Brawl ball is apparently back and better than ever. The Expos' Vlad Guerrero charged Marlin Brad Penny after a ball deigned to near his person:
``He first threw me up and in, very close,'' Guerrero said. ``It barely touched my shirt. It was the principle. I felt it was intentional. I expect pitches inside, but I felt it was in the head area.''
Highly principled fellow he, eh? It was his lucky shirt after all-the reporter failed to mention that. It apparently is also a hooded jersey since it was in the vicinity of his "head area".
In the Ms-D-Backs game, they played a bit of "Knock knock. Who's there?" If you know what I mean. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. Say no more.
Arizona's Miguel Batista hit Bret Boone on the arm and Seattle's Jeff Nelson hit Luis Gonzalez in the back.
See, Vlad. That's how you get someone's attention, not with a tight fastball across the numbers.
Also, ever equanimitous, Gonzo had this to say:
``It's just a spring training game,'' Gonzalez said. ``By no means are we trying to hit Boonie. He's one of their stars, one of the marquee guys on the team. All of us in here are big fans of his. He plays in the other league. I just thought it was stupid what he (Nelson) did.''
He continued, "Besides Batista couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a pumpkin," but the reporters missed it.
To quote Sgt. Hulka with the big toe from Stripes, Lighten up, Frances!"