By now I am sure everyone has seen or heard about the brawl that erupted between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers that resulted in Dodgers starter suffering a broken collarbone which could keep him out one to three months. Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin was hit by a Zack Greinke pitch on a 3-2 count in a one-run game and decided to charge the mound, a decision that should result in a stiff suspension by Major League Baseball.
Being hit by pitches is nothing new for Quentin. He led the league in hit by pitches in 2012 and 2011 with 17 and 23 respectively. Quentin is notorious for standing on top of the plate and being hit by pitches is part of his game plan to improve his on-base percentage and to take away the inside part of the plate for opposing pitchers. In fact, Quentin has only been hit a pitch fewer than 11 times in a season once, his rookie year in 2006 when he was hit by eight pitches in only 57 games. Last season, he led the league with 17 HBPs despite only appearing in 86 games. When he led the league in 2011 with 23 he only appeared in 118 games.
Quentin expects to get hit by pitches. He desires to be hit. For him to charge the mound, regardless of anything Greinke might have said is just inexcusable even if Greinke has plunked Quentin twice before throughout their careers. Quentin’s actions should result in one of the stiffest suspensions MLB has ever doled out to a player involved in a brawl. Greinke might have made a mistake lowering his shoulder like he was a linebacker trying to down a charging running back but he would not have had to do that if Quentin smiled on his way to first base knowing that the tying run just got on first base in the sixth inning. Instead, he attacked another player and caused injury.
Three to six games is usually the length of a suspension for charging the mound. Now it is time for Joe Torre, MLB’s disciplinarian, to send a message to players who charge the mound unnecessarily. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly says Quentin shouldn’t play until Greinke is able to pitch. However, that might be a little too stiff. It wasn’t like Quentin wanted to hurt Greinke. Quentin should be made an example of but a 15 game suspension seems a little more reasonable instead of Mattingly’s suggestion. One thing is certain, Quentin was in the wrong and should be punished accordingly.