In what can only be described as a completely ludicrous situation, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke has broken his clavicle (collar bone for those not familiar with medical terminology) and is expected to miss eight weeks. In the Dodgers game last night against the San Diego Padres, Greinke threw a pitch that hit Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin. Quentin and Greinke have a history against each other, so Quentin felt the pitch was intentional and charged the mound. In the ensuing brawl, Greinke chose to take on the bigger Quentin and paid the price for it. Now Greinke is headed to the DL (disabled list for those who are unfamiliar with baseball acronyms) and Quentin has subsequently been suspended for eight games. All of this could have been avoided if cooler heads had prevailed.
It's easy to say in hindsight, but Quentin needed to be able to keep his cool and evaluate the situation. He mentioned after the game that his previous history with Greinke played a factor in his decision to charge the mound (Quentin has been hit twice previously by Greinke). Had Quentin been able to look at this objectively, he would have been able to realize that the pitch was almost certainly not deliberate. The Dodgers were ahead in the game 2-1 when the incident occurred. They had no reason or desire to purposely hit him and put the potential tying run on base. Not only does it not make sense for the pitch to be intentional given the game situation, it also doesn't make sense in the at-bat itself. If a pitcher wants to send a message to a hitter, he doesn't wait until the sixth pitch of the at-bat to make it, he comes right out in the very first pitch and lets his feelings be known.
Even if Quentin evaluated the situation and still came to the conclusion that the pitch was, in fact, intentional, there was no need for him to charge the mound like he did. Both the Dodgers and the Padres play in the National League which, unlike the American League, forces their pitchers to come to the plate. If Quentin believed he was targeted by Greinke and thought that something needed to be done about it, he could have easily gone to their starter and asked him to plunk Greinke. It would have sent the message to Greinke without injuring him, and it would have saved Quentin from an eight game suspension, which will hamper the chances of his team to win those eight games.
Had Quentin decided to follow the unwritten rules of baseball instead of losing his cool for his own selfish reasons, every one of the individuals involved could have come out of this situation unscathed. Instead, Quentin decided to go off and handle things his own way, and the consequences have been dire for everyone. Hopefully next time we'll have a game of baseball instead of baseBRAWL.
Welcome! My name is Chris Spooner. I am an overly-passionate Dolphins fan who has many opinions about his team, and the sports landscape as a whole. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy voicing them.