Carlos Quentin’s decision to charge the mound was dumb. The ensuing brawl led to a suspension for him and, more importantly, a broken clavicle for Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke. But as unfortunate as Greinke’s injury is, there’s no reason it should have increased the suspension handed down to Quentin.
Quentin was suspended eight games by Major League Baseball for his role in Thursday’s rumble. It’s a decent-sized suspension, but some –- mostly those on the Dodgers’ side of the fence -– feel as though the Padres slugger got off easy.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said after Thursday’s game that Quentin should be suspended for as long as Greinke’s out of action. Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw holds similar sentiments toward Quentin, who has already decided to appeal the suspension.
“If he’s smart, he’ll take the suspension,” Kershaw said after Friday’s game. “Eight games is not nearly enough. For what he did, he should be OK with that.”
The frustration in L.A. is understandable. Losing a front-end starter sucks, and it sucks even more when the entire situation that led to the injury was very much avoidable. Let’s not start changing the way we operate because of the names involved, though.
Not to sound unsympathetic toward what the Dodgers are now faced with, but would this really be as big of an issue if we were talking about someone other than Greinke? No one -– at least outside of a few sickos — wants to see a team lose a talented pitcher like Greinke because of an injury, especially when that pitcher is in the first year of a $147 million contract. It doesn’t change the fact that Major League Baseball should still operate as it would under other circumstances.
Baseball fights hardly ever yield positive results, which makes one wonder why they’re still relatively common. Players sometimes get hurt, and as unfortunate as that is, it’s part of the whole fighting concept. After all, these are grown men throwing their bodies around. It isn’t some pajama pillow fight. (Well, maybe a few look that way from time to time.)
Greinke and the Dodgers may not have asked for the fight -– although Greinke seemed to be a willing combatant when he threw down his glove and eventually lowered a shoulder into Quentin -– but there have been plenty of other pitchers who have been forced to defend themselves against angry, oncoming batters despite not wanting to engage in fisticuffs. A lot of times, the pitcher will run or throw his glove in defense. Greinke opted to stand his ground, and he paid for it.
Quentin was certainly the aggressor, but to all of a sudden expect Major League Baseball to hand down some abnormal suspension is crazy talk. Players have charged the mound in the past, and guys have gotten hurt as a result. It didn’t lead to some precedent-setting punishment, so why should this?
Greinke’s injury definitely stings more, but we should all just accept it for what it is: an unfortunate fluke occurrence.
There, it’s done with.