MLB

After starting a brawl by plunking Bryce Harper, it’s time to consider trading Hunter Strickland

Nearly three years ago, I was childless and living in an apartment in the city. Now my two-year-old daughter runs around our home in the country, reenacting scenes from “Frozen.” A lot has changed since the 2014 postseason, but apparently Hunter Strickland spent the entire time between then and today envisioning how he’d exact vengeance if he ever got the chance to face Bryce Harper again.

This was a very eventful brawl … by baseball standards. No one involved would be confused with Andre Ward (and what the hell was up with Harper’s helmet toss), but some blows did land. And there was hair. Lots and lots of hair, especially when Jeff Samardzija had visions of 1988 Candy Maldonado in his head and collided with Michael Morse.

But the strangest scene occurred as the fracas appeared to be dying down, when one person seemed to be fighting the entire world — including his own teammates and pitching coach.

I don’t think we can make any judgments about this particular Giants team, which got shut out today for the sixth time in 53 games. But it’ll be interesting to see how they handle Strickland.

He’s been the Giants’ best reliever this year, so it’s not like Bobby Evans spent the last couple innings posting an ad on Craigslist.

AVAILABLE: Hard-throwing righty with quick temper. Can grow a mullet if needed. Looking for power-hitting outfielder in trade obo.

However, it’s difficult to see him winning the Willie Mac award after today.

Check out Buster Posey’s reaction in the first video. He spent the first several seconds after Harper charged Strickland behind home plate, then he made sure to avoid the mass of hair and fists once he ventured toward the mound. Thanks to Strickland’s bruised ego, Posey might end up with a bruise of his own courtesy of a Nats pitcher. That can’t sit too well, especially for a guy who’s been drilled in the head this season.

Then you had Strickland looking nothing short of maniacal as Mac Williamson did his best Jeff Van Gundy impression, and George Kontos and Hunter Pence (whose face Strickland swatted) steered the big galoot to the dugout.

While the timing wasn’t great (down 2-0 in the eighth inning, three years after Harper hit a couple moonshots against him in the NLDS), there are surely some Giants players who’d be in favor of the 2015 MVP catching a fastball on the ass in just about any situation, for any reason.

On the other hand, the Giants aren’t exactly deep enough to withstand suspensions for stupid crap like this. Even worse, you just can’t fight against your teammates to that degree. Some “hold me back, hold me back” is to be expected in any basebrawl, but Strickland is lucky he didn’t injure the increasingly fragile Pence, who’s already on the disabled list with a hamstring strain.

It’s a terrible look all around.

— Strickland went with the “if you can’t beat him, throw at him” strategy.

— Strickland didn’t admit that the pitch was intentional. Instead he explained that leaving balls out over the plate hurt him against Harper in the past, so he wanted to “come inside.” Uh, sure. He doesn’t want to incriminate himself with MLB likely handing out some suspensions tomorrow, but spare us the ridiculous alibi.

— Strickland’s smirk (seen in the photo above) was pretty representative of his attitude in the clubhouse when speaking to reporters.

— Oh yeah, the Giants are nine games away from a wild card spot and there are six other teams between them and Arizona.

Due to that last point, many will probably look at 2017 as a failed season anyway. So why not throw at Harper? I got a few replies like this on Twitter: THE BIGGEST HIT THE GIANTS HAD ALL DAY! LMAO

Again, the team’s problems are too complicated to be summarized by some dumb brawl in late May. But Strickland was out of control, which doesn’t make Bruce Bochy look good. Strickland doesn’t embody the kind of winning player the Giants were known for from 2010-14, either. They won their third championship in spite of Strickland, who stood out in a terrible way as a rookie when he threw tantrums after every postseason homer he allowed. His actions today indicate that he’s someone who prioritizes individual impulse over team success. If this indeed ends up being a season to forget (it sure looks that way right now), the Giants probably wouldn’t lose too much if they traded Strickland for 50 cents on the dollar, or made him a throw-in piece in a trade involving another player.

6 Comments

Leave a Reply

6 Comments on "After starting a brawl by plunking Bryce Harper, it’s time to consider trading Hunter Strickland"

Notify of
avatar
  
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
Audio and Video Files
 
 
 
Other File Types
 
 
 
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
laugh
Member
Member

So you’re saying a certain San Francisco sports team should win with class? Where have I heard that before?

EarDrums707
Guest
Member
EarDrums707
It doesnt matter if Strikland or any other team mate is in the wrong. U defend ur teammates. Always! Behind closed doors, u get in his face, and tell him how stupid his actions were, and how he put everyone else at risk for his selfish, self serving vendetta. But when its time to ride, u better show up. Buster may get a pass from the fan base, but his actions say one thing – “I do not have your back. U r on your own.” He did it with Puig and Bum too. Both incidents shared equal stupidity. But… Read more »
Jason
Guest
Member
Jason

I think you meant “conscientious objector”.

EarDrums707
Guest
Member
EarDrums707

Yes. Thanks.

harvey
Guest
Member
harvey

Just like him yelling at Belt in the game last week when Belt was doing right by not holding the runner with 2 outs. The play was over so if you have an issue tell him afterwards. Posey is a great player but an awful leader. The catchers job is to protect his pitcher, I don’t care who is at fault. Guys have been getting plunked since the beginning and the catcher is always there to try to protect the pitcher…except for baby buster.

don
Guest
Member
don

Bad idea. Strickland with high 90’s heat and breaking stuff getting better and better. He made a mistake. Move on..

wpDiscuz
What is Bay Area Sports Guy?

It is the top independent sports site covering the teams that play in the best sports region in the United States. BASG is not an ordinary fan blog. It is a place where sports news is broken and analyzed by writers with access who are not afraid to question the status quo, writers who also produce original content in the form of videos, photographs and podcasts.

Questions/Comments? Email basg@bayareasportsguy.com
Fill out my online form.

Copyright © 2017 - Bay Area Sports Guy. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy Terms of Use and BASG Shop Terms

To Top