It’s not uncommon for a batter to decide he needs to send a message to a pitcher who has pitched him inside one too many times.
Carlos Quentin of the San Diego Padres decided that time was Thursday night after he was plunked by Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
While the dugouts emptied and the players did their usual do-si-do routine, Dodgers announcing icon Vin Scully pointed out how many large contracts the Dodgers had mixing it up. Given the Dodgers have a payroll of more than $223 million, the Hall of Fame broadcaster makes an excellent point.
The news for the Dodgers was devastating in the aftermath: Greinke suffered a broken left collarbone from his collision with the charging Quentin.
It was more like a tight end smashing into a linebacker—the difference being that while Quentin, at 235 pounds, can play the role of tight end, the 192-pound Zack Greinke wouldn’t even be a good-sized defensive back.
But here’s the thing: Quentin was flat-out wrong to charge Greinke in that situation, regardless of the fact that it was the third time the slugger had been plunked by Greinke, dating back to their days in the American League Central when Quentin was with the Chicago White Sox and Greinke was a member of the Kansas City Royals.
Greinke will be out six to eight weeks. Quentin will probably get a suspension of somewhere in the neighborhood of four to eight games.
The Dodgers come out on the short end of this one, even though it was the Padre who was wrong.
You have to think of the situation. It was a 3-2 count in a 2-1 game. Greinke was not throwing at Quentin. It was the wrong situation to do so.
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp will also face some sort of discipline. He confronted Quentin outside of the clubhouse at Petco Park, according to reports, and teammates and police were needed to separate them.
Kemp’s parting words for Quentin make it clear this incident isn’t going away soon. “We’ll see, bitch,” doesn’t sound like a synonym for “see you again on Monday, buddy.”
That’s when the Padres and Dodgers hook up again, just three days after this incident. The Padres go to Dodger Stadium for a three-game series beginning Monday. The teams will play 10 more times before the All-Star break.
If Major League Baseball expedites Quentin’s suspension so he’s out for that series next week in Los Angeles, it means one of his teammates is likely to be wearing a pitch somewhere in the shoulder or ribs.
This thing isn’t over, not by a long shot.
It’s almost the dumbest incident of charging the mound I’ve seen. In 1994, Reggie Sanders of the Cincinnati Reds charged the mound after he was plunked by Pedro Martinez of the Montreal Expos.
The hit batsman ended Martinez’s bid for a perfect game, for God’s sake, so I think the odds are slim that the pitch was intentional, but there went Sanders anyway, protecting his manhood or whatever it was he was thinking.
In any event, the Dodgers will be without their $147 million free agent ace until June, most likely, and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly—normally one of the calmest guys in baseball—was right when he declared Quentin was an “idiot” during a postgame interview.
Rivalries are great. Dumb feuds? Not so much.