Take Me Out To The Brawl Game

Last night’s brawl between the Dodgers and Padres ends in Zack Greinke’s fractured collarbone.

Last night’s brawl between the Dodgers and Padres ends in Zack Greinke’s fractured collarbone.

In high school, 6’2, 235 lbs. San Diego Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin was a star linebacker, helping to lead his school to a California State Championship, and winning the award for Western League Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. So we shouldn’t be all that surprised that when head-charged Los Angeles pitcher Zack Greinke last night, he laid on a hit that fractured the former Cy Young-award winner’s collarbone:

The pair have a history, with Greinke plunking Quentin twice before when both were in the American League, but given the circumstances — Quentin was hit on the left arm, there was a 3-2 count with two outs in a one run game — Quentin’s reaction seemed….misplaced. At least to the Dodgers, who poured out of the dugout for 2013’s first major brawl. Dodgers third baseman Jerry Hairston, Jr. appeared to challenge the entire Padres bench, and Matt Kemp appeared to blow a gasket, going so far as to challenge Quentin in the tunnel after the game; the two ultimately had to be separated by police. So, why were the Dodgers so peeved? Well, it looks like Greinke will be out for at least six weeks, this after LA signed him to a six-year, $147 million deal this off-season. So there’s that. Quentin is also notorious for leaning into pitches, racking up more hit-by-pitches than anyone else in the majors over the last five years. So there’s that, too. 

“The only thing I’m going to say about the whole thing that happened there is I’ve never hit him on purpose. I never thought of hitting him on purpose,” said Greinke after the game. “He always seems to think that I’m hitting him on purpose, but, I mean, that’s not the case.” As for Quentin’s tendency to lean in, Greinke said, “I actually thought it was just a ploy to get people to not throw inside to him. I just feel like he’s trying to intimidate people to throw away. But I don’t know anyone who has hit him on purpose. I know I haven’t. Like I said, I hadn’t even thought about hitting him on purpose before.”

“Myself and Greinke have a history. It dates back a few years. You guys can look it up. It’s documented,” said Quentin.”It could have been avoided. You can ask Zack about that. For me, I’ve been hit by many pitches in my career. I think you guys know that. I can tell you I’ve never responded in that fashion, so you guys can do your homework on that. For me, the situation is done. That’s it.”

After the game, Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly said that Quentin “shouldn’t play a game until Greinke can pitch.” That’s not going to happen, but there’s no doubt that the Dodgers got the worst of the situation. For sports fans, though, there was a silver lining. How awesome is it to hear Vin Scully — the voice of baseball — call pay by play during a brawl in which he has to negotiate the obvious profanities being spewed by players from both squads, especially Kemp, who seems to have a weakness for “fertilizer”? 

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