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Friday, March 14, 2014

Renck: In plunking Troy Tulowitzki, Diamondbacks way off base

Makes about as much sense as Plunkblog.

Mediocrity has made the Diamondbacks angry.

Their rattle is louder. After consecutive .500 records, they overhauled their roster and have conducted Camp Tougher Meaner. Their new edge, while understandable, took a forked tongue in the road Wednesday night at Salt River Fields when Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley hit Rockies shortstop Troy Tulo- witzki with a fastball in the left calf near his fibula.

...The Rockies’ season could have been over before it started. And for what? Machismo gone wild?

Tulowitzki was hit after Tommy Kahnle smacked Arizona slugger Mark Trumbo in the back. Asked whether he thought Miley meant to hit him, Tulowitzki declined comment. Rockies manager Walt Weiss couldn’t mask his disappointment, saying “you never want to see one of your guys hit.”

The idea of retaliation is unfathomable in a Cactus League game. And yet the Rockies were privately convinced that Miley’s pitch was on purpose. Why?

Arizona general manager Kevin Towers said before spring training that he wants his pitchers to hit more batters this season. “I think come spring training, it will be duly noted that it’s going to be an eye for an eye and we’re going to protect one another,” Towers told MLB.com. “If not, if you have options, there’s ways to get you out of here, and if you don’t follow suit or you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you probably don’t belong in a Diamondbacks uniform.”

Frontier justice has a place in baseball. But it requires context. A cleats-up slide. Admiration of a home run like it’s a first born. Bad blood. None of these factors existed Wednesday.

Why would Hernandez, a guy with no chance of making the team, throw at Trumbo with a runner at first base? A big inning only accelerates his exit to the minors.

Trumbo wears it, then Tulo takes one. The Diamondbacks, because of their public stance on this issue, lose benefit of the doubt. Every time they hit a guy, opponents will believe there is intent. Speaking with Arizona reporters Thursday, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson denied it.

“It’s part of the game. It can happen in spring or during the regular season,” Gibson said. “I think one of the things we’ve focused on is using all quadrants of the plate. We’re not out there intentionally trying to hurt anybody. Nobody wants their guy to get hit and neither do we, but it’s part of the game.”

Repoz Posted: March 14, 2014 at 05:30 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: diamondbacks, rockies

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Drexl Spivey Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:10 AM (#4671315)
Arizona general manager Kevin Towers said before spring training that he wants his pitchers to hit more batters this season. “I think come spring training, it will be duly noted that it’s going to be an eye for an eye and we’re going to protect one another,” Towers told MLB.com. “If not, if you have options, there’s ways to get you out of here, and if you don’t follow suit or you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you probably don’t belong in a Diamondbacks uniform.”


I'm so glad that I'm not a Diamondbacks fan.
   2. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:23 AM (#4671320)
I'm so glad that I'm not a Diamondbacks fan.


Yep. That is a pretty stupid thing for the GM to say.
   3. stanmvp48 Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4671334)
So, who hit Trumbo? Kahnle or Hernandez?

And that metaphor about the forked tongue. Wow
   4. Jim Wisinski Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:17 AM (#4671341)
Almost every time Towers or Gibson gets quoted in the media they're saying something dickish or stupid
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:41 AM (#4671364)
Stupid headline. You shouldn't use a baseball metaphor to describe baseball unless it matches the action or plays cleverly against it. Otherwise you might as well write "Pitcher throws a curveball by hitting batter with a fastball."
   6. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:12 AM (#4671404)
"Rivera hits walk-off grand slam with saves record"
   7. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4671415)
Almost every time Towers or Gibson gets quoted in the media they're saying something dickish or stupid


Maybe that's because they're stupid d!cks?

Their new edge, while understandable, took a forked tongue in the road Wednesday night at Salt River Fields...


Holy mixed metaphor, Batman!
   8. jmurph Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4671426)
I'm sure there are some one-off comments that would prove me wrong, but my sense is you really don't hear this kind of thing from teams that are actually good. It's loser-talk, in other words. Joe Torre didn't spend the 90s and 2000s talking about his guys standing up for themselves and protecting one another. They just beat you.
   9. dave h Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4671434)
Statements like that should bring immediate discipline from the league. I'm not a huge fan of the NBA-style language police, but announcing that you're going to take illegal actions seems worthy of it. Of course maybe it's better to let them say it out loud so that when the time comes it'll be easier to deal with.
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4671449)
"Rivera hits walk-off grand slam with saves record"


United States hockey is going for the gold in the bronze medal game
   11. puck Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4671471)
At least the headline writer used "plunking" instead of "beaning."
   12. Dale Sams Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4671487)
Statements like that should bring immediate discipline from the league


Absolutely, especially when it involves implied threats of losing jobs.
   13. Dale Sams Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4671491)
Gibson said. “I think one of the things we’ve focused on is using all quadrants of the plate. Whether it's 8 or 9 quadrants. We're not the only starship, let me tell you. You want to hit us? Boy, we definitely aren't the droids you're looking for."
   14. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4671571)
Their new edge, while understandable, took a forked tongue in the road Wednesday night at Salt River Fields...


It would have been an even classier metaphor if Salt River fields were built by an Indian tribe on their reservation or something.

If.
   15. Chone Mueller Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4671652)
Gibson said. “I think one of the things we’ve focused on is using all quadrants of the plate. Whether it's 8 or 9 quadrants. We're not the only starship, let me tell you. You want to hit us? Boy, we definitely aren't the droids you're looking for."


Wait a minute. It's been forty years since my last geometry class but isn't a quadrant one of four divisions in a zone? If it has eight divisions, I think the divisions would be octants.
   16. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4671733)
Wait a minute. It's been forty years since my last geometry class but isn't a quadrant one of four divisions in a zone? If it has eight divisions, I think the divisions would be octants.


When you give 200% every game, you get twice as many quadrants - it just stands to reason.
   17. Zach Posted: March 14, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4671887)
Arizona general manager Kevin Towers said before spring training that he wants his pitchers to hit more batters this season. “I think come spring training, it will be duly noted that it’s going to be an eye for an eye and we’re going to protect one another,” Towers told MLB.com.

Stupid designated executive rule. He wouldn't talk like that if he had to stand in a batter's box once in a while.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: March 14, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4671897)
Yep, Towers/DBacks should be facing a substantial fine here. Linking it openly to roster decisions is just mind-boggling really.
   19. shoewizard Posted: March 14, 2014 at 06:57 PM (#4671918)
Linking it openly to roster decisions is just mind-boggling really.


That more than anything is what sticks out to me.
   20. ptodd Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:57 PM (#4671945)
Thats an idea for Boras. Payoff some pitchers to plunk the other teams SS and open up a spot for Drew. Joking of course.

What the game needs is more bench clearing brawls. Take the head off some of these macho pitchers who like to throw 90 mph rocks at guys without fear of any major consequences, and you will see fewer intentional HBP.
   21. shoewizard Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4671960)
I just read at AZ Snakepit that Raul Fernandez threw behind Miguel Montero . Funny that Renck left that out of his story.

the point about Towers flapping his yap publicly like that remains, but this particular incident a lot different than Renck portrays it with that important piece of missing info.
   22. donlock Posted: March 15, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4672064)
Arizona general manager Kevin Towers said before spring training that he wants his pitchers to hit more batters this season. “I think come spring training, it will be duly noted that it’s going to be an eye for an eye and we’re going to protect one another,” Towers told MLB.com. “If not, if you have options, there’s ways to get you out of here, and if you don’t follow suit or you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you probably don’t belong in a Diamondbacks uniform.”


I envision the GM saying this while hiding behind his desk and nervously looking out in the hall for any random ballplayers. "This is off the record ,isn't it?" he asks the reporter while feverishly wiping his forehead. "It can't come back to me. I have to go down on the field when the players are there sometimes."

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