Monday, October 13, 2008

We Don't Want To Hurt Nobody


The postseason is getting a little bit fun. After two days of being used and abused in Citizens Bank Park, the Dodgers came home last night and decided to bring the beef. And, no, I’m not talking about Dodger dogs. I’m talking about a good old-fashioned benches-clearing brawl. But, just to be clear, it was not their intention to “hurt nobody.” At least not according to Manny Ramirez.

So what happened?

Basically, the Dodgers spent the first two games of the series being brushed back by Phillies pitchers. Myers threw behind Ramirez in the second inning of game two, and catcher Russell Martin got beaned a couple of times as well. But when Martin was knocked down in the second inning of the Dodgers first game in their own stadium by a Condrey pitch, Hiroki Kuroda decided he was mad as hell and wasn’t going to take it anymore. He hurled one over the head of Shane Victorino.

Victorino’s response? He shouted at Kuroda while pointing at his head, to indicate that the kisser was where he drew the line. He was quoted after the game as saying, “Someone was bound to get hit. The situation called for it. Just don't throw at my head.” In other words, the kneecaps? Fine. Just don’t mess with the punim. I think Victorino needs to allow himself permission to be a little less measured and understanding. I mean, dude. Even if the situation dictates that the pitcher can and should be throwing at you, it doesn’t mean you have to say that. Just say, “Don’t throw at me. Ever.”

After grounding out to first, Victorino exchanged words with Kuroda, which prompted both benches and bullpens to empty. Manny being, well, Manny, he was obviously more worked up about the situation than anyone else on the field and had to be physically restrained by Torre, teammates, and an umpire, lest he belt someone and get himself ejected. Interestingly, Larry Bowa was also among the more heated of the arguers on the field, yelling angrily at Phillies first base coach Davey Lopes before the fight was broken up. I guess this just shows that you can take the boys out of the East Coast, but you can’t take the East Coast out of the boys.

In the end, both teams were given a warning, which the ever-diplomatic Torre reasoned was fair enough. The Dodgers went on to win the game in a 7-2 decision thanks to both an outstanding five-hit outing by Koruda and a five-run first inning, including a bases-loaded triple by rookie Blake DeWitt.

Interestingly, in the eleven regular season games in which they have played each other this year, the Dodgers and Phillies have both been the winners in all of their home games. Thus far, this has remained consistent throughout the series, but it’s a cycle the Dodgers will have to break if they want to make it to the big dance. And I sure hope they do. Because I can’t imagine anything more boring than a Phils-whoever World Series.

As for the ALCS, the Devils and the Chowdas had an exciting eleven-inning outing on Saturday. Leaving aside my disdain for the Chowdas, I have to admit that I can’t help but be a little swept up by the youthful exuberance of the Devils. Longoria, Upton, Pena. They’re just so, well, young and exuberant. And I don’t know if it’s all an act, but I love that whole, “Oh, really? It’s the postseason and we’re playing against the reigning world champions?” attitude. It’s so delightfully cocky. Maybe I wouldn’t think so if the reigning word champions weren’t the Chowdas. But they are.

By the way, speaking of cocky, isn’t is slightly outrageous that we refer to the winner of the World Series as the world champions? I mean, it’s not actually the world. It’s the U.S. And the Jays.


thekoreanmafia said...

It's time for Dodger Baseball

Josh Borenstein said...

Hank Greenberg's granddaughter writes about baseball? You do your granddad proud. But a Yankees fan? What about the Tigers?

cdy said...

Is it just me, or does it take a little bit of the wind out of your argument when you wait until after you ground out to clear the benches? Isn't that kind of like waiting until your team doesn't make the postseason for the first time in 13 years to object to the playoff format? Just saying.