In case you missed it, the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers engaged in a brawl on Thursday night. And not just any old shove-shove-hold-me-back-let’s-talk-about-where-we’re-eating-dinner brawl that we’re used to seeing. No, in this one legitimate contact was made between the player getting hit with a baseball and the player who threw said baseball. It also included a severe injury to Zack Greinke, the Dodgers’ most expensive offseason acquisition. To add some levity, it also included an almost-fight between Matt Kemp and Carlos Quentin in the parking lot after the game.
The brawl (which can be seen here, narrated wonderfully by Vin Scully) started when Greinke plunked Quentin. Quentin gets hit by pitches more often than any other Major League hitter, and even though it was a one-run game and the count was 3-2, Quentin took umbrage and charged the mound. Greinke stood his ground, and Quentin — not a small man — barreled into him. Whether it was from that collision or something else that occurred in the ensuing melee, Greinke suffered a broken collarbone. Kemp was visibly angry during the whole thing, perhaps because a pitch was thrown over his head earlier in the game. One of the best parts of Scully’s description was when he said this:
“‘That’s fertilizer,’ says Matt Kemp, over and over. ‘That is fertilizer.'”
Things escalated, sort of, after the game (which the Dodgers won 3-2).
And we did see, as the AP provided some photos of Kemp’s exploits. Reportedly Kemp tried to get at Quentin but was stymied by security and Clayton Richard, a pitcher for the Padres who is listed at 6-5 and 240 lbs.
Is Kemp (who is hitting .182) holding a phone or a $100 pack of cinnamon gum?
Natt0 from McCovey Chronicles worked some magic on one of these AP photos:
As I’ve mentioned several times, I believe Kemp is a complete phony hellbent on proving that he is the Dodgers’ team leader and distiller of that magical formula known as team chemistry. Before the first game in the September series in San Francisco between the Giants and Dodgers, Kemp led a scene I have never seen before on a baseball field. While the Giants were finishing up with batting practice, Kemp brought the Dodgers together in a football-style huddle, then spent the next 10 minutes enthusiastically hugging teammates, pretending to throw his glove in the air to knock the ball down between two teammates playing catch, and over-laughing constantly. It seemed as if he was trying to show that the Dodgers aren’t just a team full of high-priced stars, they really love each other like brothers, bro. Then the Giants won 5-2, Kemp sat out the next two games and the Giants proceeded to run away with the National League West.
It’s terrible for the Dodgers and Greinke that he’ll probably be out for a few months, as the aftermath of this brawl shows why throwing at players on purpose is stupid and charging the mound just escalates the stupidity. For those who’ve complained after times when the Giants didn’t retaliate when their best players have been hit or thrown at, here’s an example of why Bruce Bochy has no interest in doing so. In the meantime, the Giants won’t admit it publicly … but they’re probably pretty darned pleased about what took place in San Diego on Thursday night.