Aug 2, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-3 at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
The talk of the town is about the Pirates vs Diamondbacks game Saturday night. Everyone knows what happened, as Andrew McCutchen was hit with a 95 MPH fastball to the back from Arizona pitcher Randall Delgado. It’s been the headline of a lot of baseball talk around the country – not just Pittsburgh – and everyone is weighing their own opinions, with the majority of people taking the side of the Pirates, explaining that it was a bush league and dirty move by the Diamondbacks. Just like everyone else, I’m here to express my thoughts on McCutchen getting hit by a pitch which possibly lead to his injury Sunday afternoon when he left the game due to an injury in his midsection.
So first off, Kirk Gibson is an asshole. It’s widely known around the MLB. Whether you want to call him an “Old-School Manager” or not, he’s a dirty leader who gets a huge thrill out of retaliating against other players around the league. A common response to my last few sentences would be: “Well you would never say this to his face!!!” And no, I absolutely would not, for obvious reasons that could be summed up that he’s a lunatic who would manhandle me. But I still have the right to express my opinion on him that he shouldn’t have waited until the ninth inning of a game he was losing by four runs to finally make an attempt to injure the most valuable player.
Aug 2, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) reacts after getting hit with a pitch in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Last season, Gibson thought it’d be a good idea to have his pitcher hit Ryan Braun in a one-run game with first base open. The next batter, Jonathan Lucroy, hit a go-ahead and game-winning grand slam. I guess after realizing how much of an idiot he was for doing that while holding a one-run lead, he figured it’d be smart to just take care of injuring the MVP in the ninth inning of a game he was losing by four runs, which leads me to my next topic: Randall Delgado.
Delgado, the guy who was either given the role of hitting McCutchen or took matters into his own hands, seemed to show no remorse when plunking Cutch in the back with a 95 MPH fastball the other night. He walked off the mound and into the clubhouse while receiving high-fives after being immediately ejected. Gibson, who had already been thrown out of the game, and Delgado took the obvious route of saying the pitch got away from him, because we all know what would happen if he would have straight up told the truth (I.E. Cole Hamels vs Bryce Harper). What it comes down to: Delgado is also a scumbag, and the reason why is the fact he waited three pitches to hit McCutchen, with the second pitch being a slider in the dirt. He threw up-and-in the first pitch of the at-bat and missed. A logical idea who would have been to get it over with and would have immediately followed it up with a second beanball, but instead of doing that, he decided to work McCutchen away, hoping that it would lead to the MVP checking his swing on the third pitch and eventually hurting him more. While the third pitch didn’t come close to missing McCutchen, he got hit square in the spine of his upper back, and Cutch wasn’t too happy about it during post game explaining how the Diamondbacks wanted him to get hurt by working him away during the at-bat. Questions fly around as to whether or not it was Delgado or Gibson who decided to take this approach of hitting McCutchen. While I vote that both of them obviously had a say in this, I think another guy really helped put this together, and his name is Miguel Montero.
Montero, the veteran catcher for the Snakes was seen by many to be pointing middle-finger towards McCutchen as his signal the pitch before McCutchen was hit. Our buddies over at From Forbes to Federal broke it down here. Pirates broadcaster John Wehner talked about it numerous times during the broadcast Sunday, and media member Dejan Kovacevic talked about it on the radio. Honestly, something like this should be looked at by the MLB. Pitchers tend to get away with plunking superstars, but after seeing the video evidence and pictures of a middle-finger by a catcher seconds before seeing an MVP laying on the ground in pain, the MLB should give some sort of punishment to either Delgado or Montero.
Next, McCutchen being hit by a pitch to begin with is questionable. This all happened because of Paul Goldschmidt being injured the night before after getting hit by a pitch from Pirates “reliever” Ernesto Frieri. Frieri, who has been nothing but awful so far as a Pirate, threw an inside pitch in the ninth inning of the game Friday night that ran in on Goldschmidt’s hands, eventually leading to the MVP runner-up being thrown on the disabled list due to a hand fracture. Goldschmidt alone straight up said the pitch was unintentional. It was a pitch that had some tail on it, and honestly, if you watch the replay, you can see Goldschmidt kind of turn his hands into it. On top of that, Frieri made a somewhat comical comment after the game claiming that his ERA was in the hundreds and that the last thing he would want to do is put a runner on base. So the perfect way to handle a situation that the victim straight up said was unintentional is by throwing at the upper back of the MVP in the ninth inning of a four-run game. Good logic.
Another thing that led to all of this: Dave McKay. Who? Who the heck is Dave McKay? Exactly. The first base coach for the Diamondbacks who figured he’d pretty much spark the majority of this by getting in Russell Martin’s face after Goldschmidt was hit. Funny that the guy who mans up to Russ Martin is a base coach, who knows Martin can’t do a single thing when he storms out of the dugout to start yelling at players like Martin and Frieri. Apparently he was yelling “You have better control than that Frieri. You have better control than that.” Yeah Dave, that’s why his ERA since joining the Pirates is 10.13. He definitely has great control, not the kind of control that has a pitch barely tail into the hands of your superstar.
So what to take from this: Gibson, Delgado, Montero, McKay are all bush league ______ (insert your favorite descriptive noun). The only one who seemed to be somewhat reasonable about all of this from Arizona? Goldschmidt. He said multiple times the pitch was unintentional, and didn’t seem to be all that thrilled when McCutchen was on the ground in pain and spiking his bat in anger.
If you actually read all of this by me, I’m amazed. I sound like a pissed off Pirate fan who is out of line, especially after seeing the best player in the league go on the 15-day disabled list early today. While the DL stint came due to his injury Sunday, there’s always a chance that the 95 MPH fastball to the back had something to do with him injuring his side.
All I’m saying is, retaliation has always been a part of baseball, and we have seen the Pirates do it a countless amount of times. Have they ever done it the way Kirk Gibson and the Diamomdbacks did it the other night?
Will McCutchen being injured lead to changes by the MLB when it comes to pitchers and teams retaliating for batters being hit?
All I know is that something needs to be looked at and carefully studied by the MLB offices, whether it’s punishment to the Diamondbacks, or even if it’s a “rule-change” to the list of “unwritten rules in baseball.”