Should MLB Tie Suspensions To Injury Length?

You’ve almost certainly heard the news by now – last night, Zack Greinke hit Carlos Quentin with a pitch, Quentin charged the mound, and in the course of the scuffle, Greinke suffered a broken collarbone. While a timetable hasn’t been released yet, he’s headed for the disabled list, and the question is how many months of the season he’ll miss due to the injury.

In the wake of the news, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly offered up the following sentiment:

“That’s just stupid is what it is,” Mattingly said. “He should not play a game until Greinke can pitch. If he plays before Greinke pitches, something’s wrong. He caused the whole thing. Nothing happens if he goes to first base.”

Mattingly isn’t the first to suggest that the suspension for a player who injures another player should be equal in length to that player’s injury, as the notion passes our internal sense of fairness. Why should a guy who puts another player’s health in jeopardy get to keep playing while the guy who he injured has to sit on the sidelines? That’s not fair.

However, as much as I’d like to support Mattingly’s idea, I just can’t. There are simply too many subjective elements to make such a proposal actually work.

The first problem is determination of intent. I’m going to make the assumption that Mattingly wouldn’t want a player suspended for accidentally injuring someone. There are non-intentional hit-by-pitches, and they do cause damage. If a pitcher misses inside and it happens to break a player’s hand or wrist, it sucks, but it’s also part of baseball. Last night, Michael Morse got hit by two pitches in the same at-bat — he was judged to have swung at the first, which turned out to be the one that broke his pinky finger — and had to leave the game. The diagnosis is that he’ll be out for 3-7 days.

Even though he was beaned twice in a short period of time, there didn’t appear to be any intent on the part of Tanner Scheppers. Scheppers wasn’t ejected, and no is calling for him to miss any time, because we’re all assuming that it was an accident. But, the reality is, we never really know whether it was or not. Pitchers will say “it just got away”, just like Greinke did last night, but clearly Quentin did not share that belief. MLB could legislate away dugout clearing brawls or collisions at home plate if they wanted to, but they’ll never be able to rid themselves of the HBP, and a large percentage of position player injuries are caused by getting hit with a pitch.

Simply from a logistical standpoint, trying to determine whether an HBP is intentional — and thus should be subject to a suspension — or accidental is already problematic, and that’s without adding the injury component to the mix. Making each HBP a source of potential suspension, based upon whether outside parties could judge the motivations of the pitcher’s intent, is simply a setup for arbitrary decisions that make everyone unhappy.

Even if we just limited the suspensions to injuries related to fights, MLB would be tasked with sorting out a litany of variables, trying to determine cause from a multitude of effects. If a player charges the mound and then a third party causes an injury to one of the players involved in the scuffle, who gets penalized? The player who charged? The guy who actually caused the injury? Both?

That’s not even getting into the issue of individual healing times. If a pitcher hit Nick Johnson on purpose, that might end up being a suspension for life, as quickly as that guy returned from injury. Some guys are more brittle than others. Should getting in a fight with Franklin Gutierrez result in a harsher punishment than going after Austin Jackson, simply because Gutierrez is missing whatever gene allows human beings to stay healthy?

If we were omniscient beings that could divine the motivations of individuals and were able to determine exactly what happened in the midst of a giant scrum of large human beings, then perhaps Mattingly’s proposal would work. Given the limited knowledge that people on the outside of the situation can actually have, however, it would end up as one giant guessing game, and the unequal distribution of penalties would be just as much of a source of outrage as the current setup.

I will wholeheartedly agree with Mattingly that it is unfair that Quentin will miss a handful of games while Greinke will miss significant time. I think there’s a reasonable case to be made that MLB should dramatically increase the length of suspension for charging the mound and do more to dissuade teams from using HBPs as a source of enforcement of the game’s unwritten rules. However, I don’t see a tenable solution to actually tying a player’s stint on the disabled list to the suspension of the person who may have been involved in putting him there.



Print This Post



Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Roger
Guest
Roger
3 years 4 months ago

They better keep Quentin out of the lineup tomorrow, because otherwise I bet he’ll get a couple way-too-dangerous baseballs thrown at him.

Roger
Guest
Roger
3 years 4 months ago

That’s the problem with penalties that aren’t strict enough. If we think it’s unfair then who cares. But if the players think it’s unfair then bad things can happen.

AK7007
Member
AK7007
3 years 4 months ago

I’m on this side of things – whatever happens, don’t put things into the player’s hands to dole out retribution because they feel justice is not being carried out. Its not just a problem in sports either, but sporting events are the easiest setting to police this type of activity. Throwing at guys, takeout slides, ect at least have the facade of being “part of the game” and show some sort of restraint on the offending party’s part. Guys who straight up swing their fists? Has no place in baseball, and ideally no place anywhere.

However, I agree with Dave that eye for an eye style retribution is not only impractical, but it is not the right way to prevent future behavior of this type. Instead, Quentin needs to be directed to anger management for charging the mound and suspended until an independent therapist determines he is ready to go back out there and is unlikely to be such a dickhead in the future. Bet that stops a hell of a lot of fights before they start from here on out. Rehabilitation before retribution I say.

Cidron
Member
Cidron
3 years 4 months ago

They just need to allow the players to police themselves. Nowadays, a hitter knows that if a pitcher throws in, the pitcher gets a warning if its to close. From then on, lean over the plate as the pitcher doesnt want to get tossed for throwing in again. Get rid of that silly rule. Let the batter duck a few times. Ok, it will be ball one, ball two, hit batter, whatever. But, the point will be gotten across. Pedro, Big Unit, Nolan all pitched that way. And they were successful at it. Every now and then a batter would lean in.. and then one pitch later, remember why you dont do that against that pitcher. Nowadays, with the armor, the rules, etc. the pitcher hasnt many places to pitch. Let them police themselves.

noble harper
Guest
3 years 4 months ago

Money is key. Make him pay 1/2 Greinke’s salary while on DL.

Will
Guest
3 years 4 months ago

I don’t think the intent issue is prohibitive. Motives of batters charging the mound are easy to discern. Pitchers throwing bean balls are not as easy to determine, but why should that matter? A reasonable doubt standard works in a court of law, so why not baseball? Will that be “unfair” to batters? Yes, but their team has pitchers too.

I also don’t see a problem with the injury length discrepancy. If you plunk Nick Johnson on purpose, and he needs 2 months to recover, so be it. Besides, the easy remedy for that is a maximum term (until player returns or X, whichever comes first).

The real complication would come from a situation where a star player is suspended for injuring a journeyman. Might the latter’s team drag out the recovery process to gain an advantage over a division rival? That issue, more than other, would make an eye-for-eye difficult to implement.

Paul
Guest
Paul
3 years 4 months ago

Agree with this. If a star hurts a scrub what stops the team with the hurt scrub to keep him on the DL to keep the star player out?

Bab
Guest
Bab
3 years 4 months ago

This is the problem I foresee as well. Imagine an unscrupulous manger calling up a career minor league pitcher to endlessly plunk the lineup of a division rival during a right playoff race. The NFL and NHL have battled this problem for years.

With that said, intent in this case is slightly more clear than usual, given Quentin’s admission in post game statements.

drewcorb
Member
drewcorb
3 years 4 months ago

I think Quentin’s intent was more clear than normal because he ran directly at Zack Greinke instead of 1st base, not because of his postgame statements.

Bab
Guest
Bab
3 years 4 months ago

I think you’re flattening out the situation, drewcorb. I first thought Quentin was excited to give ZG a peck on the cheek

Brad
Guest
Brad
3 years 4 months ago

Okay, I’m imagining newly called-up pitcher endlessly plunking the lineup of a division rival during a tight playoff race.

I’m also imagining a 6-run first inning (HBP put men on base, Bab) and an ejection, for the pitcher and probably his unscrupulous manager, too. If some idiot wants to give away a game in the middle of a pennant race, I say let him try it.

And no such problem does or ever has existed in the NFL. I know this is the internet, but please don’t randomly make things up.

Demiurge
Member
Demiurge
3 years 4 months ago

I agree wholeheartedly with the first paragraph.

However, I think it’s silly to tie the player’s punishment to the injured player’s return timetable. The penalty should simply be harsher than it currently is. You charge the mound for any reason, you miss a month. 30-day suspension, bottom line (plus some kind of fine I don’t want to bother quantifying). Even if the offender returns before his victim, I think everyone will agree that it hurts him and his stock with the team to miss a month.

Repeat offender? Give ’em 60 days. 3 times? Lifetime ban. This would be much like the current penalties for drug violations, as it should be.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
3 years 4 months ago

There is a middle ground between completely ignoring the real life consequences and “eye for an eye.”

Ian R.
Guest
Ian R.
3 years 4 months ago

Odds are the threat of a grievance from the MLBPA would prevent teams from manipulating the DL time terribly often, but it’s a real concern.

Tim
Guest
Tim
3 years 4 months ago

Put all the injuries that have ever happened when someone charged the mound inappropriately in a hat. Draw one and suspend Quentin (or anyone who causes such an injury) for that long.

It solves the problem of tying it to one player, and still provides a significant average punishment equal to the average injury length, while having significant enough variance to have a powerful deterrent effect. Charge the mound, sprain somebody’s ankle, and you’ve got a lottery ticket to draw a year off.

db
Guest
db
3 years 4 months ago

Nothing says justice like randomly assigned penalties.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
3 years 4 months ago

Much as the courts do.

Tim
Guest
Tim
3 years 4 months ago

That’s basically what Quentin did, though, right? He decided Greinke needed to be punished, and Grienke ended up getting really unlucky in the punishment. If a batter’s willing to inflict that, why shouldn’t he be subject to it?

drewcorb
Member
drewcorb
3 years 4 months ago

That is a hilarious and awesome suggestion.

Dan
Guest
Dan
3 years 4 months ago

While your suggestion is probably half joking, why not just take an average of games missed?

wily mo
Member
3 years 4 months ago

averages are boring. this is sports, it’s supposed to be fun

Tim
Guest
Tim
3 years 4 months ago

More than half, really. I think it would work but I can’t imagine them actually doing it.

But I wouldn’t take the average because then the batter would know what he was getting into and be able to make a choice. I think it’s much more likely for someone to decide charging the mound is worth getting suspended for eight games or whatever than that it’s worth a chance of a career-impacting suspension, even if the EV is the same.

dragnalus
Guest
dragnalus
3 years 4 months ago

As an avid hockey fan, this discussion gets brought up everytime a significant injury occurs as the result of a bad hit. Although the comparison isn’t quite perfect because the flow of play and context is much different, the side of the argument I’ve taken is that injuries sustained should never inform suspensions.

Quentin’s actions were silly and suspension worthy on their own. He’ll get the suspension he deserves, but to hold him out until Greinke returns is Babylonian. Not to add insult to injury, but the way Greinke lowered his shoulder with Quentin rushing at him certainly didn’t do him any favors. If a different pitcher had been on the mound and ended up injuring Quentin, would they be reviewed for suspension? I guess that was more or less addressed in the article so I’ll just say I agree that you should review context and intnet, but not outcome.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
3 years 4 months ago

They are ballplayers, not fighters. Greinke not knowing how to defend himself shouldn’t really be at issue.

I support Mattingly’s position to a degree. Quentin should be suspended for a long time for causing an injury like this. Maybe not for the entire length of the injury, but something to the tune of 15-20 games would be appropriate.

Blah Blah
Guest
Blah Blah
3 years 4 months ago

Perhaps Greinke should just have turned and run. He lowered his shoulder and tried to hit Quentin at the same time, he simply lost.

Teej
Member
Teej
3 years 4 months ago

Exactly. We all know that they met before the game and agreed to hold a shoulder fight at high noon. Greinke had plenty of time to plan the best strategy, and he made the wrong choice.

Preston
Guest
Preston
3 years 4 months ago

Your team mates are running to your aid, you don’t have to turn tail and run. But backing up to let your catcher, 1b, 3b etc. get there to mitigate the situation is a pretty good plan. Greinke ran at him. He wanted the physical conflict.

Eminor3rd
Member
Eminor3rd
3 years 4 months ago

But what if Greinke DID hit him on purpose? Shouldn’t he at least have equal blame? Whether or not Greinke did in this case, pitchers hit batters on purpose all the time.

OhhYesss
Guest
OhhYesss
3 years 4 months ago

That was clearly not on a purpose. It was like the 8th pitch of the AB!!!! The argument that Greinke hit him bc he plunked Quentin a few times back in 09 is egregious.

greg
Guest
greg
3 years 4 months ago

You have shit for brains if you thought there was any intent behind him being hit.

Eminor3rd
Member
Eminor3rd
3 years 4 months ago

You missed the point entirely. You want to penalize a hitter for attacking a pitcher but you don’t want to penalize a pitcher for attacking a hitter. No matter if you think this one was on purpose or not, YOU have shit for brains if you think batters don’t get hit on purpose REGULARLY.

schlomsd
Member
schlomsd
3 years 4 months ago

But what if Greinke got injured when one of his teammates fell on him in the pile? In that case Quentin was only indirectly responsible.

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 4 months ago

I’d still call him directly responsible. No charge, no pile, no injury.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
3 years 4 months ago

It’s called proximate causation.

Trenchtown
Member
Trenchtown
3 years 4 months ago

@ TKDC
Actually what Steve described is but-for causation. Proximate causation is whether the result was a reasonable and foreseeable outcome logically related to the original action.

evil kevin towers
Guest
evil kevin towers
3 years 4 months ago

Why should Quentin be suspended more games for attacking someone who doesn’t know how to fight? I don’t think you can suspend someone for 60 games for charging Zack Greinke when they could get 0 games for charging vintage era Nolan Ryan.

triebs2
Member
triebs2
3 years 4 months ago

Babylonian? No, Babylonian law (well, the Code of Hammurabi) would have us breaking Quentin’s clavicle. (After Quentin was allowed to plunk Greinke with a fastball, of course).

Sparkles Peterson
Guest
Sparkles Peterson
3 years 4 months ago

Reds fans cool with Johnny Cueto sitting out until Jason LaRue plays again? Yeah, thought not.

olethros
Guest
olethros
3 years 4 months ago

I am. Not a Reds fan, though.

NatsFan73
Member
NatsFan73
3 years 4 months ago

Tie it directly to the length of the injury? No that wouldn’t work. You could goose the suspension, however, by a set amount if the victim was injured such that he had to be DLed. Say, for example, a 15 day suspension for a 15 day DL stint, no matter how long the player actually stays on the DL.

swyck
Member
swyck
3 years 4 months ago

I like this. 5 or 6 days is not long enough, but 15 would be more reasonable when someone is hurt.

IMO there is no gray area in charging the mound. Just charging the mound should induce an automatic suspension.

Johnny Come Lately
Member
Johnny Come Lately
3 years 4 months ago

“Just charging the mound should induce an automatic suspension.”

That already happens. It’s just not long enough currently to eliminate mound charging all together.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
3 years 4 months ago

If a pitcher misses inside and it happens to break a player’s hand or wrist, it sucks, but it’s also part of baseball.

Like when Greinke beaned TCQ in the hand during their AL Central days.

greg
Guest
greg
3 years 4 months ago

You would assume that TCQ would have learned to hop out of the way or not crowd the plate as much after that instead of bitching about being hit.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
3 years 4 months ago

Batters have good reasons for not diving out of the way of anything that comes inside.

Think sliders.

Think plate coverage.

As a former pitcher, I would LOVE it if all batters had to hit the deck every time I threw inside. Hell, I’d do it 4-5 times a game just because I could.

Knowing that if you try to pitch inside to a batter that won;t move or take 1B is not a pleasant environment for the pitcher. The batter is going to cover the outer half, and you can’t “push him off the plate” b/c he’ll let it hit him and go to first.

Most batters get out of the way because they don’t like pain.

Eminor3rd
Member
Eminor3rd
3 years 4 months ago

You would then assume Greinke learned how to hop out of the way of a batter instead of leaning his shoulder directly into a much heavier person with a running start.

GoToWarMissAgnes
Guest
GoToWarMissAgnes
3 years 4 months ago

You can’t ‘hop out of the way’ of a man charging you. Unlike a baseball, he can change direction. I actually thought what Greinke did was all you can really ask. He assumed a defensive position and turned his non-throwing shoulder toward him.

Preston
Guest
Preston
3 years 4 months ago

Was this the first time you saw a guy charge the mound. Pitchers run away all the time.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
3 years 4 months ago

But you don’t get any gold or experience points for running!! Greinke will never level up that way, or be able to buy that broadsword two towns over…

Ken
Guest
Ken
3 years 4 months ago

While I agree that tying the length of suspensions to recovery time couldn’t actually work, I think we’re wasting time auguring about the wrong thing.

The most important and glaringly obvious thing to consider in this situation is that Quentin charged the mound and violently attacked Grenkie. This injury didn’t happen during the normal course of play – Quentin deliberately went out of his way with the intention of hurting another player. That shouldn’t be tolerated under any circumstances. Let’s put it this way – if he got caught with steroids, he’d be out 50 games. Which is worse, unnaturally enhancing your own performance, or assault?

Corey
Guest
Corey
3 years 4 months ago

Good argument!

OhhYesss
Guest
OhhYesss
3 years 4 months ago

If Greinke plunked him on purpose then t shouldn’t be a issue. But this was clearly just a ball that got away. If Quentin doesn’t realize that then as Mattingly said, “he doesn’t understand baseball”

Demiurge
Member
Demiurge
3 years 4 months ago

How does Greinke’s plunking make any difference? So it’s okay to assault and potentially batter someone if YOU think you were intentionally beaned? There’s a platitude about two wrongs I believe…

Intentional plunking isn’t cool either; intent, however, can be very difficult to determine. If a tribunal wants to determine intent after the fact and punish a pitcher for doing it I think that’s absolutely fair.

GoToWarMissAgnes
Guest
GoToWarMissAgnes
3 years 4 months ago

“So it’s okay to assault and potentially batter someone if YOU think you were intentionally beaned?”

Yes. That’s basically the underlying philosophy of justification defenses in law.

Matt
Guest
Matt
3 years 4 months ago

Actually, what you’re referring to is retaliation, which is NOT an acceptable justification defense. An example of a justification defense is self defense. If that is what Quentin would claim, the burden of proof would then be on him to show that he was in immediate danger and his actions were necessary to prevent further harm.

Clearly, in the case of a batter getting hit, there is no further immediate danger. Charging the mound is simply done in retaliation, certainly not in self-defense.

Eminor3rd
Member
Eminor3rd
3 years 4 months ago

The point is if you’re going to penalize one party, you have to be able to enforce the other. Otherwise, pitchers can throw all they want with no repercussions. At least now they have to know that the potential consequences of beaning someone is they come try to beat you up. The fight isn’t the solution, but the possibility of it is at least somewhat of a deterrent.

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 4 months ago

Depends, was the player in question A-Rod?

My echo and bunnymen
Guest
3 years 4 months ago

I posted this on Facebook because it is such a good point. I also gave you credit for this idea, I hope you don’t mind.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
3 years 4 months ago

What would we be saying if it were TCQ that broke his collarbone?

MonkeyEpoxy
Member
MonkeyEpoxy
3 years 4 months ago

That the idiot shouldn’t have charged the mound and got what he deserved?

Preston
Guest
Preston
3 years 4 months ago

So Greinke would be allowed to injure Quentin if provoked but whether or not Greinke meant to plunk Quentin by beaning him on purpose doesn’t matter?

The Foils
Member
The Foils
3 years 4 months ago

@Preston

Yes because throwing pitches at or around hitters is part of the game and tackling pitchers isn’t.

If Quentin is pissed about a purpose pitch, he goes to his dugout like a grown ass man and relies on one of his pitchers to bean someone else for him.

Let me put it this way:

In one column, we have charging the mound, throwing punches, and stabbing people.

In the other column, we have sliding hard and throwing inside.

Preston
Guest
Preston
3 years 4 months ago

Brawls are also a part of the game historically. And going from throwing a punch to “stabbing” makes you seem silly. And having your team-mate throw a pitch at the head of Zach Greinke’s team-mate is not being a man. It’s ridiculous. Why should Andre Ethier get plunked because Zach Greinke hit Carlos Quentin, they’ve been team-mates for a month?

Amish_Willy
Guest
Amish_Willy
3 years 4 months ago

And rather then mouthing off when Quentin took 2-3 steps toward Greinke, he could have tipped his hat, saying “my bad” and Quentin would know it was an accident. Greinke’s body language before the charge to go with what ever SmartA$$ comment he said (which prompted the charge mind you) played a huge role in the outcome. Lots of pitchers will give some gesture after a hit batter to show it wasn’t a malicious pitch. Greinke did not. Some guys do that indirectly, like smacking their glove in frustration for a poor pitch. Sucks he hurt, but boy a tap of the hat would have been a much better reaction.

Greinke has faced Quentin now 31 times, with Quentin having a .346 ISO off him… I can sorta see why he didn’t want to throw one down the plate to him with a full-count a 1-run game, and with such great control, it does make one wonder…

Mattingly’s reaction about Quentin being an idiot ignores the fact that Greinke didn’t do anything to prevent a charge, in fact he encouraged it. I don’t really share the pity party being thrown for Greinke, I’m sure he’ll learn how to prevent situations like these in the future, or so one would hope.

Jon L.
Member
3 years 4 months ago

There are two things no one’s talking about:

1. Greinke has a history of throwing up high on Carlos Quentin. He’s not plunking him in the butt; he’s getting up near his head.

2. We don’t know what Quentin would have done if Greinke hadn’t charged him. As Quentin approached the mound, Greinke ran at him and threw himself at him. He looked ridiculous, like a man charging a bull. Anyway, that’s how he broke his collarbone. If Greinke just stood his ground ready to defend himself, and Quentin injured him, I’d be much more interested in a punishment that correlated somehow (not in the ridiculous manner the Dodgers are suggesting) with the damage done.

P.S. I don’t have especially strong feelings about either team or either player involved, just happened to catch the incident on live television.

phattonez
Member
phattonez
3 years 4 months ago

No one is talking about it because why would you put the tying run on base intentionally when you already have 2 strikes on him?

randplaty
Guest
randplaty
3 years 4 months ago

Nobody is talking about Quentin charging only AFTER Greinke said “F*** off”. Quentin was trying to determine whether or not he was intentionally beaned. “F*** off” says it was intentional.

The Party Bird
Guest
The Party Bird
3 years 4 months ago

Umm, what? Seems like a perfectly normal thing for someone to say after they take offense to a 0-2 pitch that hits them and puts them on base as the tying run.

Or “F*** off, you’re the most notorious plate crowder in the game right now.”

Amish_Willy
Guest
Amish_Willy
3 years 4 months ago

The Party Bird: It wasn’t an 0-2 pitch, it was a 3-2 pitch. See the post a couple above why Greinke might not have been too inclined to throw one over the plate (.932 OPS allowed vs Q).

Is it a pitchers natural reaction to say “F-off” after an accidental hit batter, me thinks not. Guys miss their location and hit guys when they’re coming in frequently. The game would be a lot more exciting if everytime a pitcher plunked a guy and got a stare back he told them that, gets the fans in to it, great for the coverage… but probably not the smartest tactic for slight built arms facing dude’s of Quentin’s stature.

jim
Guest
jim
3 years 4 months ago

perfectly stated, ken

Mike K
Member
Mike K
3 years 4 months ago

Don’t allow brawls, simple enough. Anyone who leaves the bench/bullpen to get involved with a brawl is suspended. Anyone who charges the mound is supsended. Anyone throwing a punch is suspended. I’d say the suspensions would be something like 10 games for leaving bench, 10 for charging mound, 10 for throwing a punch. And they’re additive, so if you charge the mound and punch the pitcher, it’s 20 games. I also think if you REALLY want it to have teeth, negotiate with the union that those suspensions are UNPAID.

Won’t solve all of the problems of course, but I think it’s a good starting point for the discussion.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
3 years 4 months ago

I agree wholeheartedly. Baseball has, for too long, allowed this sort of idiocy as being “just part of the game.” Too many “old-schoolers” think that there’s a place for players meting out their own punishments on the field. Instead, they need to take a hard line against fighting and assaults like the one Quentin committed last night. Leaving the bench or the bullpen is a severe suspension, after an ejection. Charging the mound is another huge suspension. Deliberately throwing at a hitter is a huge — not just 5 or 6 game — suspension.

The problem is that MLB is basically feckless in matters such as these so the Dodgers will feel forced to exact their own punishment on Quentin.

Mike D
Guest
Mike D
3 years 4 months ago

If a fight breaks out in a football/hockey/basketball game and nobody leaves the bench, its 11/6/5 versus 11/6/5. If its a baseball game, the numbers are quite lopsided especially if the defense starts the fight.

philosofool
Member
Member
philosofool
3 years 4 months ago

Yes, but if your entire starting line up is suspended for entering the fight, then the defenders never lay a hand on anyone from another team.

BAgate
Guest
BAgate
3 years 4 months ago

So what if MLB is gutless? Whatever happened to the DA? It was an assault and battery that occurred in front of thousands of witnesses and TV cameras. Arrest the guy and give him 30 days in jail. Problem solved.

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 4 months ago

Greinke threw a hard object 90 MPHs and hit Quentin. That is also against the law outside of the context of a sporting event.

I’d suspend him for 15 games. That’s a very stiff punishment.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
3 years 4 months ago

Suspend him for 15 games for accidentally hitting someone who hangs out over the plate?

Good plan!

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
3 years 4 months ago

I think TCQ’s annoyance (for lack of better term) with the last 2 HBP’s from Greinke are that they have been in the upper back area, not in the hand, not in the forearm, not in the quad or butt, or anywhere close to the plate really.

We also know that the count was 3-2 and the catcher wanted it low and away. It is VERY possible that Greinke just said “screw it” and rather than try to paint the corner just decided to give TCQ one in the back since he may have walked him anyway. Seriously, low and away target, way up and in result? Nobody finds that even remotely suspicious?

There are quite a few interesting aspects of human behavior in this situation.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
3 years 4 months ago

The problem with this is that it could go the other way and pitchers would take advantage of this by “pitching in” all the time.

In reality we don’t know how the effect would materialize.

I think baseball could suspend at great length anyone that joins the fray and that includes catcher, 1B, etc.

The other problem is that, as a pitcher, your only choices are to not fight back and get beaten until the umps can stop it or fight back and defend yourself and be suspended.

My preference is, at the very least, to not allow others to join the fray. But, then it’s going to be like hockey where the umps are going to let guys brawl until it’s safe enough to break it up. You can’t expect 50yo men to sprint to get in between 2 6’2 225 guys trying to beat the crap out of each other.

NBA used to have major problems with goon forwards patrolling the lane with street justice and the NFL did too with all sorts of late hitss and after the play nonsense. Those aspects have been thwarted for the most part, as has baseball problems with “beanbrawls”. Remember the old days of NYY-BAL and things like that where an Armando Benitez fastball to Tino Martinez could lead to a good 10-minute fight?

Baseball’s “fight problem” is greatly exaggerated.

I’d much rather see emphasis placed on the breaking up double plays and implementing technology in calling balls/strikes.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
3 years 4 months ago

“Baseball’s “fight problem” is greatly exaggerated.”

Totally agree with this. How many of these incidents do we have a year, two or three? Sure it would be better if there were zero, but I would be more interested in doing things that would have a greater impact across all games – enforcing the 12-seconds-to-the-plate rule, etc.

DW
Guest
DW
3 years 4 months ago

So no one could step in while we watch Quentin beat the s*** out of Greinke? Do we have Jerry Springer style bodyguards standing next to the ball boys running out to stop it before Greinke dies?

King of the Byelorussian Crunkers
Guest

I see your point, but it doesn’t apply here.

#1, acting recklessly is the same as acting intentionally (e.g., murder is intentional killing and reckless disregard for human life). A 200lb man running full speed into a pitcher is reckless disregard for injury, conceptually the same as intionally injurying (I explain this to my kids all the time).
#2, the circumstances show that Greinke didn’t “start it”, in schoolyard terms. 1 run game, 3-2 pitch and it wasn’t even much of a brush back, Quentin rolled into it.

Causation seems to be the problem here, how do we know Greinke wasn’t injured in the pile-up?

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
3 years 4 months ago

You seem to imply that Quentin just accidentally ran into Greinke as if neither saw the other one coming. Quentin attacked Greinke and, while we don’t know when or how Greinke’s collarbone was broken, we can reasonably infer that Quentin intended some harm to Greinke. There absolutely was an intent to injure, if only to cause bruises, cuts or scrapes. He wasn’t simply acting recklessly, as you imply here.

King of the Byelorussian Square Dancers
Guest

I’m not implying that, and the Dodgers would certainly make your argument- once Carlos charged he’s the proximate cause of all the harm that follows. When cops shoot innocent bystanders, the law often blames the criminals that cops meant to hit.

I just think the assualt and the injury are separated by an attenuated chain of events, but reasonable minds will differ. I haven’t studied the tape, although I did enjoy Vin’s play by play (“That’s fertilizer”).

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
3 years 4 months ago

There is clear proximate causation. Whether it was the contact with Quentin or a result of the pileup that occurred with all other parties acting reasonably, it is Quentin’s fault.

Frank Q
Guest
Frank Q
3 years 4 months ago

What about first- and second-degree murder? Intent does count and whether it is premeditated does count.

Greg
Guest
Greg
3 years 4 months ago

What if a pitcher intentionally plunks a guy, but accidentally hits him in the head and he’s killed? Is that murder? Is it assault that Greinke hit Quentin with a ball in the first place? That can hurt just as much as a punch from anybody.

King of the Byelorussian Square Dancers
Guest

The range of your behavior from premeditated to reckless disregard is equally culpable. To say “intentional” narrows culpability for no reason.

Pitchers are required to throw a ball near batters, so it’s difficult to discern bad behavior there. Under no normal condition to batters tackle pitchers, so it’s easier.

Mark
Guest
Mark
3 years 4 months ago

If a 3-2 count means Greinke didn’t hit him intentionally then it also means Quentin didn’t roll into it intentionally either. Why would he roll into it in a three-ball count?

Tiensygohan
Guest
Tiensygohan
3 years 4 months ago

And your point? You don’t get a free “tackle the pitcher” card for not intentionally running into a pitch.

Mark
Guest
Mark
3 years 4 months ago

Strawman. Where did I say it’s OK to tackle the pitcher? I only said that you can’t pull the “Greinke wouldn’t hit him intentionally with a 3-2 pitch” card and then say “Quentin leaned into a 3-2 pitch intentionally”. It just shows the ridiculous pro-Greinke bias here that I don’t frankly understand. Is it because he’s better player than Quentin? Because he’s bit weird? Becuase he likes FIP?

Johnny Come Lately
Member
Johnny Come Lately
3 years 4 months ago

That’s completely unnecessary greg. Also, using f****t as a slur is highly offensive. I hope you get banned.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
3 years 4 months ago

Should Greg’s ban last until none of us feel offended anymore or should there be a set number of days?

Eminor3rd
Member
Eminor3rd
3 years 4 months ago

Greg is a whiny child

Billy
Guest
Billy
3 years 4 months ago

Couldn’t agree more Johnny. That was disgusting greg. You need to take anger management courses more than Quentin appears to need to. I’m seriously ashamed to have even read what you just wrote.

Don Zimmer's jowl sweat
Member
Don Zimmer's jowl sweat
3 years 4 months ago

Greg – the Milton Bradley of baseball forum posters. Trolls from website to website, eventually wearing out his welcome before being booted off. At least Milton had more talent.

Amish_Willy
Guest
Amish_Willy
3 years 4 months ago

In all liklihood Greg was molested as a child and suffers the scars from that abuse. Here’s hoping Greg’s misery ends soon. Scary world thinking of that manchild on the prowl.

Mark – agree completely. Lots of bias coming from lala land.

Tomrigid
Guest
Tomrigid
3 years 4 months ago

Because he’s the league leader in HBPs two years running.

Richard
Guest
Richard
3 years 4 months ago

how does a 3-2 count mean he wouldn’t have rolled into it?

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 4 months ago

This depends upon how quickly he decided the pitch was definitely a ball or not. If there is a chance the pitch could be called a strike, leaning into it makes sense. If he could tell it was a clear ball, the original point stands. No point leaning into ball 4.

Do any of us know the answer? nope…

Demiurge
Member
Demiurge
3 years 4 months ago

Has anyone here made the claim that Quentin purposefully moved into the pitch???

I’ll save you the trouble. No, they haven’t.

Scott
Guest
Scott
3 years 4 months ago

Fail.

King of the Byelorussian Crunkers says:
April 12, 2013 at 12:37 pm

#2, the circumstances show that Greinke didn’t “start it”, in schoolyard terms. 1 run game, 3-2 pitch and it wasn’t even much of a brush back, Quentin rolled into it.

geefee
Guest
geefee
3 years 4 months ago

“acting recklessly is the same as acting intentionally (e.g., murder is intentional killing and reckless disregard for human life)”

Nonsense. Intentional acts and reckless acts are sometimes treated the same way under the law, but that’s the law, it’s not real. It’s a fiction used to engineer behavior. In the real world, intent and recklessness are entirely different things.

randplaty
Guest
randplaty
3 years 4 months ago

What does “starting it” in schoolyard terms mean? Greinke hit Quentin with a pitch. Quentin stares Greinke down. Then Greinke said “F*** off” to Quentin. Quentin charges the mound.

Greinke started it in schoolyard terms.

Mark
Guest
Mark
3 years 4 months ago

Sounds like Sharia law. Western world has a different crime and punishment system for about 2500 years.

Tiensygohan
Guest
Tiensygohan
3 years 4 months ago

What is the relevance of your comment to the matter at hand? At best it sounds like you know absolutely nothing about Sharia law or western law for that matter. Or when and where to keep your bigotry hidden.

Mark
Guest
Mark
3 years 4 months ago

Well, you find the better metaphor for an overly punitive legal system that’s too focused on the final consequences of actions and totally disregards extenuating circumstances and I will gladly use that one next time.

Tiensygohan
Guest
Tiensygohan
3 years 4 months ago

Or you could just avoid using comparisons referring to things that are completely unknown to you.

Phrozen
Guest
Phrozen
3 years 4 months ago

I agree, this is a good metaphor. Afterall, basestealers routinely have their hands chopped off, and female players all wear bhurkas.

maguro
Guest
maguro
3 years 4 months ago

Here is an aplication of Sharia law that is comparable to what Mattingly is suggesting: A young Saudi man faces being forcibly paralyzed as a punishment under Islamic sharia law for a crime that left his victim confined to a wheelchair.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/04/17601030-saudi-court-orders-man-to-be-paralyzed-as-an-islamic-punishment?lite

PJC
Guest
PJC
3 years 4 months ago

Mark, please turn off Fox News and educate yourself about your own legal system. The Anglo-American legal system has had for centuries and continues to have the doctrines of “eggshell-thin skull” plaintiff and “take your victim as you find him” in tort law.

If someone commits a wrong for which they are liable under the law, then they are punishable for the extent of that liability. It doesn’t matter if they had bad luck to harm someone who was more brittle or who sustained a greater injury than someone else would have. The solution is for the tortfeasor to not have committed the wrong in the first place.

Well then
Guest
Well then
3 years 4 months ago

Pretty sure Mark is saying to punish someone in a literal way, such as hand for a hand, isn’t necessarily the way they do things in the U.S.

Many people in the U.S. are against capital punishment, and that is the closest thing we have to eye for an eye type of law. Some states don’t have, or simply don’t use capital punishment.

Basically Mark is saying, let’s not break Carlos’s collar bone and keep him out for 2 months because it is irrational, especially in this situation.

And you bringing Fox News into this as pathetic as you believe Mark’s comments to be. So maybe you are as foolish as he.

Mark
Guest
Mark
3 years 4 months ago

Right. And tort law analogy is off the mark. MLB suspensions are more like quasi-criminal trial. Anyone who thinks suspensions (“jail time”) should be determined by the extent of victims injuries and nothing else is advocating death penalty for manslaughter. And I’m the right-winger apparently!

Tiensygohan
Guest
Tiensygohan
3 years 4 months ago

I’m pretty sure Mark is insinuating pretty heavily that the Islamic cultures are barbaric and the West has had superior criminal justice system for 2500 years. Leaving aside the fact that the comment is obviously based on nothing but ignorance, such a comment doesn’t belong here, not on a baseball website and not regarding this particular topic.

maguro
Guest
maguro
3 years 4 months ago

Barbaric is in the eye of the beholder, but Islamic law is heavily based on the concept of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, so it seems like a fairly apt analogy for what Mattingly is suggesting here.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
3 years 4 months ago

“Leaving aside the fact that the comment is obviously based on nothing but ignorance, such a comment doesn’t belong here, not on a baseball website and not regarding this particular topic.”

You’re reading a lot of your own biases into Mark’s comment. His follow-up comments seem perfecftly reasonable.

zgf
Guest
zgf
3 years 4 months ago

framing this as a policy proposal rather than an indicator of unfairness buries the lede. carlos quentin and other hitters have body armor to protect their oft-hit dangling elbows; zack greinke just has a fifty pound weight differential and a momentum disadvantage when a hitter like quentin charges the mound. as long as baseball treats charging the mound as a minor offense, hitters will continue to charge the mound and endanger the health of pitchers. this shouldn’t be tolerated whether the pitcher is cc sabathia or tim collins.

give quentin a 50 game suspension. give the same to anyone charging the mound. quentin has led the league in HBP’s with less than 112 games before; i’m sure he can do it again.

Tiensygohan
Guest
Tiensygohan
3 years 4 months ago

Tying the length of suspension to the injury is arbitrary and is bound to be unfair, just a question of when. What the MLB needs to do is to follow the NBA’s example and implement the kind of strict liability rule for clearly defined instigative actions like leaving the dugout or leaving the box and walking towards the pitcher.

LaLoosh
Guest
LaLoosh
3 years 4 months ago

Context has to come into play in determining an appropriate penalty/suspension. Given that an intentional beaning was utterly ridiculous in that game situation has to be taken into account… unless there is something personal going on between these guys more than just the last hbp 4 years ago, it makes no sense to go after a player in a 1 run game with a full count in the 6th inning. Given those facts *and* that Quentin has been hit 116 times in little more than 700 games makes his mound charging all the more an egregious infraction, imo… not the severity of the injury to Greinke which is of course just unfortunate.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
3 years 4 months ago

Quentin could have easily avoided the pitch. He didn’t even flinch.

Not only should be not have acted like a complete child and charged the mound… he should not have been awarded first base either.

David
Guest
David
3 years 4 months ago

Well, it was a 3-2 count, and the pitch was a ball anyway, so he would technically still have been awarded 1st base, even if the umpire had enforced the “batter must make an effort to avoid the pitch” rule.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
3 years 4 months ago

Touche. :)

pogotheostrich
Guest
pogotheostrich
3 years 4 months ago

Besides the length of the suspension I wish they would call the hitter out when they charge the mound.

tehzachatak
Member
tehzachatak
3 years 4 months ago

Why don’t they, actually? He’s out of the baseline. By rule, they should, shouldn’t they?

philosofool
Member
Member
philosofool
3 years 4 months ago

The ball is dead when it hits the batter and players cannot make an out in a dead ball situation.

Nate
Guest
Nate
3 years 4 months ago

I wonder if a change as simple as calling the batter out would prevent batters from charging the mound. If the batter knows that once he takes that step toward the mound he will be hurting is team (and his stats), maybe he’ll think twice. That brief hesitation may be all it takes for the sense to come back to many players.

I’m not suggesting it would work for all players, but it may reduce the number of brawls.

Ian R.
Guest
Ian R.
3 years 4 months ago

Simple, elegant and actually imposes a baseball solution. I like it.

Tim
Guest
Tim
3 years 4 months ago

This is a really good idea. Hell, call everybody out. Charge the mound, end the inning.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
3 years 4 months ago

Don’t penalize the hitters behind Quentin for his actions. The proposal of automatic out is elegant and simple enough.

derp
Guest
derp
3 years 4 months ago

Getting hit by a pitch and breaking your hand is one of the risks that a batter takes when he steps into the batters box and is an integral part of the game.

Rushing the mound and injuring the pitcher because you thought a 3-2 pitch in a one run game was intentional is bush league, not something that is part of the game’s rules, and needs to be stamped out of the game.

I really see no way these two circumstances can be comparable, nor how punishment for one cannot be justified because of the other.

jld
Guest
jld
3 years 4 months ago

Under tort law, you’re responsible for whatever damage you cause, regardless of intent. ‘Glass jaw’ is the term I’ve seen used. (IANAL) Say you deliver a minor slap to someone, but unbeknownst to you, he has a glass jaw, and your normally benign slap destroys his whole jaw. You’re still liable for for the fact all the damage you did, regardless of having no intent to inflict such damage.

In this vein, perhaps Quentin serves standard ‘charging the mound’ suspension of 5-10 games, but then also pays Greinke’s salary to the Dodgers for time time Greinke misses, say up to 80% of Quentins salary?

Paul Wilson
Guest
Paul Wilson
3 years 4 months ago

The Padres should be responsible for paying Grienke’s salary during time missed. This would encourage the team to more strongly enforce discipline, potentially resulting in a decrease of future charge-the-mound rampages.

(Yu Darvish to get headlock training from Ranger’s CEO to protect their ace?)

Bill
Guest
Bill
3 years 4 months ago

You don’t think the hits on Morse were intentional? I think they were. When he didn’t put him on the first time, he hit him again. That loaded the bases so Texas could strike Ibanez out with a lefty reliever. Then in the next inning the Mariners threw a pitch at AJ Pierzynski that missed him.

tsunamijesus
Guest
tsunamijesus
3 years 4 months ago

The first pitch was meant to handcuff him, and was effective. The second pitch was thrown knowing his hand was pretty much toast and he couldn’t handle an inside pitch, but ran inside. It was a sound tactic, just got away from him. Clearly not intentional, the first one was almost a strike. Morse was pretty cool about the whole thing, too, I must say.

philosofool
Member
Member
philosofool
3 years 4 months ago

If you want to load the bases to face a lefty, there are intentional walks for that.

There are unwritten rules about when to bean someone, but as far as I know, the M’s hadn’t done anything to “deserve it” by the unwritten rules. And I’ve never heard of plunking a guy twice. You “get even” and then it’s over (until the other team decides that, in fact, you made things uneven and plunks one of your guys… John Locke was so clever on why we need government.)

mike wants wins
Guest
mike wants wins
3 years 4 months ago

Who cares if the pitch was on purpose. The violence by the hitter was on purpose. 20 games, minimum, for charging the mound. No pay.

Occupy Chavez Ravine
Guest
Occupy Chavez Ravine
3 years 4 months ago

Quentin should receive a medal for trying to help make sure the plutocrat Dodgers underachieve and underperform the D-Backs and Giants! Let the Dodgers ill-gotten wealth go to waste!

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
3 years 4 months ago

I have to admit that my feelings about this incident are influenced by the fact that it was one of those overpaid Dodgers who was injured.
I’m not saying I’m proud of it, just that I admit to it.

DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy
Guest
DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy
3 years 4 months ago

Overpaid? Dude was a second Ace, people who don’t even root for a real major league team talking smack now, this is just rich.

Bubba
Member
Member
Bubba
3 years 4 months ago

Yeah, don’t tie it to the length of the injury. That’s too subjective. Just make it much longer than a standard suspension.

tgm
Guest
tgm
3 years 4 months ago

Greinke’s pitch looked high, but over the inside edge of the plate. I know it was ball 4 anyway, but I thought a HBP was only supposed to be called if the ball enters the batter’s box?

Neil
Guest
Neil
3 years 4 months ago

The article makes a good case for why tying it to injury length is just difficult to do fairly. However, we should have stricter penalties for these types of actions.

Pitchers are bit tricky because of the intent issue, but their suspensions should be longer. Weaver threw at Avila’s head in 2011 after being taunted by Guillen and only got six games, which is equal to one start. That doesn’t seem harsh enough. Pitchers should be getting 15 games for serious infractions so they actually miss time.

Seems simple enough to me that any batter who charges the mound should be suspended for the season without pay. Seems like that would cut down on the problem and eliminate any bench clearing scenario.

I don’t know why we have to allow this kind of tough guy behavior when’s it’s so immature and stupid.

rbt
Guest
rbt
3 years 4 months ago

We may not know what Greinke’s intent was, but we certainly know Quentin’s…and his intent was to injure. That’s enough for me to justify putting him on ice for a very long time.

Scott
Guest
Scott
3 years 4 months ago

Please, oh please, explain and detail to us how you know the intentions of Quentin. I can charge the mound and not have the intention of injury. Just like a pitcher can play some chin music or even hit someone without the intent of injury.

Statements are made all the time in this child’s game played by testosterone-filled men. I think Quintin wanted to send the message that he doesn’t like to be hit, not that he wanted to injure the overpaid Dodger. Can you prove me wrong?

Either way, Quintin’s actions were unnecessary and the injury is unfortunate.

walt526
Guest
walt526
3 years 4 months ago

What was he trying to do if not injure Greinke? Cop a feel?

As a Giants’ fan, I’m not totally displeased to see the Dodgers lose one of their mercenaries for possibly as much as half a season. Nor am I disappointed that Kemp is possibly facing a suspension.

But Quentin deserves a really long suspension. The issue isn’t whether he meant to injure Greinke or not. It’s that he went batsh!t crazy over a HBP that he himself was partially culpable. If he isn’t hanging over the plate and leaning into it, then he doesn’t get hit. There are instances where a pitcher is completely at fault for a HBP, even if it was unintentional (like Randy Johnson’s beaning of JT Snow during a spring training game over a decade ago). But this wasn’t one of them. If Quentin doesn’t want a bruise on his shoulder, then he should rethink his batting stance.

I also really like the idea of calling out any batter who charges the mound.

Crumpled Stiltskin
Guest
Crumpled Stiltskin
3 years 4 months ago

Aren’t suspensions for hbp are stupid? The pitcher by the rules is allowed to throw at the hitter, and he’s allowed to hit him. If he does, he gets penalized and the batter gets awarded first base. According to the rules of baseball, that’s the sanction. And hbp is and has always been an obvious risk of being a batter.

That there is no sanction in the game for fighting (yes, there is potentially being tossed but the team still keeps first base, no outs are called) suggests that such fights are entirely extra curricular to the game and this extra curricular punishments can and perhaps should be considered. Really, baseball should do anything it canto eliminate such fights from bseeball and lengthy suspensions would be a start.

PJC
Guest
PJC
3 years 4 months ago

Dave, great article as always. I completely agree that the determination of intent is extremely difficult and should be approached warily. However, where intent can be clearly seen, as in the case of a punch thrown or mound charge, I have to disagree with you that individual healing times shouldn’t matter. As I mentioned earlier, the American legal system holds the person who committed the wrong responsible for the extent of that wrong, even if that involves some luck when it comes to how tough the victim turns out to be. The arbitrariness is considered a worthwhile tradeoff for (i) compensating victims and (ii) discouraging wrongs. The easy solution to not knowing how brittle a player is? Don’t punch them or charge them.

Matt Gray
Guest
Matt Gray
3 years 4 months ago

if we follow Mattingly logic, if a pitcher hits a batter, as a result the batter received a concussion, should the pitcher be given a suspension for the length of the DL trip… I hope not Morneau, Wright, and others need about a year to back into the game (returning to previous levels; not simply being in the batter box). like the article stated their are to many externalities.

PJC
Guest
PJC
3 years 4 months ago

Your example only makes sense if you equate a pitcher delivering a pitch in a competitive game, which is integral to the game and which he has the duty to do, with someone charging the mound or punching someone. I think most people see a difference there.

If you’re talking about a pitcher throwing at someone intentionally, assuming (a big assumption) it can determined from the outside that the pitch was thrown at the batter intentionally, then yes, Mattingly’s logic should apply and the suspension should match the DL trip.

glib
Guest
glib
3 years 4 months ago

This is something that technology can solve.

1) for each pitcher, determine his pitching accuracy by, for example, determine how far off the center of the placed glove he gets. Recording 100 pitches will be enough. Model this histogram as Gaussian, or double Gaussian if you want to be really accurate. This will accurately model both the width and the kurtosis of the real distribution.

2) Each pitch more than x sigma inside of the edge of the plate (probability for a single Gaussian is 0.00007 if x=4, and if the pitch was aimed at the exact edge of the plate) is an intentional pitch. Penalize the pitcher or the team as needed.

The problem, just like in the case of pitch framing, is that MLB will never do away with umps, who will work for management if some field decisions can improve the game’s marketing success. We will have to wait until someone gets concussed (or worse, baseballs are deadly weapons) and sues (or his family sues), just like the NFL.

Ty
Guest
Ty
3 years 4 months ago

A rule like a charging batter should be called out for leaving the baselines would do a lot to stop this nonsense. Then anyone who does so would be ridiculed for creating a stupid out.

KM
Guest
KM
3 years 4 months ago

I’m not sure that I agree 100% with Mattingly, but I don’t really see how the fact that its difficult to distinguish intent on a HBP has anything to do with penalties for charging the mound. Obviously the intent when a player charges the mound is to start fight. You can’t lessen the penalty for one offense because intent is foggy for a separate offense.

PJC
Guest
PJC
3 years 4 months ago

This

Ben
Guest
Ben
3 years 4 months ago

Forget the HBP aspect then, but there are other valid points. Should charging the mound against a brittle pitcher warrant a bigger suspension that charging against a durable one? That wouldn’t really be fair either.

The intent was clear on Quentin’s part and he will be suspended for that intent. If we base it by injury, then charging the mount is perfectly acceptable as long as the pitcher doesn’t get hurt enough to miss time and that doesn’t make sense.

jac
Guest
jac
3 years 4 months ago

This article gets needlessly bogged down in Mattingly’s suggestion that the suspension literally be tied to the injury. The better question to me is can MLB give greater suspensions if an injury occurs, and to that I say yes.

Baseball officials already dole out different length suspensions for different versions of the same rule-breaking. Everyone is fine with that. In many cases it’s not that difficult to determine intent and severity, and when it is, you can err on the side of innocent until proven guilty.

I think in a case like this, there should be an automatic 1 or 2 game suspension for going towards the mound from the batters box. But if Quentin had just gone out there and yelled until the teams came out and pulled them apart, I’d be fine with that being all he got.

If a player clearly throws a punch or does something with obvious intent to injure, then you give them more games for that. If Quentin had gone out and thrown a wild haymaker and missed, I’d say suspend him for 5-10 games for that.

Then if a guy obviously tries to to hurt someone, and succeeds, you hit them with a huge suspension. This can be based on the severity of the injury too. Knock a guy out for a week, you get a 15 game suspension. Knock a guy out for the season you get a 50 game suspension.

Sure some of the injury severity is chance, but that’s the risk you take when you leave the batter’s box and try to fight someone. If Quentin, who is a total schmuck, wants to get hit by pitches all the time and then be a big fucking baby about it, let there be some real consequences if he hurts someone.

mike wants wins
Guest
mike wants wins
3 years 4 months ago

Shouldn’t matter if you succeed in hitting a guy, a punch is intended to injure. It isn’t the outcome of a punch that should determine the penalty, but just the act of throwing a punch.

philosofool
Member
Member
philosofool
3 years 4 months ago

While intentions are not irrelevant to the being punished, we should probably also hold people responsible for the harms they cause.

Zobmie
Member
Zobmie
3 years 4 months ago

I could see the suspension being tied to injury length in the case of charging the mound, or instigating a fight or brawl. Those aren’t part of the baseball game and their intent is clear. You don’t get into a fight with someone unless your intent is to cause them harm.

Icebox
Guest
Icebox
3 years 4 months ago

Stupid question from a non-lawyer: in strictly legal terms, what prevents Greinke or the Dodgers from taking private action against Quentin?

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
3 years 4 months ago

From a lawyer who knows very little about this type of thing:

Injuries that happen during sports must fall outside the game to be actionable. This can be a fuzzy line. If you hit a QB really hard in the head right after he throws the ball, clearly still part of the game (even if it is a 15 yarder). If you stab the quarterback in the locker room during half time, clearly outside the game. Hockey fights seem to at this point be part of the game. Arguably charging the mound is part of the game from a legal standpoint (I disagree based on my own opinion, and I would hope a judge would, too, but I doubt he/she would). If it is outside the game, normal tort rules would apply. This was a battery. Damages might be tough to prove (I don’t think you could say damages are necessarily just his salary while sidelined).

The second thing that would make this unlikely is pressure from MLB, which I assume would definitely not want a team suing another player on a different team – I’m sure the MLBPA would have something to say about that. It could get messy.

Drew
Guest
Drew
3 years 4 months ago

MLBPA most likely.

geefee
Guest
geefee
3 years 4 months ago

Yeah, charging the mound would almost certainly be considered part of the game, in that it’s a “thing” in baseball with a long history. Quentin’s actions would have to be extraordinary (think Bertuzzi, McSorley), but they really weren’t at all.

Also bears mentioning that Greinke was a willing participant in the exchange. He was the one who arguably instigated the whole thing (or at least played a role in provoking Quentin), and he lowered his shoulder and delivered a hit, but got the worst of it.

Jericho
Guest
Jericho
3 years 4 months ago

Willing participant may be a bit far fetched. He did defend himself, but that does not make one a willing participant. Some states do require people to flee if possible. Some people want to “blame” Greinke for the perceive as words instigating the fight. First, it’s hard to know what Greinke said. Second, under the law, words do no justify physical attacks. Quentin could be liable, but I agree that the two biggest issues are: (1) was this within the scope of the game (debatable) and (2) political pressure not to sue.

Trader
Guest
Trader
3 years 4 months ago

Zach cursed Quentin out, then charged at him just the same.

For all he knew, Quentin would have charged, stopped short of him, then merely cursed in his face. Zach instigated the contact as much as Quentin did, if not more.

Its insane that all these people are acting as if Zach is somehow a victim here. He could have stopped everything dead in its tracks with a motion of “sorry”, didnt have to further flame things with “F* you” and could have taken actions to avoid contact instead of rushing to ensure it.

Zach got what he deserved, quite honestly. This entire situation came about because of his actions from start to finish.

Matt
Guest
Matt
3 years 4 months ago

“Zach instigated the contact as much as Quentin did, if not more.”

uhhh what video were you watching, Trader?

Brett
Guest
Brett
3 years 4 months ago

Yeah I think this should be legislated away. But I recognize it would be hard to do. How much do you punish the hitter and pitcher? Do you punish the pitcher more if he says something inciting? Do you punish the pitcher if it was a curveball? How about something to keep teams and bullpens on the bench? What kind of legislation would work for that? No one will charge if they know they will be going 1 vs. 9

Ben
Guest
Ben
3 years 4 months ago

IMO, The dirtiest part of the exchange was when Greinke was grabbing Quentin’s balls as he is getting tossed to the ground. Pathetic.

Drew
Guest
Drew
3 years 4 months ago

Dirty in all the right ways.

What would you do when a man 50 pounds heavier is bearing down on you?

Ben
Guest
Ben
3 years 4 months ago

Not talk smack after you smoke him with a baseball.

Trader
Guest
Trader
3 years 4 months ago

not curse him out after you make a mistake? Or how about, not charge him back?

Zach…
A) (supposedly) made a mistake
B) cursed out the victim of his mistake instead of taking responsibility
C) instigated/ensured physical contact by charging back
D) …now whines that he is supposedly the victim since his childish, idiotic actions did not lead to an outcome favorable to him

Matt
Guest
Matt
3 years 4 months ago

Wow. “Charging back” is a gross hyperbole. More accurately, Greinke lowered his shoulder while taking 1-2 steps in order to defend himself against someone who is charging at him with a significant amount of momentum.

Ian R.
Guest
Ian R.
3 years 4 months ago

One issue with a lengthy suspension for an on-field incident is that the team in question is also penalized with the loss of a roster spot. If Quentin gets suspended for 50 games due to this, do the Padres have to play with 24 men for the next 50 games? That seems awfully harsh.

Drew
Guest
Drew
3 years 4 months ago

Quentin deserves a longer suspension then he will receive (same deal with Cueto), but I think it’s a fool’s game to try to distribute suspensions and determine fault when we have these huge fights boiling over. If MLB was serious about curtailing fighting and sending a strong message to its fans (hint: they’re not) they would implement rules that attempted to stop the fights before they started, and limit them once they started. Ideas:

*Following a HBP or clear intent to hit the batter, any batter who takes two steps towards the mound or remains in/around batter’s box after being awarded his base for non-injury purposes is a five game suspension, not including ejection. If the batter happens to be a pitcher, the player is ejected and suspended five games or his next scheduled start

*Following a HBP or clear intent to hit the batter, any pitcher who gestures at/steps towards/speaks to batter is a five game suspension, or suspension of next scheduled start, not including ejection.

*In the event of a fight that does not occur initially between the pitcher and batter, the umpiring crew will attempt to determine culpability among the two parties. The instigator is suspended five games or his next scheduled start. If culpability is indeterminable or if both parties are at fault, then both players shall be ejected and suspended for three days. A pitcher who will not miss his next scheduled start on a three day suspension will be suspended without pay.

*If a fight occurs, ball is dead. All defensive infielders must return to their team’s dugout, all offensive base runners must return to their team’s dugout, and all defensive outfielders must return to their team’s bullpen. Failure to exit the field of play may be punishable with a five-game suspension at umpire’s behest.

*Any and all players on the field at the time of the conflict who embroil themselves in the fight beyond the initial combatants are subject to immediate ejection, and a ten game suspension or suspension of next two scheduled starts.

*Managers and coaches are allowed to remain on the field and exit the dugout. Any players exiting the dugout are subject to an automatic twenty game suspension, or suspension of their next four scheduled starts. Managers and coaches are only allowed to restrain their own players; attempts to restrain opposing players/coaches/managers is a five game suspension.

On a tangent, maybe the league should track HBP the way NBA tracks flagrant fouls. Make the accrual to the detriment of both club and player. Say teams have fifty HBP to “give” each season, past that you can pop teams with an escalating fine. Also, fine players at the end of the season if they’re hitting players at a higher than average rate (going by (median club IP)/(median club HBP), I got about one every thirty innings).

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
3 years 4 months ago

I definitely think that charging the mound after getting hit should mean A) forfeiting first base and B) and out being recorded. I think that if changing the mound means actively hurting your team’s chances in the current game, that will really reduce the number of times it happens.

If all that will happen is a ejection/suspension, then the team is only losing that player’s contribution for a few games. But, in a 2-1 game like it was, Quentin would get major shit from his own team/fans for getting the Dodgers one out closer to winning and sacrificing a baserunner, just because he was pissed.

For god’s sake, the HBP rule actually says the runner has to physically go touch first base for a HBP to count. Jeff’s article on applying rules already in the books seems really timely right now.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
3 years 4 months ago

the problem with huge suspensions for charging the mound is of course that pitchers will have even less fear of pitching inside or of settling scores with HBP’s.

Maverick Squad
Guest
Maverick Squad
3 years 4 months ago

A lot of the reaction seems to be because Greinke is an All-Star with a big contract. What if it was John Lannan who had gotten hurt?

Drew
Guest
Drew
3 years 4 months ago

Who?

Maverick Squad
Guest
Maverick Squad
3 years 4 months ago

Lannan, y’know. That guy with the massive heater.

the hitman
Member
the hitman
3 years 4 months ago

Watch again and you will see CQ start to walk to 1st and Greinke throw his glove down and incite the fight to happen.

fromlos
Guest
fromlos
3 years 4 months ago

He never walks to 1st base! He takes a few steps to the mound and when Greinke says whatever he said he charges.

Matt
Guest
Matt
3 years 4 months ago

What video were you watching hitman? Just bizarre how people see what they want to see.

randplaty
Guest
randplaty
3 years 4 months ago

It’s well documented that Greinke instigated the fight with an expletive. Quentin gets HBP all the time and has NEVER charged the mound in a major league game. Greinke mouths off after hitting batters all the time. Was Quentin wrong? Yes. Should he be suspended a long time? Yes. But you know what? Greinke got what he deserved.

Jericho
Guest
Jericho
3 years 4 months ago

Sticks and stones, right? Quentin caused the physical confrontation and should reap what he sowed. If I go to a bar and punch a guy in the face. I am liable for his medical bills and his pain and suffering. If the guys is tough and gets just a bruise, then its minimal. If I shatter the guys face and he requires $50,000 in medicals, then I am liable for that. The law basically states I am liable for my actions. Quentin can and should be held to the same standard.

A system that judges intent will never be perfect, but its probably better than doing nothing.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
3 years 4 months ago

To me ZG’s injury is like when TCQ breaks his hand punching his bat. You understand the frustration, you understand the emotion, but you also understand that when you punch your bat there’s a chance you’ll break your hand.

Likewise, if you tell an angry opponent “F— Off” after you’ve caused an incident (either intentionally or not), then one of the likely consequences is that they are going to want to release that frustration on you or at least get your attention so you’ll think twice about the next time.

If you choose to meet that angry opponent head on, and they are more muscular than you, the one of the likely consequences is that you could be injured.

fromlos
Guest
fromlos
3 years 4 months ago

In the mexican proffesional soccer leauge if a player ends up with an injury that resulted by a malicious foul, The player responsible will not play until the injured player does. He will also be docked salary to cover the injured player’s paycheck. I must addmit I am a little biased as I am a Dodger fan. It also pains me to addmit that if I was a Dodger pitcher I would throw at him. I would throw at his head. The players union is like a mob lawyer. The power these people have over the leauge is shameful. He or any other player that hurts a player in that manner should be punished severly. Our run at a WS championship is at risk because of this.

Ziggy
Guest
Ziggy
3 years 4 months ago

Personally, I think he should go to jail for what he did. Then the Padres would sans Quentin while he’s in San Quentin.

Teddy
Guest
Teddy
3 years 4 months ago

I am from the UK so didn’t grow up with Baseball. I have watched and loved the game for around 8 years now but can never understand the ‘unwritten rules’ side of things. To me throwing a projectile at 90+mph at someone who cannot retaliate or sliding through a defenseless guys standing foot (extremely dangerous) smashing into a guy as fast and hard as you can when he is trying to catch a ball are all cheap shots. Having a teammate throw a ball at a different player is not fair retribution. Greinke had two opportunities to take the high road, he could of dothed his cap and apologised or he could of high-tailed it when he saw Quentin coming. He chose to face Quentin like a man. It was an error in judgement but I have no sympathy that he broke his collarbone as a result. Maybe he will think twice about doing cowardly things such as throwing baseballs at people in future with no fear of retribution.

KW
Guest
KW
3 years 4 months ago

All societies depend on unwritten rules–it’s called self-policing, and is the way a society can avoid having some massive, draconian rulebook to cover every conceivable situation. HPBs, etc., in normal baseball play are acceptable and time-honored ways for players to keep each other in line. Occasionally it does get out of hand, but removing this tool from their hands risks greater repercussions downstream. Take away the self-policing nature of society and members will have no means of keeping order amongst themselves. Guess what? In come the lawyers, the bureaucrats, and the heavy-handed rulers like Roger Goodell.

Derek
Guest
Derek
3 years 4 months ago

This is the dumbest article I have ever read. The writer, if we should call him that, took what Mattingly said and twisted it all around into something completely different. Quentin, or any other player who charges the mound, absolutely should be suspended for the amount of time as a player they injure. There is no evidence to suggest that Greinke intentionally threw at that sissy, Quentin. As a matter of fact, Quentin even admitted that he was mad at Greinke because he hit him FOUR YEARS AGO! Therefore, any pitch from Greinke that hit Quentin was going to raise the ire of Quentin and cause this to happen. Quentin should be suspended until Greinke comes back and should spend that time thinking about what a sissy he really is!

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
3 years 4 months ago

Your emotion is clouding your logic.

Randy
Guest
Randy
3 years 4 months ago

My thought is if you charge the mound you are called out and no longer able to take first base.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
3 years 4 months ago

I like the idea, but I don’t think it would work out as intended.

I think it would give pitchers a long of leeway in regards to drilling guys with little consequences.

Likewise, I don’t want to see pitchers ejected after 1-2 HBP’s.

But we also don;t need pitchers HBP’ing guys intentionally or not, and then “baiting” them to charge so they can get an out recorded.

Jordan
Guest
Jordan
3 years 4 months ago

The Dodgers should sue Quentin for the portion of Grienke’s salary that they have to pay while he’s on the DL. That would put an end to this type of behaviour in a hurry.

legendaryan
Member
legendaryan
3 years 4 months ago

Batters face injury risk when the pitcher hits them. Similarly, the pitcher faces injury risk when the batter charges him. This has always been a part of baseball. Pitchers just need to know that batters don’t like getting plunked.

If they are worried about getting charge by the batter, then they need to take that into account before they throw at him…

Baseball has always policed itself rather well.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
3 years 4 months ago

Baseball’s worst brawls always seem to include the guys that “rush in”, very often former teammates that didn’t get along, etc. Save Ryan-Ventura, very few brawls involve one guy actually beating up the other. Most of the time, it’s just some glove throwing, jersey pulling, back-pedaling, cat scratching, and a lot of talking about what the other is going to do to them after the game.

If players were not allowed to “join the fray” and batters-pitchers who engaged in a fight had a hockey type fight until they went to the ground where umps could safely break it up, then there might be even fewer brawl situations in baseball.

When there are major fights it almost always seem to be when some punch jumps in from the side or some cling-on utility man or middle reliever decides that’s how they are going to show their dedication to the team.

Did anyone notice how many chances TCQ had to punch ZG as ZG had his “head down”, but he just kept trying to “grab him”. In watching the video I don;t think TCQ ever threw a punch at ZG, but it did look like ZG threw a right. I only bring that up because if the intent was to hurt ZG or injure him, rather than just let him know how much you don;t appreciate it, then I would have thought that punches would have been the best way to cause the damage.

legendaryan
Member
legendaryan
3 years 4 months ago

I think when guys join it, it can do a great deal for a team’s commodore.

A few years ago the Mariners were playing Oakland and Ichiro was pushed out of the way by the A’s Joe Blanton, and Jason Ellison took none of it – starting a skirmish.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2007-07-08-3511124381_x.htm

I don’t know about the rest of the M’s players, but it made me respect/recognize Ellison more.

To expand on my earlier point of batters and pitchers both needing to know the injury risk when they either charge the mound or throw at a guy, teams could instill more restrictions on players by using more protective contract language.

Greinke just signed a huge contract, perhaps future contracts should have clauses for injuries sustained in baseball fights. Teams can’t be expected to pay players that injure themselves in non-baseball related (at least per the rules) activities.

Knowing there is injury risk and therefore $$ risk, I think players would take the precautions necessary to avoid fighting if they could.

wpDiscuz