Most assuredly it could be said that no one in the entire universe who cares about Major League Baseball is happy that Paul Goldschmidt’s hand is broken. All the same, everyone expected a retaliatory plunking from the Arizona Diamondbacks and it happened when Andrew McCutchen was drilled right in the spine with a Randall Delgado fastball. The Pittsburgh Pirates weren’t happy about that but things could escalate quickly after McCutchen had to leave Sunday’s game.
During the game between the DBacks and Pirates, McCutchen had to come out late with soreness in his side. It is something that he claims he has never had problems with and at least some are thinking it could be traced back to the pitch he took in the back. Since it was his spine that was hit, it could actually affect any area of his body but certainly his side.
The question, however, is what it would mean for MLB if a huge star like McCutchen is injured because of retaliation. It is one of the supposed unwritten rules that one team has to retaliate if their guy was hit by a pitch. This shouldn’t be that situation however because Goldschmidt wasn’t hit on purpose. If you don’t believe me, just ask Goldschmidt himself.
Shortly after the game, before he knew it was broken, Goldy said clearly that he knew it wasn’t on purpose and that he understood the Pirates had to pitch inside from time to time. Even with this being the case, the DBacks certainly threw at McCutchen on purpose because the ball was behind him. Deliberately trying to hurt someone with a fastball is much different than a simple lightly-thrown pitch on the butt or something.
MLB rules have changed a lot already this season to protect stars from getting hurt. Hopefully McCutchen will be fine but if he has to sit for some time, don’t be surprised if it leads to an offseason rule change with more than just being thrown out of a game being the punishment for such actions. There is no excuse for trying to hurt another player. It is dangerous and ridiculous.
McCutchen is a beloved figure in the game and things could and probably should change if he goes down thanks to old school retaliation with a fastball.