Friday, April 12, 2013

The Defense for Carlos Quentin

Last night, the Los Angeles Dodgers (6-3) and San Diego Padres (2-7) met up for the final game of a three game series. In the top of the first inning, Padres starting pitcher Jason Marquis threw a ball that was up and in to Dodgers star Matt Kemp, and then gave up a 2-run home run to former Padres star Adrian Gonzalez. The game remained 2-0 until the bottom of the fourth, when Dodgers star pitcher, Zach Greinke, threw a wild pitch. The pitch allowed rookie second baseman Jedd Gyorko to score, making it a 2-1 game. The score held up until the top of the sixth inning, when Zach Greinke hit Carlos Quentin with an 89 MPH fastball in the arm. Quentin charged the mound, and several players were ejected. Carlos Quentin, Jerry Hairston Jr., Zach Greinke, and Matt Kemp were all ejected in the wild brawl that took place, but the game continued. Padres' first baseman Yonder Alonso drove in the tying run to bring the score to 2-2. In the top of the 8th, Padres' reliever Luke Gregerson gave up the go-ahead run, a solo home run to Juan Uribe, that brought the score to 3-2. The score stayed the same, and the Dodgers emerged victorious, but the interesting part of this game was the brawl.

Before I go in detail about the benches clearing fight, I want to give you some quick background information:
  • Carlos Quentin has been hit by the pitch 116 times since 2006.
  • Including this HBP, since 2008, Greinke has hit Quentin 3 times in 31 plate appearances, equating to about 10% of PA's resulting in a hit-by-pitch.
  • Zach Greinke has pitched to about 4,300 hitters since 2008, hitting 19 of them, equating to under .5% of plate appearances resulting in a hit-by-pitch.
  • Zach Greinke signed a 6 year, 147 million dollar contract with the Dodgers this offseason, who are one of the MLB's big market teams. Most big market teams receive favoritism from the commissioner's office, since they bring in the most money for baseball.
  • Zach Greinke was the highlight of a Dodgers offseason that saw the Dodgers surpase the Yankees in payroll commitments, and also created a huge amount of hype for the season.
  • A good comparison for the Padres-Dodgers rivalry is: Imagine the Giants are UNC, the Dodgers are Duke, and the Padres are NC State. The Padres don't really have a true rival, so all of the fans hate the Giants and Dodgers.
  • Zach Greinke has been open about anxiety issues in the past, and also has been labeled by many as having a passive-aggressive personality.
  • Carlos Quentin has no history of charging the mound.
  • Carlos Quentin is 45 pounds heavier than Zach Greinke, and played as a linebacker in high school.
Now here is the reason this brawl is so newsworthy. Zach Greinke, a star pitcher, broke his collarbone in the collision with Quentin, and will miss the eight weeks. Here is the brawl, followed by an explanation.



As you can see, the hit by pitch of Quentin may or may not have been retaliation against the pitch thrown at Matt Kemp earlier in the game. Greinke hit Quentin in the arm, Quentin took a step forward to look at Greinke, who was clearly visibly taunting Quentin after Greinke hit him! After the provoking comments, Quentin, acting on impulse and adrenaline, goes after Zach Greinke. Greinke goes 2-3 steps in front of the pitcher's mound, and puts his shoulder down. Quentin drives straight into him, and the smaller Greinke's collarbone is shattered as he falls back. He is very lucky that the injury wasn't worse. After this, Quentin and Greinke are ejected and led off the field. Eventually a second fight ensued, and Matt Kemp and former Padre (current Dodger) Jerry Hairston Jr. had to be taken off the field. Allegedly, according to Jerry Hairston Jr., Padres' back-up catcher John Baker was mocking Greinke's injury. After the game, Matt Kemp hunted down Carlos Quentin in the parking lot, and makes a scene, but former Michigan QB and current Padres starting pitcher, listed at 6-5 and 240 pounds, intervenes and keeps Kemp away from Quentin. 

Kemp and Richard getting into it.
After the game, Dodgers' manager Don Mattingly said "He should not play a game until Greinke can pitch. If he plays before Greinke pitches, something is wrong. Their guy charges the mound being an idiot and our guy is going to be out for however long and their guy is probably going to be playing in three days. It's a joke" which displays an inadequate understanding of MLB's suspension system.

Zach Greinke is expected to miss 56 days, or 11 starts. This is about the same amount of time as the 50-game suspension major league baseball gives for its performance enhancing drug policy. Last year, Johnny Cueto of the Reds kicked Cardinals catcher Jason Larue in the head during a brawl, and only was suspended for 7 games, or one start. The kick ended Larue's career. This is a very good precedent for the case against Carlos Quentin. Most suspensions for brawls range from 1-15 games, depending on the circumstances. The fact that Greinke was a star pitcher, and Larue was a second string catcher, should not be taken into consideration, as that shows favoritism. Considering that Carlos Quentin was involved in the start of the brawl, while Cueto was not, should be taken into consideration. A 10-game suspension seems fair. The blow will still be huge to a San Diego team that lost its two best hitters not named Carlos Quentin to injury or to a suspension. Most people forget that Matt Kemp was also a key player in the brawls, and should be suspended through the clubs next series with San Diego, to keep things under control, so a 6-game suspension to cover the San Diego series that takes place in three days would be worth it.

Most people immediately assume Quentin was wrong, and Greinke is an innocent victim, but people do not realize it was not the hit by pitch that drove Quentin to charge the mound, but the provoking words from Greinke! If you got hit my an 89 mph fastball, and then the person who threw it started calling you profane names, how would you feel? Matt Kemp was quoted as saying "I heard he went to Stanford. I've heard smart people go to Stanford, but that wasn't too smart" to put insult to injury. Remember, Matt Kemp did not receive any kind of college education, due to being drafted out of high school...

One of the major controversies that stemmed from this brawl, was about how ethical it was to throw at a hitter. Usually, if a pitcher throws up and in, or a hitter makes a cocky move, then the pitcher will throw at the hitter, to send a message. Sometimes the hitter can take the message and charge the mound. This is one of the many "unwritten" rules of baseball. The instances in which a player is injured are seldom, and it is very entertaining and exhilarating to go to a game where a major fight breaks out. This is similar to when, two years ago, last year's MVP Buster Posey was injured at a collision at the plate, and fans argued to discontinue the tradition. If a minor leaguer had been injured, there would have been no talk surrounding it.

I would like to make this clear: I am not saying it was the right thing to do for Quentin to charge the mound. I am only saying he is not the only one at fault. He deserves a suspension, but not one that is the same size as CHEATING. Zach Greinke is also at fault. Not only is he injured, but he should face a similar suspension as Quentin. I also wanted to mention that if it had been Clayton Richard who was hurt, everyone would see Clayton Richard as the person at fault. The mentality is that big market teams get their way, and small market teams have to deal with it. Compare this to in the NFL, if a Browns player is paralyzed due to a fight that takes place against the Patriots, and the Browns player provoked the Patriots player, the Browns player would be at fault (According to the fans).

Look at both sides of the situation, and put yourself in Quentin's shoes before passing judgement.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that when Quentin was hit, it was a close game, and a full count. The catcher was set up down and away. Greinke's thought process could have been why not hit him, the best hitter in the Padres lineup (pitching around him), and not risk a home run, while at the same time making a statement about the Kemp incident earlier in the game? Even if it was an accident, it was the provoking words from Greinke after he hit Quentin that drove Quentin to the mound.

32 comments:

  1. Tell Quentin to stop crowding the plate and he will stop getting hit

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    1. Exactly... Don Drysdale use to say, when he was on the mound, he owned the plate. Pitchers have every right to pitch inside. As Biggio says, "Crowd the plate, expect to be hit."

      Quentin needs to stop being a douche and WALK to first. It seems to me that is part of his résumé, getting hit.

      With that said, I do not believe Greinke hit him on purpose. It's his 2nd game with a brand new team, he wants to win and prove something, especially with Kershaw doing so well.

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    2. It wasn't the HBP, it was the fact the Greinke provoked him.

      I do agree the pitchers do have a right and it is part of his resume, but instead of tipping his hat and saying it was an accident, his body language said "come at me".

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    3. Provoke?! He was already on the way to the mound BEFORE Greinke said anything. You want Greinke, then to have an "oh shit" body language?

      To me Greinke's body language was more like he was upset with himself and Quentin was already going.

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  2. Who knows what Greinke said, not you not me. For all we know he could have said "Sorry dude, didn't mean to do that". Quentin needs to learn (as do the rest of the players in the MLB) to just take your fucking base and be happy your on and not out for once seeing as he's hitting about .200 so far.

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    1. .222 is not .200, pretty far off

      Why should Quentin be happy that he got hit in the arm with an 89 mph fastball and then got cursed out? Quentin crowded the plate less than Kemp...

      Q is just too slow to move out of the way and doesn't have the reflexes.

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    2. Quentin was already on the way to the mound, before Greinke said anything. It seems to me he wanted to settle a 4 year old score. The dude needs to let it go. Greinke hit him 3 times in 5 years, you know, the "well documented history."

      If Quentin is too slow to move out the way, stop crowding the plate. But apparently, getting hit is part of his schtick to get on base.

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    3. Quentin took a step forward to see if Greinke would say it was unintentional, and G's body language said that he was not exactly saying it was accidental...

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    4. Exactly, Quentin was already walking to Greinke. WALK to first, you big a$$hat.

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    5. P.S. I'm not calling you an a$$hat, Noah. Lol. Just wanted to clarify.

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    6. In that situation, with high tensions, I would look at Greinke too, he was obviously upset, and Greinke provoked him.

      I never said Quentin was innocent in the least bit, but I think the benefit of the doubt should go to the Stanford grad with the perfect record opposed to the guy who didn't go to college and has a history of being passive aggressive and other mental issues.

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    7. But the problem is, Quentin wasn't just looking. He was already walking... To me, he had already made a decision, he was going to rush him. He even said this to Ozzie Guillen's son. I can't remember his name.

      And btw, just because you graduated from Stanford, doesn't mean you get the benefit of the doubt. Check Quentin's history on anger and breaking his own hand, etc. In fact, my friend who also graduated from Stanford and is now doctor, he cringes whenever they say Quentin graduated from Stanford. He's embarrassed for him and says it tarnishes the schools reputation. lol

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    8. I mean, compared to someone who didn't go to college at all, has a history of mental issues, and has also had anger issues in the past, maybe the benefit of the doubt shouldn't been given to just G.

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    9. Some of the smartest people never went to college. Greinke has his mental issues under control. He's had it addressed. It's a non-issue.

      Now, Quentin... he seems like a head case. He needs to go to anger management. Apparently, he's been festering from this hit from Greinke for the last 4 years. Jesus... move on, let it go. Quentin seems to be the one with mental issues. I would have so much more respect for him, if he just said "at the time, with high emotions, I lost it. I'm sorry Greinke is injured." I would have respect for him. But he's not remorseful. AT ALL. To me, he is the biggest pansy.

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    10. Well Quentin has a right to be as upset as Greinke. Two days ago, a pitch almost fractured his wrist. He might have been sick of pitchers throwing inside, and believe it or not this did work. Why not take out the brand new Dodgers pitcher while he had the chance? Even if he gets plunked in the back by LAD next series, it is a free base. I don't support the decision, but this is the only viable option. I don't think he just lost his cool.

      Greinke acts like he had no part in it either, like he was just doing his job and randomly got beaten by a large man. He visibly provoked him. He also stepped forward to fight a much larger person. It doesn't make sense from his standpoint, this could have easily been avoided with a hat tipping.

      The main point of the article was to highlight big-market bias. You happen to be the perfect example. You haven't really given Quentin a chance and made it seem like all of his words are lies and Greinke has the only truth. If this was Jason Larue from last season, you would not be here, and neither would I, arguing. The article never says Quentin was right to charge the mound, just that he wasn't 100% to blame for Greinke's injury, and his suspension should have been 8-12 games.

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    11. "Two days ago he got hit by a pitch..." from ANOTHER pitcher NOT Greinke because he crowds the plate. Once again, pitchers have every right to pitch inside. He needs to MOVE. There is a reason why he is the most hit batter. Even Biggio, says to stop crying. You crowd the plate, expect to get hit. If he's sick of getting hit, stop crowding the plate or freaking move!

      AND if you're telling me, Quentin intentionally wanted "to take out the brand new Dodgers pitcher while he had the chance,"... Wow, I don't even know what to say to that. That's criminal. So the only way, he can compete is to intentionally harm, better opposing players... he needs to retire. He's an embarrassment to every player on every team sport in the whole planet. And you don't think he lost his cool. So he was rational when charged the mound with the intention to hurt the pitcher, which makes it even worse.

      "Provoked." Quentin took a couple of steps toward Greinke with bat in hand, and you want Greinke to tip his hat?! What?! It's like an abuser saying "you provoked me into beating the sh!t out of you." I'm sorry, we're never going to agree on this.

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    12. 1) He is not crying, he is saying when you hit him and then you yell at him, he will be upset. As far as we know there could be something else before the game we don't know about.

      2) You are just giving Greinke every benefit of the doubt. You seem to be saying there was no chance Greinke had any part in his injury.

      3) For Quentin to retire after this would make no sense. Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, etc. did not retire. They were worse. He is not going to end his career. It is more likely he backs off the plate a little, but still not likely that this changes anything and it is also unlikely that he charges the mound again. This was obviously a special circumstance, so maybe give both parties the benefit of the doubt. I am pretty sure both parties were to blame here, not JUST Quentin, but he certainly is.

      4) My point of "to take out the brand new Dodgers pitcher while he had the chance" was to say that probably wasn't the case, and it was probably a mixture of provocation and adrenaline. If someone is very angry, usually if you say something they can easily snap with a small comment. If you are Greinke, you do not say anything to a 240 pound man who is visibly fuming and staring at you after you hit him with an 89 mph fastball. Plus you do not stand your ground against Quentin. You run. Do not put your shoulder down.

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    13. The other point is that Greinke hit Quentin once before in that AB, but it was called a strike on a check swing. It would have been merely human to say "sorry" after hitting a guy, but Greinke wasn't sorry. That seemed to me to be clearly intentional, catcher sets up low and away and the pitch is up and in? Greinke missed his target by 4 feet? Are you kidding? Then he curses him out? I'm not exulting in the injury but Greinke provoked that situation and taunted Quentin (how stupid was that?) into a fight. Seems like Greinke got exactly what he was looking for and deserved.

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  3. I pitched in college and if I hit someone and the batter took two steps out to me, I am going to say something, like Greinke did. I have seen the tape time and time again and I think he said " save it" meaning save the thought you have that I threw at you on purpose. 3-2 count, one run ballgame. You don't throw at anyone in that situation. If you want to throw at him, you do it in the first inning or the first pitch of the at bat. Quentin has a history of getting hit. Greinke would not have said a word, if Quentin didn't take two steps towards the mound first. Also, if you do hit someone intentional, there is one other person that knows about it and that is the catcher. Ellis would have reacted differently and tried to get in front of Quentin before he could do anything.

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    1. Greinke also took steps towards Q...

      Ellis wanted the ball down and away, so obviously Ellis didn't know Greinke's intentions.

      He took the two steps because Greinke has done it before. My point is that Greinke is not exactly a big guy compared to Q. If you hit a guy three separate times, maybe it would be different.

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    2. Last time Greinke hit him was 4 years ago. Quentin needs to let it go. He seems to be the one with mental problems.

      And I just watched it again on my dvr. Quentin has bat in hands and took a couple of steps to Greinke, Greinke then takes a couple steps toward him, says something, Quentin throws bat down and charges, Greinke throws down glove and you know the rest.

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    3. Absolutely love your comment. Because so many people were bashing on Ellis. He had no idea that the Baboon was going to charge his pitcher because it wasn't on purpose. Otherwise, Ellis would have been on Quentin like white on rice as soon as he got hit.

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  4. Upon multiple reviews, what Greinke said to Quentin as he was thinking about charging looked something like "oh please" or "take your base" by reading lips. Once Quentin started sprinting toward the mound, Greinke said "f*ck" and threw down his glove in preparation for grabbing Quentin by the groin of his jersey. But the previous poster that said we might never know what was said was dead on. Neither player is saying much.

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  5. Greinke may have his mental health issues resolved enough to have a team commit $147 million to him, but even after returning to the Royals after his mental health hiatus, he continued to behave in peculiar ways...not very sociable...recoiling from fan contact, dismissive or unfriendly to teammates. Basically, he was kind of an immature jerk, but most people let it go as "Zach being Zach" because of his mental and emotional problems (especially after winning Cy Young in 09). He has the kind of attitude and demeanor on and off the field that causes opponents like Quentin to remember when and how Greinke hit him and how Greinke acted like a jerk when it happened in 2009 (the last time). So Greinke's reputation preceded him (specifically with Quentin, but also generally throughout MLB). Quentin was disinclined to give Greinke the benefit of the doubt after being hit, and knew for sure Greinke had hit mailiciously when Greinke dismissed with incident with some kind of expletive.

    Quentin should NOT have gone to the mound, but there is no doubt in my mind that Greinke hit him intentionally, then said something to provoke him, then took two or three steps toward Quentin, so it's not like Greinke was trying to avoid contact.

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  6. For a guy whose hitting .174, you'd think he would be happy to be hit at this point.

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  7. Talk about some bias siding with Quentin. As someone who has significant experience in playing baseball, a batter should never charge the mound under as minor situation as that was. I mean he got hit in the arm for God's sake in a 1 run game with no outs on a 3-2 pitch, it wasn't intentional. The pitching at Kemp's head was unlikely to be intentional as well in an 0-2 count. Obviously you know Quentin has gotten hit more than anyone ever, and Quentin does step in and crowd the plate on his stride. I honestly just think it's ridiculous that anyone would think the situation was Grienke's fault. No question he's a head case, but he does know what the hell he is doing.

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  8. No shortage of opinion on this.

    Nobody can say Greinke hit him on purpose. I don't believe he did. Look at the situation. You don't deliberately hit anyone in that count in a tight game. Wrong count, wrong score, wrong time for retaliation And it was an 89 mph pitch, telling me it was likely a back door two seamer that got away. It happens. What did Greinke say to Quentin? I don't know. I haven't heard exactly what it was, but it doesn't matter. You should never charge the mound - period. This ain't hockey. Baseball needed to do something about this, and they did not, assuring it will happen again.

    It's not your first time Carlos. Take your base and score a run. Make them pay for the mistake.

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  9. You're an idiot. It was a 3-2 pitch in a 1 run game. Why on earth would Greinke throw at him and does someone telling you to fuck off somehow justify assaulting them?

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  10. I love that you are ignoring the fact that Greinke was clearly having control problems that night. You even pointed out that he had thrown a wild pitch already. Also if you look at that pitch it wasn't that far inside, the pitch at Kemp was much further in and he got out of the way. If I Was Greinke I would have been mad that Quentin didn't move too. He has no right to get upset with anyone if he refuses to get out of the way. I don't care how much money Greinke makes what Quentin did was wrong and he should have been punished more than he was.

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  11. Dodgers manager Dave Mattingly? Are you kidding me? You lost all credibility with me once you wrote that.

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    1. Thank you for catching that.

      A typo should not dictate the credibility of a website.

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