A purpose pitch is one thing, but reaching back for a 100 mph two-seam fastball and telegraphing it for someone’s dome is completely different.
Miguel Cabrera had every right to be upset after he got buzzed by former teammate Fernando Rodney Saturday when the Detroit Tigers took on the Tampa Bay Rays. Words were exchanged between the two after an 0-2 pitch went sailing by the catcher, and Rodney promptly put Cabrera’s brain in his crosshairs.
Joe Maddon had his own words for Cabrera, stating he wished that the Tigers’ third-baseman “wouldn’t cry so much” about it. Maddon is an exceptional manager, but he should have just kept his mouth shut on this topic.
Anyone who watches Cabrera on a daily basis knows complaining isn’t something he makes a habit of. He is lighthearted on the field and can almost always be seen with a smile on his face. It takes something out of line to get him heated and that’s exactly what happened when Rodney took aim at Cabrera’s head.
As a pitcher, you may not always be interested in throwing to a specific hitter, especially when that hitter hit two home runs the previous day and is the reigning MVP. That doesn’t mean you can get away with pitching up and in. Rodney is lucky he wasn’t tossed from the game, even though the pitch didn’t hit Cabrera. It was obvious he intentionally threw at the slugger’s head.
If Cabrera’s “crying” was the only repercussion from this incident, the Rays are fortunate. Rodney’s actions were inexcusable and dangerous. I have a hard time believing Maddon wouldn’t take exception to having a heater chucked at his noggin. If he thinks he could take that in stride, he’s fooling himself.