beings don't take revenge for accidents. If you cause a accident and my car gets total, I don't vandalize your house.


If my car gets totaled because you were driving recklessly, then I would be rightfully ticked off. Same thing with pitching. The actual hit batter might have been accidental, but you are acting in a reckless manner that is leading to higher than average probability of that accident happening.

I'm not faulting the Pirates(or Cardinals or 60's Dodgers etc.) for pitching the way that they do, it's a valid high risk strategy, at the same time, I can't fault the other team for expressing emotion at their reckless ways and retaliating.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 03, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4763384)
If my car gets totaled because you were driving recklessly, then I would be rightfully ticked off. Same thing with pitching. The actual hit batter might have been accidental, but you are acting in a reckless manner that is leading to higher than average probability of that accident happening.

Throwing inside below the shoulders isn't reckless. Hitters hang over the plate. A broken finger is no big deal in the scheme of things.

I'm not faulting the Pirates(or Cardinals or 60's Dodgers etc.) for pitching the way that they do, it's a valid high risk strategy, at the same time, I can't fault the other team for expressing emotion at their reckless ways and retaliating.

Then the other team can brush back hitters too. They shouldn't nail a guy in the shoulders, where he has no chance of avoiding it.
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: August 03, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4763385)
It's against the rules to intentionally throw at a batter.


With a set of punishments written for the action, and you accept that punishment also.
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: August 03, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4763386)
Throwing inside below the shoulders isn't reckless. Hitters hang over the plate. A broken finger is no big deal in the scheme of things.


Throwing inside below the shoulder when you don't have pin point control, is absolutely reckless.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 03, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4763387)
Throwing inside below the shoulder when you don't have pin point control, is absolutely reckless.

Not by any reasonable baseball definition. If a big league hitter hasn't learned to turn out of the way, and protect his hands, that's his failure. Don Baylor and Ron Hunt and Craig Biggio got hit 1000 times without getting hurt.

Throwing above the shoulders is reckless because an errant pitch could maim someone for life. Throwing lower isn't reckless b/c the worst that can happen is an ordinary baseball injury.
   15. McCoy Posted: August 03, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4763390)
Throwing inside below the shoulder when you don't have pin point control, is absolutely reckless.

Standing close to an area where baseballs routinely whiz by at 80+ mph and not having the ability to get out of the way in time is absolutely reckless as well.
   16. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 03, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4763393)
Driving down the road isn't a competition.


A great majority of people think it is.
   17. bfan Posted: August 03, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4763405)
They waited until they were down 5-1 in the ninth,


But isn't it SMART to wait to give up a base until the game is not in doubt? There is some hint that it is what-smarter? manlier? to hit him earlier? If you are going to hit him, this is when to do it, I do believe.
   18. Bruce Markusen Posted: August 03, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4763411)
The idea isn't just to retaliate for retaliation's sake, but to send the message to the other team: "Stop hitting our guys." If you don't retaliate, you're basically giving the other team a waiver to keep throwing at your players.

There's also a dynamic in the clubhouse that no one seems willing to understand. If your pitchers don't back you up by retaliating, it creates resentment between the hitters and the pitchers on the club. That may not matter to some, but it does matter to the majority of major league players.
   19. AJMcCringleberry Posted: August 03, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4763412)
That may not matter to some, but it does matter to the majority of major league players.

A majority of major league players are dumb.
   20. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 03, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4763413)
I'm a lifelong Pirate fan, but jeez, 61 HBPs this year? Lead the league by 13, one of every nine HBPs this year in the NL. Led the league last year with 70 all season.
   21. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 03, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4763424)
I'm a lifelong Pirate fan, but jeez, 61 HBPs this year? Lead the league by 13, one of every nine HBPs this year in the NL. Led the league last year with 70 all season.



And a league-leading 60 HBP by your batters, also the second straight season they've sat atop that category. Truly a giveth and taketh situation.

And for all of Gibson's, and Towers', bluster, the Diamondbacks are only at 32 HBP by their pitchers and 39 of their hitters.

   22. #6bid is partially elite Posted: August 03, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4763430)
I'm a lifelong Pirate fan, but jeez, 61 HBPs this year? Lead the league by 13, one of every nine HBPs this year in the NL. Led the league last year with 70 all season.


And a league-leading 60 HBP by your batters, also the second straight season they've sat atop that category. Truly a giveth and taketh situation.


Why assume malice when simple incompetence could be the cause? Perhaps the batters' boxes at PNC Park are drawn too close to the plate.
   23. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 03, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4763432)
Last year DBacks hit more opposing batters than they were hit. Despite that after the season Towers publicly warned his pitchers they better start plunking more guys to "protect" their own hitters.

Gibson/Towers are both huge embarrassments and terrible at their jobs.
   24. jdennis Posted: August 03, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4763433)
I've said this before, but I want to see a pitcher refuse to hit somebody, and the manager come out to chew him out, and the pitcher just walks off rather than hit the guy.
   25. Mike Emeigh Posted: August 03, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4763443)
As I noted before, if the Pirates maintain their lead in both categories it will be the first time in MLB history that the same team led the league in both categories in back-to-back seasons.

I'm of the opinion that pitchers - no matter how good or bad - need to own the inside part of the plate. As a couple of people have noted, the proper reaction for a hitter is to learn how to get out of the way; if you lean out over the plate and you get hit, that's on you.

I think that the basic problem here is that umpires generally wait until the initial situation has been created before they step in. Bill James suggested that umpires should eject a pitcher for coming inside too often, without going through the charade of the warning (just as the umpires are allowed to eject a pitcher for throwing an illegal pitch based on their judgment of the flight of the ball, without necessarily requiring evidence of doctoring). If the umpires could/would do that, they might nip this kind of thing in the bud.

-- MWE
   26. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 03, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4763448)
Why assume malice when simple incompetence could be the cause? Perhaps the batters' boxes at PNC Park are drawn too close to the plate.


I never assume malice when it comes to HBPs. Most are pure accident or, at worse, an attempts to come inside that move too far inside.

And in most cases, HBPs are just as much on the batter as they are on the pitcher. Certain batters either welcome them (Biggio) or are not adept at getting out of the way, while others are quite skilled at eluding them (Papi). The Pirates league-leading HBPs by their batters are almost certainly the result of a team that is more prone to get hit than the other NL teams. Their pitching HBPs could be the result of several factors, none of which is likely to involve increased sociopathy.

   27. cardsfanboy Posted: August 03, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4763456)
I'm of the opinion that pitchers - no matter how good or bad - need to own the inside part of the plate. As a couple of people have noted, the proper reaction for a hitter is to learn how to get out of the way; if you lean out over the plate and you get hit, that's on you.

I think that the basic problem here is that umpires generally wait until the initial situation has been created before they step in. Bill James suggested that umpires should eject a pitcher for coming inside too often, without going through the charade of the warning (just as the umpires are allowed to eject a pitcher for throwing an illegal pitch based on their judgment of the flight of the ball, without necessarily requiring evidence of doctoring). If the umpires could/would do that, they might nip this kind of thing in the bud.


I absolutely agree with the first paragraph here, not sure I agree with the second paragraph. If anything, I think the umpires need to be more aggressive in arguing that the batter did not make a reasonable attempt to get out of the way. The only thing that ejecting pitchers for throwing inside more frequently is going to do is make batters more likely to lean over. Umpires really need to stop awarding a base to batters who are getting hit because of their own decision to not get out of the way. (also we need to completely eliminate the hit on jersey rule)
   28. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 03, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4763467)
Umpires really need to stop awarding a base to batters who are getting hit because of their own decision to not get out of the way.


This is backwards. Since umpires are not likely to do this (and it is probably more than we should be asking from the home plate umpire, who has a more pressing concern), baseball should simply do away with the requirement that batters try to get out of the way to earn an HBP. It never made sense anyway.

If you throw the ball inside the batter's box and the guy gets hit, it's an HBP. If he wants to try to avoid it, bully for him, but he's under no obligation to bail the pitcher out for the pitcher's wildness.* It really makes no sense to put it on the batter to absolve the pitcher of his mistake.

Additionally, if a batter gets hit by a pitch when the ball is outside the batter's box, then it's no HBP (whether it's an automatic strike or a ball/strike depending on the location, I could go either way).

This way, the umpire merely needs to do what he should be doing _ identifying the location of the pitch, and the batter's actions are irrelevant. Moreover, we don't have to worry about body armor (pro or con), or guys standing too close, or random enforcement of the hard-to-police get out of the way rules. All that matters on an HBP is the location of the pitch, which is all that should matter.

* Batters would not be able to move into a pitch that wouldn't hit them, but that's rare enough not to be too worried about it).


   29. filihok Posted: August 03, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4763483)
This is backwards. Since umpires are not likely to do this (and it is probably more than we should be asking from the home plate umpire, who has a more pressing concern), baseball should simply do away with the requirement that batters try to get out of the way to earn an HBP. It never made sense anyway.

If you throw the ball inside the batter's box and the guy gets hit, it's an HBP. If he wants to try to avoid it, bully for him, but he's under no obligation to bail the pitcher out for the pitcher's wildness.* It really makes no sense to put it on the batter to absolve the pitcher of his mistake.

Additionally, if a batter gets hit by a pitch when the ball is outside the batter's box, then it's no HBP (whether it's an automatic strike or a ball/strike depending on the location, I could go either way).

This way, the umpire merely needs to do what he should be doing _ identifying the location of the pitch, and the batter's actions are irrelevant. Moreover, we don't have to worry about body armor (pro or con), or guys standing too close, or random enforcement of the hard-to-police get out of the way rules. All that matters on an HBP is the location of the pitch, which is all that should matter.

* Batters would not be able to move into a pitch that wouldn't hit them, but that's rare enough not to be too worried about it).

Agreed.



To the bigger point, if the average 3rd grader knows that responding to a transgression by throwing something is unacceptable then major leaguers should also be able to grasp that fact.
   30. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 03, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4763490)
I absolutely agree with the first paragraph here, not sure I agree with the second paragraph. If anything, I think the umpires need to be more aggressive in arguing that the batter did not make a reasonable attempt to get out of the way. The only thing that ejecting pitchers for throwing inside more frequently is going to do is make batters more likely to lean over. Umpires really need to stop awarding a base to batters who are getting hit because of their own decision to not get out of the way. (also we need to completely eliminate the hit on jersey rule)


I agree. Though I could live with SoSH's suggestion too--if you moved the batter's box about four inches back off the plate.
   31. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 03, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4763529)
I'm a lifelong Pirate fan, but jeez, 61 HBPs this year? Lead the league by 13, one of every nine HBPs this year in the NL. Led the league last year with 70 all season.

I don't know what's going on with Charlie Morton over the last year plus, but this is largely him. He led the NL last season with 16 HBP despite only pitching 116 innings. This year, he already has 18 through 2/3 of the season, putting him on pace to end up with possibly the highest single-season total in over 100 years (the current high over the last century is Howard Ehmke's 23 in 1922).
   32. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 03, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4763535)
Charlie Morton makes it a point to pitch to the inside corner as an important part of his strategy, and doesn't have the command to avoid regularly hitting batters who invariably crowd the plate.
   33. toratoratora Posted: August 03, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4763537)
I've said this before, but I want to see a pitcher refuse to hit somebody, and the manager come out to chew him out, and the pitcher just walks off rather than hit the guy.

One of my favorite Baseball stories, from an Ira Berkow NYT article

"In the spring of 1942, a 20-year-old left-handed pitcher who wound up having no decisions in his four appearances with the Boston Braves that season was pitching in an exhibition game against the Brooklyn Dodgers. At one point Boston Manager Casey Stengel instructed the young pitcher to brush back the batter, Pee Wee Reese. He refused.

Stengel immediately dispatched the pitcher to the minors, to Hartford of the Eastern League.

''Gutless,'' Stengel said of him.

The next year, 1943, the pitcher enlisted and found himself in Europe with the Army's combat engineers in World War II. He participated in the savage Battle of the Bulge and the seizure of the bridge at Remagen, and when it was over, First Lt. Warren Edward Spahn was awarded a Purple Heart for a shrapnel wound and a Bronze Star for bravery and a battlefield commission.

''I said 'no guts' to a kid who wound up being a war hero and one of the best pitchers anybody ever saw,'' Stengel said. ''You can't say I don't miss 'em when I miss 'em.''
   34. Dale Sams Posted: August 03, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4763538)
1. You feel like you "have" to hit the guy...fine. Hit him with a curveball. There, you hit him. Hit satisfied. Throw at his feet. There, hit satisfied.

2. Why can't Torre ask Gibson point blank, "Did you order him to hit him?" and if he says, no then let it be known that Delgado is going to serve a longer suspension. Let's see how that shakes things up when players know their managers are going to lie and throw them under the bus.
   35. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 03, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4763539)
2. Why can't Torre ask Gibson point blank, "Did you order him to hit him?" and if he says, no then let it be known that Delgado is going to serve a longer suspension. Let's see how that shakes things up when players know their managers are going to lie and throw them under the bus.


Presumably, Delgado is also lying to Torre with claims that he didn't hit McCutchen on purpose. I think there's merit to the idea of suspending/fining both the player and his manager, but I don't think it would open the honesty floodgates from the participants.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 03, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4763544)
1. You feel like you "have" to hit the guy...fine. Hit him with a curveball. There, you hit him. Hit satisfied. Throw at his feet. There, hit satisfied.

Or at least throw a BP fastball at his ass. Hitting a guy in the shoulders is too close to the head, and you shouldn't be throwing 95.
   37. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 03, 2014 at 07:00 PM (#4763562)
Charlie Morton makes it a point to pitch to the inside corner as an important part of his strategy, and doesn't have the command to avoid regularly hitting batters who invariably crowd the plate.


Yup. Morton has a lot of natural movement on his fastball, and sometimes that means that he misses inside. He also puts a ton of balls in the dirt, for the same reason.

Anyone who thought that Frieri was deliberately throwing at Goldschmidt obviously hasn't seen Frieri pitch at all this year. He's been all the #### over the place since the Pirates got him. If the prospect of getting non-tendered at the end of the year isn't enough to convince him to throw strikes, then a different player on his team getting hit by a pitch certainly isn't going to do it.
   38. McCoy Posted: August 03, 2014 at 07:21 PM (#4763568)
Baseball should just move the batters box back and setup a yellow card/red card system. Basically MLB should be doing everything in their power to get the ball put back into play and create action. Shrink gloves, slightly deaden the ball, lower the mound, move the box back, and standardize bat thickness and weights.
   39. cardsfanboy Posted: August 03, 2014 at 07:21 PM (#4763569)
Anyone who thought that Frieri was deliberately throwing at Goldschmidt obviously hasn't seen Frieri pitch at all this year. He's been all the #### over the place since the Pirates got him. If the prospect of getting non-tendered at the end of the year isn't enough to convince him to throw strikes, then a different player on his team getting hit by a pitch certainly isn't going to do it.


I do not think anyone thought he was throwing at him intentionally. But he was the third player hit in two games by the Pirates. If the Pirates are going to come inside, their hitters should understand that when their pitching staff makes mistakes, that they will feel the punishment.

I don't see that as that much of a surprise.
   40. cardsfanboy Posted: August 03, 2014 at 07:22 PM (#4763570)
Baseball should just move the batters box back and setup a yellow card/red card system. Basically MLB should be doing everything in their power to get the ball put back into play and create action. Shrink gloves, slightly deaden the ball, lower the mound, move the box back, and standardize bat thickness and weights.


I'm fully on board with the shrinking gloves argument. Not sure about any of the other proposals though.
   41. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 03, 2014 at 07:28 PM (#4763573)
McCutchen strained either an abdominal muscle or a lat today, which pretty much puts the Pirates' 2014 season to rest. I wonder--really, I don't know, I am wondering--whether playing in pain from last night's injury might have contributed.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 03, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4763578)
I do not think anyone thought he was throwing at him intentionally. But he was the third player hit in two games by the Pirates. If the Pirates are going to come inside, their hitters should understand that when their pitching staff makes mistakes, that they will feel the punishment.

The punishment is the free baserunners. If the batter is so aggrieved, charge the mound. Why should some completely unrelated 3rd party suffer the retaliation?

Baseball should just move the batters box back and setup a yellow card/red card system. Basically MLB should be doing everything in their power to get the ball put back into play and create action. Shrink gloves, slightly deaden the ball, lower the mound, move the box back, and standardize bat thickness and weights.

Concur.
   43. PreservedFish Posted: August 03, 2014 at 08:03 PM (#4763586)
As an owner of both Goldschmidt and McCutchen, I find the last two days' events to be totally outrageous.
   44. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 03, 2014 at 08:11 PM (#4763590)
getting back to the original headline nobody has done more damage to his personal brand in baseball thank kirk gibson

if one's managing is indicative of one's intellect gibson is a vindictive, petty half wit

stupid merits getting fired

i am sorry to learn that kirk gibson is the baseball equivalent of a small-town mayor
   45. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 03, 2014 at 09:33 PM (#4763615)
I do not think anyone thought he was throwing at him intentionally.


a) Dave McKay was certainly acting like he thought it was intentional, when he started screaming at Russell Martin on the field.

b) If the pitcher isn't doing it on purpose, then the whole idea of the retaliatory pitch as a deterrent falls apart, and it just becomes pointless jackassery.
   46. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 03, 2014 at 10:16 PM (#4763629)
I've said this before, but I want to see a pitcher refuse to hit somebody, and the manager come out to chew him out, and the pitcher just walks off rather than hit the guy.


Sean Tracey was brought into a game once by Ozzie Guillen for the sole purpose of hitting Hank Blalock with a pitch. After throwing inside twice but failing to hit Blalock, he induced a groundout. Then he was taken out of the game and berated, and never played in the majors again.
   47. depletion Posted: August 03, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4763635)
Bill James suggested that umpires should eject a pitcher for coming inside too often, without going through the charade of the warning

I completely agree with this. Intentional or just wildness, it's a safety issue. I seem to recall that the "class" way to react to a batter injured by a pitch is to throw at the next opposing hitter in the midsection-to-butt area; not the knees and not the shoulders.
By the way, the only time I recall a batter not given first base due to no effort avoiding a pitch that hit him was Jack Hiatt vs. Don Drysdale in a famous at bat that enabled Drysdale to get the scoreless innings streak record.
   48. Srul Itza At Home Posted: August 04, 2014 at 12:18 AM (#4763665)
Last year DBacks hit more opposing batters than they were hit. Despite that after the season Towers publicly warned his pitchers they better start plunking more guys to "protect" their own hitters.

Gibson/Towers are both huge embarrassments and terrible at their jobs.


The second paragraph is true completely independently of the first.
   49. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 04, 2014 at 12:29 AM (#4763671)
I do not think anyone thought he was throwing at him intentionally. But he was the third player hit in two games by the Pirates. If the Pirates are going to come inside, their hitters should understand that when their pitching staff makes mistakes, that they will feel the punishment.

I don't see that as that much of a surprise.


It's not a surprise because most baseball players, managers, fans and MLB management are morons.

When your product is much better when it's stars play and pitch in as many games as possible, beanball wars are the dumbest thing ever.
   50. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 04, 2014 at 01:17 AM (#4763686)
If it's accidental, you take your base. You don't have the right to retaliate for poor control, unless it's at head level, and really dangerous. Mediocre pitchers need to throw inside even more than good ones.

Just like in "real law", you can incur HBP liability based on either intent or negligence. You can't just keep hitting people and saying "our bad".
   51. Bruce Chen's Huge Panamanian Robot Posted: August 04, 2014 at 03:39 AM (#4763693)
I've always hated Kirk Gibson. A guy his age shouldn't still be doing the tough jock thing, especially one who looks 10-15 years older than he actually is. It's embarrassing.
   52. vivaelpujols Posted: August 04, 2014 at 06:22 AM (#4763696)
I completely agree with CFB here and I think snapper is being very literal minded and naive. If you continually throw inside that's going to increase the odds of a HBP. I think the opposing team has the right to discourage that if they want. If hitting someone on an inside pitch isn't "negligence" because the damage is minimal, than retaliation is also not a big deal for the same reason.
   53. Rob_Wood Posted: August 04, 2014 at 06:57 AM (#4763699)
Dick Dietz
   54. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 04, 2014 at 07:51 AM (#4763707)
It's not a surprise because most baseball players, managers, fans and MLB management are morons.


The baseball boards that are stats oriented are really interesting: big sport is obviously some manifestation of tribalism and belonging for people, and yet these boards always carry some amount of this sentiment of looking down on it. It should be pretty obvious that the moron is the person who spends all his or her time thinking and talking about the others, and that the people who are actually doing it are the ones who have it together.
   55. McCoy Posted: August 04, 2014 at 08:18 AM (#4763717)
Um, sure. Athletes have it together. Right
   56. zonk Posted: August 04, 2014 at 08:53 AM (#4763728)
getting back to the original headline nobody has done more damage to his personal brand in baseball thank kirk gibson

if one's managing is indicative of one's intellect gibson is a vindictive, petty half wit

stupid merits getting fired

i am sorry to learn that kirk gibson is the baseball equivalent of a small-town mayor


I don't know, wasn't this always Gibson's brand? The madman football player who was involved in baseball?

This doesn't seem any different than the same Kirk Gibson I've been reading about for 30 years - it's just that his position as a manager allows him to do things he couldn't as a player.

I know he was the hero of the '88 series and all - and that was a special HR - but I also remember a story from spring training where Gibson acted like a whack job when someone put shaving cream in his mitt or cap during spring training. The retrospective view of that incident was that Gibson made the Dodgers "get serious" about winning, yada yada... I distinctly remember it being reported (in newspapers!) at the time as more of a WTF, this is something done all the time, especially to new teammates.

Gibson has always just come off as a rather humorless, vindictive, and mean guy... Sort of like Billy Martin, but Martin would occasionally demonstrate a sense of humor.
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 04, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4763743)
I completely agree with CFB here and I think snapper is being very literal minded and naive. If you continually throw inside that's going to increase the odds of a HBP. I think the opposing team has the right to discourage that if they want. If hitting someone on an inside pitch isn't "negligence" because the damage is minimal, than retaliation is also not a big deal for the same reason.

I agree that retaliation isn't a "big deal" if it's done the right way. You brush somebody back with a pitch well below the shoulders.
   58. Moeball Posted: August 04, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4763765)
I've said this before, but I want to see a pitcher refuse to hit somebody, and the manager come out to chew him out, and the pitcher just walks off rather than hit the guy.

One of my favorite Baseball stories, from an Ira Berkow NYT article

"In the spring of 1942, a 20-year-old left-handed pitcher who wound up having no decisions in his four appearances with the Boston Braves that season was pitching in an exhibition game against the Brooklyn Dodgers. At one point Boston Manager Casey Stengel instructed the young pitcher to brush back the batter, Pee Wee Reese. He refused.

Stengel immediately dispatched the pitcher to the minors, to Hartford of the Eastern League.

''Gutless,'' Stengel said of him.


Supposedly Spahn has been quoted as saying that he played for Casey "before and after he was a genius" since he played for Casey in Boston in the '40s and in '65 with the Mets.

Met Warren Spahn once in the mid-'90s - I asked him about what really happened that day as I had also heard this tale about refusing to throw at a hitter. It's fairly well documented.

His response was that it never happened and he had no idea what I was talking about! So much for legends...
   59. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 04, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4763775)
2. Why can't Torre ask Gibson point blank, "Did you order him to hit him?" and if he says, no then let it be known that Delgado is going to serve a longer suspension. Let's see how that shakes things up when players know their managers are going to lie and throw them under the bus.


Back in the day (i.e, 70s/80s, Torre was a big believer in "old school" retaliation nonsense...
   60. vivaelpujols Posted: August 04, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4763778)
I agree that retaliation isn't a "big deal" if it's done the right way. You brush somebody back with a pitch well below the shoulders.


Maybe he was trying to do that but missed because he doesn't have good control.
   61. Ron J2 Posted: August 04, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4763815)
#14 I know Ron Hunt was in fact frequently hurt. He often joked about it, but check his games played in his prime. He was always missing a couple of games recovering from a nasty bruise.

Don Baylor also got hurt more than once by a HBP. Once in the heat of a pennant race while he was an elite player.
   62. Ron J2 Posted: August 04, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4763820)
#24 That was what started the whole Roseboro/Marichal incident. Roseboro thought Marichal was owed one, Koufax flatly refused to throw at him (or anybody) so Roseboro buzzed him with the throws back to Koufax. After the second one, Marichal snapped.
   63. Dale Sams Posted: August 04, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4763870)
Like I said above, if you really, really are mad about your star getting his hand accidentally broken, then hit the guy in the ass with a curveball. What kind of psycho hits a guy, well after the fact, with a 95 mph fastball?
   64. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 04, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4763905)
Sean Tracey was brought into a game once by Ozzie Guillen for the sole purpose of hitting Hank Blalock with a pitch. After throwing inside twice but failing to hit Blalock, he induced a groundout. Then he was taken out of the game and berated, and never played in the majors again.


He's still playing indy ball, so I guess you never say never, right?
   65. The District Attorney Posted: August 04, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4763936)
MLB will suspend Delgado for the incident, but what it really needs to do is go after the director. Delgado was following orders. Gibson orchestrated things.
Huh. My first reaction to seeing the headline was that you could fire Gibson, but Towers will probably just replace him with John Kreese or somebody. Towers is the head Neanderthal here.
   66. Ron J2 Posted: August 04, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4763987)
#56 Kind of frightening to think of Billy Martin's personality allied to Kirk Gibson's size.

But Gibson's not really in Martin's league as a menace to society. I can imagine him breaking somebody's jaw. I can't imagine him doing so with a sucker punch.

On the other hand I can absolutely imagine Gibson brawling with one of his players, so I guess there is that.
   67. Bruce Markusen Posted: August 04, 2014 at 07:05 PM (#4764314)
It's not about MOST players being morons, despite what's being contended here. It's like any workplace situation. People generally want to work in a department or an office where they feel that their co-workers have their back. They like to work with people who will come to their defense, particularly if they feel they have been wronged in some way.

Ballplayers are really no different than most workers. It's just that the way that they want their "wrongs" righted is in a highly physical manner, rather than verbally.

And I'm no Gibson defender either. He's one of the more reprehensible people in the game--he's been a grump for years, going back to his days as a player and that famed incident when a Dodgers teammate put lampblack in his cap--and a lousy manager. But we don't even know for sure if he ordered his pitcher to throw at McCutchen, or if it was done on the pitcher's choice.

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