April 12, 2013

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 24 comments

Carlos Quentin overreacts and charges the mound after being hit by a pitch, breaking Zach Greinke's collarbone.

The count was 3-2, in a 2-1 game, he was hit in the arm, with an 89mph pitch.

If Quentin faces the Dodgers again this season, he should probably stock up on some Tylenol/Advil, as his back/ass/arms are going to be peppered with pitches. I wonder if the Dodgers will have a 10 man bullpen that game...

Oh, and Matt Kemp confronted Quentin in a hallway between the dugouts, and in the player's parking lot after the game.

posted by grum@work at 08:44 AM on April 12

Sports Balls replaced with Cats.

posted by Bonkers at 09:27 AM on April 12

Vin Scully on the skirmish

posted by tommytrump at 10:48 AM on April 12

What I don't get about Quentin charging the mound is that getting hit by pitches is one of his skill sets. Dude leads the league in HBP just about every year.

posted by ursus_comiter at 11:07 AM on April 12

Carlos Quentin makes his living by putting himself in the trajectory of rapidly moving hard objects. Consider the followingif you remove the plate appearances in which he got hit by a pitch from Quentin's career and pretend that they never happened, he would lose more than 3 WAR out of 8.6 WAR he generated over more than seven years in the majors. About 35 percent of the value Quentin generated for his employers has come by the way of a bruise.

posted by ursus_comiter at 11:20 AM on April 12

And it isn't like Greinke is unusual in having hit Quentin more than once in his career.

There are 18 PITCHERS that have hit Quentin with a pitch at least twice.

Nick Blackburn has hit him four times.
John Lester has hit him three times.

Erik Bedard has hit Carlos Quentin 3 times in only 9 plate appearances!

posted by grum@work at 11:27 AM on April 12

I think Bedard calls that pitch the Q ball.

posted by bender at 12:53 PM on April 12

Yeah, Quentin doesn't look too good here. Plus it's not like Greinke is Roger Clemens or Don Drysdale trying to intimidate people. Where's a lip-reader to tell us what he said?

posted by yerfatma at 02:34 PM on April 12

Carlos Quentin makes his living by putting himself in the trajectory of rapidly moving hard objects.

Granted, this is the first time he's charged the mound following getting hit, but you better believe his antics last night caught the attention of more than one major league GM.

Quentin may be baseball's precursor to what could be hockey's enforcer or "goon." He's a big guy who crowds the plate and shakes off 100 mph fastballs hitting his body like nothing more than mosquito bites. It also didn't seem to take much after the hit to set him off and charge the mound. And you have to admit, the way he plowed in Greinke, as ugly as it was, had to have impressed a few decision-makers working for other clubs. All Greinke did was lower his shoulder to brace himself for Quentin's hit, and his collarbone gave way pretty easily. GMs in the future may set their eye on such a guy in future drafts who could later get "bounty" assignments to "take out" key players on other teams under the cover of future bench-clearing parties. Hey, it's worked out in football and hockey, right?

Big guy who doesn't get hurt by getting hit, and now carrying a hot-head reputation who can injure another player by running into him. For this reason, Bud Selig needs to come down hard on Quentin, but he probably won't.

posted by NerfballPro at 02:35 PM on April 12

Just a matter of time before somebody dubs him "San" and other teams start thinking about sneaking Johnny Cash tunes into his walk up music.

posted by beaverboard at 03:18 PM on April 12

Jonah Keri on the whole mess.

posted by yerfatma at 04:09 PM on April 12

Too bad there's not a rule that requires a team whose player causes injury in a brawl or by intentionally hitting a batter to surrender the nearest equivalent player on their roster to the team that loses the injured player. The transaction could be a "trade" of the injured player for his equivalent, such trade to be reversed as soon as the injured player is again active. The team surrendering the player also would be responsible for his salary. You could extend this rule to other sports, and you might see a decrease in some of the gratuitous violence.

posted by Howard_T at 04:13 PM on April 12

Interesting question on local (San Diego) talk radio today: If Matt Kemp charged Jason Marquis and injured him last night, would anybody give a shit? Would anybody from Grantland write a story about it?

posted by LionIndex at 04:16 PM on April 12

I don't get it or how that's interesting. If any player caused an injury which took a front-of-the-rotation pitcher away from a playoff contender, it would be news. Or maybe I just haven't gotten the Anti-San Diego Bias Memo yet.

posted by yerfatma at 05:01 PM on April 12

As far as umpiring, there's no bias. But I don't think this would be all over the news if the tables were reversed or if it was a Padres-Rockies game. There would certainly be media coverage, but not to the level that it's been. It's not so much a anti-San Diego bias as apathy. Which, honestly, is somewhat deserved, since we're not much more than a AAA club at this point. Was it a big deal that Quentin got plunked two games prior and had to sit for the game prior to last night?

posted by LionIndex at 05:07 PM on April 12

It's an all Connecticut final for the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship on Saturday. Yale squeaked by UMass Lowell in overtime and Quinnipiac took down St. Cloud State quite decisively. The Yale victory was no surprise, as they got going quickly, and then stayed close; eventually wearing down Lowell. Yale went ahead 2-0 in the 1st period, 1 on the power play and one late in the period. Lowell came back quickly with 2 in just 14 seconds of the 2nd period. Lowell's goaltender, Hellebuyck, stood tall most of the game, but he might have been somewhat at fault on one of Yale's first period goals. He also blamed himself for the game winner, saying he went down too quickly as the goal scorer went wide.

Truth be told, I had picked St. Cloud State to win the whole thing, but Quinnipiac's #2 line took over the show. Eric Hartzell, Quinnipiac's goaltender showed why he's a Hobey Baker Award finalist, letting only 1 St. Cloud shot slip by in the 2nd period. Quinnipiac was off and running quickly, holding a 2-0 lead in the first 5 minutes of play, and running it to 3-0 after the first period.

Saturday's finale will be the 4th time the 2 Connecticut schools, less than twelve miles apart by road, have met this season. Quinnipiac has won all of the previous 3, but Yale, after stumbling into the post-season, has been playing its best hockey. The saying is that it is very difficult to beat a team twice three times in a row, but I think Quinnipiac has the team to do it. In any case, it will be the hockey equivalent of the neighborhood brawl, and no matter who wins, it will be the first champion from ECAC hockey since Harvard's win in 1989.

posted by Howard_T at 05:08 PM on April 12

The best and only part of Quentin's game is getting hit by pitches.

Does he always put on a show when he's successful?

Is he stupid enough to think that if a pitcher wanted to intentionally hit him he would do it with a marshmallow?

posted by cixelsyd at 05:14 PM on April 12

Is he stupid enough to think that if a pitcher wanted to intentionally hit him he would do it with a marshmallow?

I wouldn't put it past him. I don't think anybody other than Quentin believes that he got beaned intentionally.

posted by LionIndex at 05:21 PM on April 12

As of right now, ESPN has 5 stories on their front page about the brawl, and Grantland has one. One story misleadingly calls Greinke an "ace" when he's the Dodgers' #2 starter. I just have a hard time believing that happens if the teams involved aren't the Dodgers, Red Sox or Yankees, mostly because the big undercurrent to the story is Greinke's salary.

posted by LionIndex at 05:26 PM on April 12

LI -- I think the coverage in large part is due to slow sports news cycle but also that the injured player is a former CYA winner and was the biggest free agent pitching prize in the last offseason. It is not a small-team/big-team bias, but a small-player/big-player bias. If the Rockies or the Padres had a pitcher of Greinke's stature, I bet it gets similar press. Or if it happened in a Rockies-Padres game and Troy Tulowitzki was the guy who got busted up in a scrum that probably did not have to happen.

Also, somewhat slow sports news cycle this time of year.

posted by holden at 05:27 PM on April 12

An addendum to my post on the Frozen 4: Drew LeBlanc of St. Cloud State has been named the Hobey Baker Award winner, beating out Eric Hartzell of Quinnipiac, among others. Hartzell isn't complaining, since he kept LeBlanc off the score sheet in the 4-1 Quinnipiac victory last night.

Congratulations to Drew LeBlanc.

posted by Howard_T at 06:31 PM on April 12

If the Rockies or the Padres had a pitcher of Greinke's stature, I bet it gets similar press.

None of the Padres starting pitchers has a career ERA+ over 100.

Only Jhoulys Chacin on the Rockies is a comparable starter to Greinke (has a higher career ERA+ and lower ERA (even though he pitches in Colorado)).

posted by grum@work at 06:32 PM on April 12

I think holden's got it - the Dodgers and their payroll/trades/free agent signings have been big news since the latter part of last season, along with the new ownership group with Magic Johnson and all that, and that's the lens through which the whole Quentin/Greinke thing is magnified. I don't think any stats matter for the story other than Greinke's salary and the Dodgers' payroll.

First line from ABC news article: You are about to watch a brawl that broke out at a game in san diego. And it left a pitcher worth nearly $150 million

New York Times had something similar.

posted by LionIndex at 01:02 AM on April 13

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