Monday, May 7, 2012

I should plunk someone

Look here.

Done?  Good.  Glad you did that.

Now, he brings up some good points.  Hamels did look like an idiot by hitting Harper for no reason than to introduce him to the big leagues.  As far as I know, Harper has never made any comments to give him an ego moreso than the talent he is displaying.  I know there's a lot of hype with the kid, but a lot of it is media driven.  So yeah, maybe he should have hit some of the Nats' beat writers instead.

It's also good that he brings up specific examples where pitchers hit with intent.  But there's somethings that I want to blog about because it's stupid:

1) Hitting intentionally is stupid.  You want to pay someone back?  How about not giving them a free base-runner?  I understand wanting to get the physical violence in there, but in the end you're just giving the team a free runner, which can easily translate into a run.

2) The idea that Justice promotes where most HBP's are in retaliation.  Mathematically, that's not possible is it?  Because that would mean an initial offense would have to occur where a batter was hit.  Then retaliation could come.  Unless it always leads to a bean ball war, which does happen occasionally but not the whole time, most HBP's happen due to other reasons.  What reasons?  I'm going to guess an accident where they're either trying to pitch inside or the ball just plain ol' slips out of the pitcher's hand.

3) A specific example he cites:

Wheeler walked in from the bullpen at Wrigley Field, plunked Derrek Lee as retaliation for Lance Berkman and Carlos Beltran being hit, and won huge respect in the clubhouse. Suddenly, a club that had been struggling to find its way went 26-7 and clinched a playoff berth on the final day of the regular season.

So, you're telling me that if Wheeler doesn't hit DLee in that game, the Astros don't gel and don't go on an amazing run (with a rotation anchored by Oswalt and Clemens and a pen that includes an in-his-prime Brad Lidge, and an offense that has an in-his-prime Lance Berkman and Carlos Beltran and Jeff Kent), they don't win the Wild Card that year?  That ONE HBP (which, remember, gives the team a free runner) caused that unconsious run over those 33 games (where they faced a lot of sub-500 teams and a St. Louis team that had clinched long before and was just going through the motions of the end of the season.)?  Can you not distinguish between causality and coincidence?

My guess: No.  How about this Justice: Someone spits in your eggs.  You win the lottery that day.  Was it because someone spit in your eggs?  No, it wasn't.  It was coincidental, just like that HBP.

MLB: Good job suspending Hamels for those 5 games.  Maybe he'll find some other message in that.


  1. "As far as I know, Harper has never made any comments to give him an ego moreso than the talent he is displaying." - In response to this: In the minors he blew a kiss to an opposing pitcher after belting a home run. There are other examples, but none quite as strong.

    As for refusing to plunk a guy on purpose, I am torn. While I'd rather see a guy come out and retire the side on 9 strikes after watching one of his teammates get drilled there are 2 things that stop me from wishing that 100% of the time.

    1) Anecdotal evidence suggests that when the Yankees took the high road, they got hit MORE for it. ***This may however be my recollection of watching players get plunked and then never retaliating.
    2) I really don't like it when guys stand at home plate and watch their shots. I'm about 100% okay with them getting stood up straight on their next at bat, whether they take one in the ribs, or a fastball just happens to come in tight.

  2. A lot of players do stupid things after hitting HR. Not saying the kid isn't cocky, but he IS a kid. Lately, I haven't heard much other than people praising his intelligence on the field (like that steal of home--which was pretty sweet).

    I'm not fully against retaliation. I am against giving a team a free runner because you're mad at them. It's like sac bunting with someone other than the pitcher--you're giving something away for free.

  3. Hamels probably shouldn't have hit Harper but he did. He didn't get marching orders to do so and since it was not a retaliation he probably lost respect from his teammates instead of gaining any.

    Plunking in retaliation is a part of the game, always has been and probably always will be. It's like fighting in hockey, there is a protocal to be followed within the realm of the plunk/fight. Don't do it just for the heck of it is very close to the top of the list and Hamels ignored this section of the unwritten rule. Had Harper been inching towards the plate and crowding it then he should have gotten plunked. This was not the case, the kid was in the batters box - not standing on home plate.

    Hamels admitting that he did it was just dumb, keep your mouth shut and while everybody knows at the same time nobody knows. I still cannot for the life of me figure out why he blabbed.