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2008-10-12 21:58
by Mike Carminati

Fox really wants a Red Sox-Dodgers Manny World Series. They can take a little temper tantrum by crybaby Russell Martin—boo hoo, I got hit by a 75-MPH Jamie Moyer junkball in the leg and now I will have my pitcher throw at a player's head—and turn that tempest in a teapot into a series-defining moment.

It's not bad enough that the umpiring has been awful throughout the game, truly throughout the playoffs. Look at the Jayson Werth check-swing third strike call in the midst of a Phils' comeback. Tim-may and Buck Fils wouldn't even look at that one or the worst ball-strike calls that plate ump Mike Everitt made. And the way they lauded the Dodgers individual players as if Matt Kemp had suddenly become Jay Buhner and Rafael Furcal, whose range factor was below the league average for a shortstop, were Ozzie Smith.

But McCarver has to call on the ghost of Bob Gibson, he's favorite touchstone when his blovio-meter is low, and demand that the Dodgers throw at a Phils to make up for the latter's proclivity for hitting batters. Did McCarver even do his homework? The Phils were 13th in the majors in hit batsmen in 2008. Their 57 HBP were just one more than the major-league average. Meanwhile, the Phils batters were hit by a pitch 67 times, tied for seventh in the majors and 13 more than the NL average.

The Phils do not throw at people. They got hit by a pitch 10 times more often in 2008 than they hit their opponents. Note that none of the myriad Phils relievers even came close to brushing back Kuroda as a statement. But never mind the facts, when the Rovian Fox broadcasters are trying to create a story.

Meanwhile, during the game I heard Joe Torre admit to these same Fox broadcasters that Voctorino was intentionally thrown at. After the game Russell Martin admitted the same. At least Kuroda had the sense to mimic Brett Myers and say in the post-game press conference that the ball just slipped. Doesn't that demand a suspension, if not an arrest warrant, for the manager and the catcher?

And now that we mention Brett Myers, you may have noticed that as the Phillie Phanatic pantomimed the Phils lineup before game 2, he pointed to his head and twirled his index finger around to indicate that Myers is a crazy head case. To think that Myers has the consent of the team when he threw—if it was intentional—at many Ramirez is flimsy at best. And to lump Moyer's obviously unintentional plunk of Martin, is ludicrous.

The Phils have never swept a playoff series. Realistically, they need to win one in LA to stay comfortably ahead. One loss far from breaks their back. They could loss all three and return home and take the series.

However, McCarver said something in the waning innings of tonight's game that unless Howard and Rollins picked up the offense, there was no way that the Phils could win this series. Really?!?

My biggest worry is Joe Blanton going tomorrow night against Derek Lowe. If Lowe comes out as flat as he was at the end of game 1, the Phils should be fine. Given that he is going on three day's rest that will be a concern. But Blanton is a real wildcard. He can look great as he did against the Brewers or he can look like the ill-advised pickup he had been most of the season.

I just hope that nobody throws a pitch close to Crybaby Martin or we'll be back in this mess again.

Oh, one P.S., it was extra-bush of the Dodger faithful to continually harangue Shane Victorino, one of the most easy-going players on the Phils—he is Hawaiian after all—, for protesting when a ball is thrown at his head. I thought Victorino acted completely appropriately. He didn't mind the intentional buzz: it was the location. And all he did was protest. He didn't charge the mound. Nor did he demand a retaliation as Crybabies Martin and Ramirez had done.

2008-10-12 22:03:21
1.   underdog
In the interview I saw, and not the imaginary one in your head, Russell Martin said that was NOT called for from him or the dugout, that was all on Hiroki. That's basically what he said, verbatim.

The double-standard in your posts is otherwise not worth commenting on, but I do agree with you that McCarver is an idiot.

2008-10-12 22:20:42
2.   Jon Weisman
Tell me again how the Phillies didn't throw at Martin's head?

2008-10-12 22:50:11
3.   Lee Corbett
And Victorino clearly said he expected to get thrown at because they'd thrown at Martin three times. I think you're the only one, including the Phils, who thinks the Dodgers should not have brushed someone back.

You're right that Victorino handled it well and did not deserve to be booed. I guess the crowd was using the other eye from you?

2008-10-12 23:13:20
4.   arborial
0 "They got hit by a pitch 10 times more often in 2008"

This would mean Phillies were beaned 570 times this season. What you meant to say was "10 more times than in 2008".

But I will chalk it up to the fact that the game just ended and you are probably still fired up.

Please don't punch me :)

2008-10-12 23:31:46
5.   ryu
Uhh, Shane... if you didn't want a pitch up near year head, you should have told your own pitchers to not throw at Martin's face.
2008-10-13 00:08:04
6.   Mariano Duncan Sheik
The Fillies are the cry babies. They take libery after liberty and expect what exactly? Condrey came up near Martin's head (uh, did you mention this by the way?). Besides, the ball slipped out of Kuroda's hand, just like it slipped out of that wife beating Myers' hand.
2008-10-13 00:17:41
7.   nick
Mike, your post is laughable fanboy nonsense. I'm primarily a Yankees fan, though I follow the Dodgers. Martin was thrown at repeatedly, before Kuroda's action. You are way, way off base here. First time reading your blog--and it'll be the last....
2008-10-13 02:10:51
8.   Chiron Brown
For someone who calls Russell Martin a crybaby you sure do whine like a little girl about the umpires and the Phils getting HBP more than their opponents. And we're supposed to excuse Myers behavior because he's crazy? Well, next time a Phillies pitcher tries to put one in a Dodger player's ear I guess we'll have to check with their mascot to see if we're allowed to take offense.
2008-10-13 06:41:23
9.   capdodger
Shane Victorino's a pussy. WTF is he doing bitching about the pitcher being in the neighborhood when he taps out 3U? Don't want to start shit after you make out? Turn your pussy ass and get bak in the dugout. It's thirty feet to the right of first base.
2008-10-13 07:30:06
10.   therickdaddy
Not sure more needs to be added but:

# of times Phillies thrown at or hit: 1
# of times Dodgers thrown at or hit: 6

2008-10-13 08:48:00
11.   ishXdavid
Myers isn't just a crazy head case, he's a WIFE-BEATER.
2008-10-13 09:16:17
12.   clopez
Other commenters have already outlined the absurdity of this post but it has to be stated that Victorino ended up looking like the real crybaby. The ball was over his head; the intent was to brush back, not to hit. Take the chin music and get back to your at-bat! Instead, he repeatedly made his "my ribs not my head" motion and, worse, repeated those same words over and over in the post-game interview. His histrionics were embarrassing to the game of baseball.
2008-10-13 10:16:04
13.   Elliot
Mike, I've come to expect much more fairness and level-headedness out of your blog than this post. I'm not going to repeat all the above comments but I will just say that I'm hoping the comments make you realize you were looking at it through a biased lens, and the rest of your blog posts about this series will be as intelligent and well-reasoned as the previous years worth of work I've read from you. (And this coming from a Mets fan.)
2008-10-13 10:30:44
14.   dzzrtRatt
Your sequence is off. No retaliation all game Friday. No retaliation for that butterfly kiss off Martin's knee. Retaliation became inevitable after Martin's next at-bat, which was a purposeful throw at his face. You seem outraged that poor Shane was made to pee in his pants at a pitch a foot above his helmet, but you've overlooked that the ball thrown at Martin was actually dangerous.

The Phils might not throw at people as a rule, but they threw at the Dodgers. There was obviously some strategic purpose to it, or else it wouldn't have kept happening. It's laughable you would paint them as the victims. They tried to intimidate the Dodgers. They failed. End of story.

2008-10-13 11:00:48
15.   Andrew Shimmin
I hadn't realized Myers had diplomatic immunity, but fair enough. Which Dodger pitcher is allowed to throw at Utley's head, without the rest of the team's being responsible for it? Hope it's Kershaw--that kid can really throw.
2008-10-13 14:36:50
16.   Zach the Ripper
Wow. Crybaby Russel Martin, huh? Just wow. I think Russel said it best, "the pitch was above his head, not at his head."

Martin is the toughest catcher in the league, and as a Canadian, he's automatically 100% more laid back then the rest of us delusional Americans these days. Including you BFF Victorino, who most Dodger fans actually used to like.

I guarantee if anyone on your staff tries that again, you'll get a late inning visit from an extremly unhappy Ox throwing 100 at Howard's wrists. Game over for Ryan.

2008-10-13 14:42:23
17.   capdodger

I nominate Broxton. Put yourself in the batters box: He just punked you in the back with a 99 MPH fastball. It hurt like hell. You get up and look at the mountain on the mound. Are you really going to charge that?

It would be like that time Gange threw up and in to Michael Tucker and then threw down his glove...

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