Ubaldo Jimenez and Troy Tulowitzki played parts of six seasons together in Colorado before Jimenez was shipped to Cleveland prior to last season’s trade deadline. If Sunday was any indication, they probably haven’t stayed in touch since the right-hander’s departure.
Jimenez — who’s having a horrendous spring, by the way — plunked Tulowitzki during Sunday’s spring training matchup, which resulted in plenty of on-field fireworks.
Jimenez reportedly pounded his chest and walked towards Tulowitzki after beaning the Rockies shortstop, which led to the two teams clearing the benches. After the game, Jimenez insisted that he didn’t intentionally hit Tulowitzki, saying it was “just one pitch that got away that could happen to anybody.”
Rockies skipper Jim Tracy isn’t buying that explanation, though. And he voiced his displeasure after what was eventually a 12-10 Indians win.
Tracy called the incident “the most gutless act I’ve seen in 35 years in the game.”
“That’s exactly what I witnessed,” Tracy said. “He intentionally threw at him, he should be suspended. I’ll be very disappointed if he doesn’t get suspended because he deserves to be suspended.”
The whole situation is made even more intriguing by the fact that Jimenez and Tulowitzki shared the same locker room for a number of years. Tulowitzki and Rockies teammate Carlos Gonzalez each received contract extensions during that time, while Jimenez was sent packing, so one has to wonder if the apparent bad blood stems from that.
In any event, the two dismissed the “altercation” after the game, and Indians manager Manny Acta provided perhaps the best description.
“It was a natural reaction by players,” Acta said. “Manhood, man! Nobody wants to back down.”
Whatcha gonna do, brother?
“Those guys hadn’t been out there in 12 minutes. It’s a gutless move by their coach. It’s gutless.”
–Flyers coach Peter Laviolette discussing the fireworks that took place toward the end of Sunday’s Flyers-Penguins game, and making it perfectly clear that “gutless” was, in fact, the word of the day.
Now there’s a hobby worth considering.
Not buying it.