Old, tired traditions ready to be dumped: the retaliation beaning. Whatever MLB managers and players may tell you, it’s nearly impossible to determine with any consistent degree of accuracy whether a pitcher has truly hit someone on purpose. In the batter’s box, shit happens, and who’s to say of an inside pitch was thrown with intent, or was a product of slippage?
On Saturday night the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen was drilled in the back by Diamondbacks’ reliever Andrew Delgado. It was apparent retaliation for Paul Goldschmidt, who suffered a fractured hand on Friday when he was hit by Pirates’ reliever Ernesto Frieri in the ninth inning, with Pittsburgh ahead by five runs. Goldschmidt was relegated to the 15-day DL on Saturday.
The latest news here is not good:
Arizona Diamondbacks All-Star 1B Paul Goldschmidt likely done for season with fractured left hand. pic.twitter.com/IDqwPinHFW
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 3, 2014
So because Kirk Gibson is Kirk Gibson, we get McCutchen getting hit last night. The Pirates’ outfielder was not amused.
“I should be thanking them — now I’m ready to go,” McCutchen said after Pittsburgh’s blowout win, via MLB.com. “They did what they needed to do. They hit me. It’s water under the bridge. So we’ll move on. We’ll show up tomorrow ready to play and ready to win.”
And, wait for it …
“Just remember: I don’t forget.”
Next to the benches-clearing pushy-shovey non-fight, the retaliation beaning is the worst/most outdated move in baseball. First of all it’s kind of cowardly — pitchers who do it in the American League should be sent to play in Korea — preferably North. If you never bat, throwing at a guy is a punk move. But pitchers in the NL rarely bat, either — especially relievers, who were involved in the Arizona-Pittsburgh incidents. Things might change if the pitchers had to worry about baseballs whistling past their melons.
Unfortunately this won’t change until someone gets hit in the head and suffers a permanent injury.
“Sure it did. I’m sure it did,” McCutchen said sarcastically after being told that D-Backs manager Kirk Gibson claimed Delgado’s pitch simply got away from him. “Just like the first pitch. I’m sure both of those got away from him … They had all game to retaliate.”