Last night Masahiro Tanaka hit Joey Wendle with a fastball on the elbow in the first inning of the Rays vs. Yankees game. Approximately two and a half hours later (“manageable” in the condescending jargon of YES network’s Michael Kay) Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman buzzed a ninth-inning, triple-digit mph fastball past the head of Ray’s pinch hitter Mike Brosseau.
It doesn’t take a mind reader to see that Ray’s manager Kevin Cash felt the Rays’ batters were targeted intentionally, in no small part due to the recent history of Rays vs. Yankees games being what baseball folk call “chippy”.
After the game, Cash commented:
“Somebody has to be accountable. The last thing I’ll say on it is I got a whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98, period.”
Kevin Cash needs to be fined for the vigilante violence threat. If anything happens tonight along the lines of last night’s game, he needs to be suspended. Additionally, players on both teams need to be warned that any instigators will also be suspended, and will miss a significant chunk of their team’s remaining games.
The false bravado, pseudo badass nonsense in baseball needs to stop. Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Boxing and MMA not only exist, but they’re also both thriving. If you really wanted to fight, you’d take up one of those sports but you chose baseball. So when you go to a baseball field looking for a fight you’re embarrassing yourself because we all know you don’t want to fight.
Vigilante violence has no place in baseball. I’m especially addressing the it’s OK “…as long as it’s done the right way…” crowd, who presumably believes it’s OK to try hurt somebody from 60’ away as long as it’s not their head you’re injuring. Take a moment to re-read those words and try to rationalize that sentiment as an adult. I’m also speculating that these said adults have too many carbs in their diets, as their short term memories are awful. The rest of us see pitchers miss their spots by two feet when throwing pitches all the time. This “as long as it’s in the back/hips/legs it’s OK” mindset is childish drivel.
I’ve covered it before, so I’m not going to re-hash in-depth, but Carl Mays was killed by a baseball. Tony Conigliaro and Dickie Thon had future Hall of Fame careers ended by pitched baseballs. Hell, we forget about what happened to Giancarlo Stanton only because he returned to win an MVP.
I’m not a sociologist, but I think we can all agree that vigilante violence has no place anywhere. So once again, MLB has an opportunity to be a leader and send a message it’s not going to be tolerated in baseball.
But Rob Manfred has always preferred to be a titular leader, not an actual one, so I’m not holding my breath.
Did I miss something? Let me know.
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