The Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks engaged in another brawl on Tuesday that reignited talks about whether or not one of baseball’s oldest traditions of retaliation by plunking is really necessary.
A lot of the blame for the latest bench-clearing spat can go to home plate umpire Clint Fagan, who allowed the beaning to continue for far too long. He should have been more assertive when things started to get out of hand early.
This was the second time of the season Zack Greinke was in the middle of a fiasco after someone was hit by a pitch. He had his collarbone broken by Carlos Quentin earlier in the season after Quentin bull-rushed him to the ground in what was obviously an accident.
The bottom line of all of this madness is that the retaliation beanings must end. Baseball’s archaic eye-for-an-eye philosophy makes MLB players look like ogres. I’m unimpressed by a pitcher resorting to throwing at someone. When a player on a team is hit, the team wouldn’t want them to get tossed for charging the mound, or lose their starting pitcher because he brings pride into the equation. A pitcher being tossed in these situations is extremely tough on the bullpen because they have no time to prepare.
When the game is over, the only thing a team should care about is whether or not they won. They should care less if someone got a bruise on their back because someone else needs to feel tough. I’d prefer if teams took advantage of the free baserunner by trying to score more runs, even if it’s obvious that a pitcher has thrown at a hitter.
Bench-clearing brawls are cheesy. Just because it’s happened in the past doesn’t mean it should continue. There are plenty of traditions that have gone by the wayside because they were outdated and foolish.
As cliche as it sounds, two wrongs obviously don’t make a right.