Sports Opinion & Analysis

Should The Dodgers Be Allowed To Sue For Damages?

In MLB on April 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm

By Jonathan Danielson

During the winter, the Los Angeles Dodgers backed up six garbage trucks filled with money to Zach Greinke’s door, then dumped  out $147 million for six years of the pitcher’s services.

Then, during last night’s game against the San Diego Padres (a team whose entire payroll is barely half of Greinke’s total salary), Carlos Quentin bum-rushed Greinke after Greinke kerplintked one off Quentin’s ball-absorbing body fragile sensibilities. The end result? Greinke broke his collarbone, and most developing countries cried that a guy earning more than its entire GDP is now earning it while sitting on the bench for the next few months.

"Only Dennis Rodman should be allowed to make that much!"

“Only Dennis Rodman should be allowed to make that much!”

It’s unfortunate that Greinke broke his collarbone, but mound rushing is part of the game, especially when players get beamed time after time after time, even if they do mostly turn into oncoming pitches. It’s even more unfortunate that Quentin didn’t realize that only an idiot would intentionally beam a guy (even if he did have something against him) with a full-count during a one run game. I mean, this is the NL West we’re talking about; except for the Padres, every game this year is going to count.

Let’s make something perfectly clear: There is no way Greinke intentionally beamed Quentin. The ball slipped, Quentin hovered over the plate, and the reason Greinke talked back afterward is because what the hell else was he supposed to do? Lose face and tuck his tail between his legs and say he was sorry? While Quentin probably would have appreciated it, this is baseball we’re talking about. There’s no crying in baseball. Shut up, take your base, and hope you can make Greinke feel the sting of his pitch by running in the tying run. That’s how Quentin should’ve played it, but instead he rushed the mound and broke a bone in one of the most expensive players in the sport.

Congratulations Mr. Quentin, for you will now forever be that guy. 

Like Quentin, this guy could cure cancer and still never be remembered for anything else but not that.

Like Quentin, this guy could cure cancer and still not be remembered for it.

Since the fight, there have been no shortage of recommendations for how Quentin should be punished. Some  suggest that the best punishment would be to suspend Quentin until Greinke is healed and back in the Dodger’s lineup. While my innate sense of right or wrong might support that type of justice, a move like that sets a horrible precedent and opens up new problems for future punishments. Think of this; If I was a club’s manager and I knew the only punishment my player would face is an automatic suspension every time they hurt another player, and that suspension would equal the time the injured player was out, I would call up my sixth starter from AA every time I played a divisional rival, then have him beam their best player just to start something that would hopefully injure said best player.

I mean, if that practice were allowed and I was say, I dunno, the Arizona Diamondbacks, I’d be looking long and hard at my calendar every time the Atlanta Braves came to town, just to call up Joe Who-Gives-A-Crap from Mobile, Alabama.

"Oh man, I never played like this in Arizona!" No Justin, no you sure didn't.

“Oh man, I never played like this in Arizona!” No Justin, you sure didn’t.

Another solution has the injured player’s team (Dodgers) being allowed to sue the injuring player’s team (Padres) for losses and damages. In this case, the Pads would be paying almost  double their entirely weekly salary until Greinke comes back and I don’t think bankrupting your opponent is the point of this sport.

Instead, I say it is what it is. Suspend Quentin, and while you’re at it suspend Matt Kemp for acting like an idiot on the field, then acting like a bigger moron when he tried to pick a fight with Quentin in the parking lot after the game.

If Ryan Braun isn't stealing Kemp's MVP, then Carlos Quentin is stealing his second best pitcher.

If Ryan Braun isn’t stealing his MVP’s, Carlos Quentin is stealing his second best pitcher, and piss-poor judgement is taking away his playing time.

But the real issue here isn’t Quentin’s rush, or Greinke’s pitch, or even Kemp’s fight picking. The real issue here is that Greinke just dropped his shoulder and took the tackle like he and Quentin were wrestling in the 7th grade. Sure, Quentin outweighs the little rascal by fifty pounds, but Quentin’s face was wide open for the easy hook, and instead Greinke just shrunk up like a pansy and suffered an injury  only someone playing junior varsity football should get.

If done right, Quentin would have been thanking Greinke for this brawl in years to come.

If Greinke did it right, Quentin would’ve been thanking Greinke for this brawl in years to come.

And this issue isn’t just limited to Greinke and Quentin. Lately, every pitcher who gets stormed seems to get owned, and that’s just bad for baseball. It makes every pitcher lose some part of their intimidation factor. Their scariness. You think anyone every rushed Randy Johnson? They probably did, and I can’t say for certain that they didn’t, but man, that guy was scary. Where have all the Randy Johnson’s and Nolan Ryan’s gone? Now we have potheads with long hair and stupid beards in San Francisco. We have guys wearing flat brim hats and tilting them to the side in Cincinnati. We got Dodger pitchers breaking their collarbones like little kids do when they fall out of trees.

My point is this: The MLB needs to toughen up their pitchers, and I propose that every team be forced to send their pitching staffs to MLB Headquarters in New York City. Once there, each pitcher will individually go into a room that only has an old ratty bench press and a punching bag. You know, the kind Dad would go out and use in the garage when he wasn’t drinking scotch and sending you to bed when the sun was still out so he could have some time with Mom. Maybe even the room will have some tools and a workbench, just to make it that much more authentic.

Either way, every pitcher goes in, a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling, and there’s Dad himself, Nolan Ryan, and he spends some time teaching each pitcher how to stand up to all the bullies at the plate. Nothing fancy, just some good old-fashioned chokeholds and uppercuts. It’ll toughen up every pitcher in the league, which in turn will toughen up the league.

And that’s just good for baseball.

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  1. I don’t know that Brian Wilson is the best example for a pitcher that doesn’t scare oppposing batters. I don’t think many players would rush the mound with him on it.

  2. Is Brian Wilson on the Giants still? I’m sorry, but I was talking about that little twerp, Sergio Romo.

    • My bad. When I read beard and Giants in the same sentence I automatically think Wilson. Oh, and I think you mean World Series winning Romo.

  3. No worries, but I still mean little twerp Romo. But leave it to a Giants fan to take offense to one sentence in an article that has little to do with them. Maybe some fan bases need some toughening up too.

  4. […] with excess coverage on one specific, ultimately minor, sporting event, allow me to follow up on Jonathan Danielson and Chris Hallenbrook’s coverage of the Padres-Dodgers brawl. Hallenbrook writes that this […]

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