Jake Arrieta is down for a good, old-fashioned donnybrook.
Arrieta was asked Tuesday during a radio interview about the huge brawl that took place between the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants on Monday at AT&T Park, and the Chicago Cubs pitcher gave the melee his full stamp of approval.
“I don’t think anybody is right or wrong. I thought it was awesome,” Arrieta told WSCR, according to ESPN.com. “Every once in a while, it’s refreshing to see two teams emotionally charged getting after it. And when something like that happens versus continuing to chirp and talk about it, why don’t you go out there and see somebody? That’s exactly what happened in the game (Monday).”
Monday’s fight began when Giants reliever Hunter Strickland plunked Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper with a 98-mph fastball, prompting the latter to charge the mound and the benches to empty. It was a big fight that seemingly stems from Harper homering twice off Strickland in the teams’ 2014 National League division series.
Strickland received a six-game suspension for his role in the fracas. Harper was slapped with a four-game ban.
While the subject of fights in Major League Baseball can be polarizing, especially given the unique nature of Monday’s altercation, Arrieta sees no issue in guys engaging in on-field fisticuffs to settle their differences.
“If two guys want to go see each other, let them be in the middle, let them throw some punches, then break it up,” Arrieta told WSCR, per ESPN.com. “I don’t like to see any sucker punches. I do think in the heat of battle if you’re getting hit on the hip with 98, then you should be able to go out and see somebody. I think the umpires handled it well. They let them exchange for a moment, then they tried to break it up.
“What I don’t like to see is a lot of chirping and guys just talking crap to each other. If you got something wrong with a guy, go see him. And then they’ll break it up and continue to play the game.”
All told, Arrieta also sounded like somewhat of a hardo when discussing the topic.
“If it’s my catcher, I want him to wait and give me an opportunity to do a little damage,” Arrieta said. “I don’t want it broken up right away. If it happens, I’ll let you know. I’ll be ready. You know, I like my chances toe-to-toe with just about anybody.
“I know (Cubs catcher) Willson (Contreras) would probably beat whoever charges the mound to the mound, but I’ll tell him and Miggy (Montero), ‘Hey, give me 10, 15 seconds to get some work in and then come out and see me.’ ”
According to Arrieta, he’s never been charged at any level while on the mound. Perhaps that will change if he keeps acting like he can take the world.
But nevertheless, his point still stands.
Thumbnail photo via Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports Images
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