In a quarrel that I thought was a complete joke over the weekend between the Tigers and Rays had thought to come to its conclusion when Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello threw at and hit Ben Zobrist in the 1st inning of Sunday’s match up.
The tension started to rise on Friday night when Miguel Cabrera mocked Rays closer Fernando Rodney by firing a pretend arrow into the air after the Tigers had won that game.
Cabrera would face Rodney on Saturday night, which resulted in Rodney ultimately throwing a pitch up and in that missed Cabrera’s chin by mere inches while traveling at 98 mph.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland did not appreciate what the Rays closer had done and spoke about it Saturday night.
“I don’t care about throwing inside, but I don’t like it up there,” Leyland said. “We will not tolerate that. You can take that to the bank. We won’t tolerate that up at the head, with anybody, not (just) Cabrera, but anybody. I’m not accusing anybody of anything, but we won’t tolerate that. If you’re going to just rare back and throw it, you can’t throw it there. If you throw it down at the legs in or something for a purpose, I don’t have any problem with that. But not upstairs.
“That’ll cause a lot of problems for people,” Leyland continued. “That’s as simple as it is. That’s not a good idea. That’s not acceptable. If you want to throw inside, I have no problem with that. The old (expletive) about the one getting away, he’s pitched long enough that they don’t get away up there in that area, in my opinion. That won’t be tolerated. You can take that to the bank. That’s not acceptable. Like I say, if you want to throw down at the legs, or you’re throwing, trying to come in there. And I’m not saying he was trying to hit him or anything, but you’re going to throw head-high in there, that’s not acceptable.”
In essence, Leyland promised to retaliate, and his team did.
Porcello’s actions on Sunday have now cost him a 6 game suspension, which was handed down by Major League Baseball on Tuesday.
Considering that starting pitchers pitch once every five days anyways, suspending Porcello 6 games is the same way as saying that throwing at batters is perfectly ok.
Porcello’s slap on the wrist was well worth it for the Tigers, who despite losing that particular game, walked away a team that stood their ground as the tougher team on Sunday.
The Rays had their opportunity to finish the hostilities by either charging the mound when Zobrist was hit or throwing at a Tigers hitter later in the game, and failed to do either.
Yes, the Rays did win the game which was 1 of 162 of them, but the Tigers walk away winning the overall battle of toughness and proving to be a closer team.
With this suspension, or lack their of a suspension, of Rick Porcello, has Major League Baseball said that it is ok for pitchers to throw at batters intentionally?
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