Monday, August 3, 2015

MLB Week 17 - Take Me Out to the Brawl Game


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Things got a wee bit touchy Sunday afternoon, didn’t it?

If anyone thinks that Reds reliever Pedro Villarreal purposely hit Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen in the eighth inning of Sunday’s basebrawl game, you really need a checkup from the neck up. Come on, it was a curveball, you don’t send messages with a curve.

I understand McCutchen’s frustration with getting plunked, I also see the point of his mates “having his back”, but I just don’t get the retaliation. Villarreal is just a kid trying to keep his team from falling further behind in a 3 – 0 game, so why would he intentionally hit a batter, especially McCutchen?

One thing that really bothered me during the brawl was the indifference the fans in the stands had about the fight. I never heard Great American Ball Park so quiet. Where was the passion? Where was the outrage? I expected a “Let’s Go Reds” chant in unison, and all I heard was Marty Brennaman’s explicit description of the fight.

Remember the Wild Card game from two seasons ago? PNC Park was so rabid, I expected some Pirates fans to capture a couple of Reds fans and make them “walk the plank” off the Roberto Clemente Bridge. Oh, how I’d love to see that from the Reds fans. Great American Ball Park should be a feared place for Reds opponents.

Memo to Francisco Cervelli; if an umpire warns a pitcher that if a batter gets hit, the pitcher and manager are ejected. There’s absolutely no reason for your petulant temper tantrum after Mark Melancon is tossed for hitting Tucker Barnhart. Next time try holding your breath until you turn blue.

If I were the commissioner, if a pitcher gets ejected for any insurrection, the relief pitcher gets the minimum amount of warmup pitches – eight. Period.

Memo to Reds opponents; Marlon Byrd is the Ronda Rousey of the Reds.

Ronda Rousey is the second toughest woman in the world. My wife is the toughest. Sure winning UFC fights is nice, but have five kids, three in diapers at one time, along with all that is associated with being a loving wife and mother, and see how tough you really are!

I saw that Kansas City and Toronto got into a dust up with the Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson wearing a target. I think the heat of Dog Days must be getting to these teams. Some of the blame for this one getting out of hand falls squarely on the shoulder of home plate umpire Jim Wolf. After Donaldson got nailed in the first inning, Wolf issued a warning to both teams but failed to eject anyone when pitchers from both teams were playing chin music until the seventh inning.

During a 1974 brawl with the Pirates, former Reds reliever Pedro Borbon pinned Pittsburgh pitcher Daryl Patterson to the ground and began biting him along with pulling out his hair. Patterson allegedly received a tetanus shot after the fight.

Useless Trivia; Borbon ripped a New York Mets cap to shreds with his teeth in 1973.

Speaking of the Mets, I really felt sorry for Wilmer Flores, for his sake I’m glad the deal fell through, but Flores needs to realize baseball is a business, and trades are a part of it.

75 Years Ago; Sunday August 4, 1940, in the finale of a doubleheader, Cincinnati wins a wild 12 – 9 decision at Boston’s Braves Field by scoring three runs in the top on the ninth to break open an 9 – 8 game. Frank McCormick goes 4 for 5 with two doubles and six RBI. After the win Cincinnati’s record is 63 – 33 and a 6.5 game lead in the National League.

40 Years Ago; Wednesday August 6, 1975, Reds pound the San Francisco Giants 12 – 5 at Candlestick Park. Pete Rose, Dan Driessen and Darrel Chaney each collect three of the 20 hits the Reds get in the romp. Reds record is 74 – 38 and enjoy an insurmountable 16.5 game lead in the N.L. West.

25 Years Ago; Saturday August 4, 1990, San Diego scores 4 runs in the top of the eleventh to send Cincinnati to its 18th loss in their last 23 games. From July 24th to August 4th the Reds see their 11 game lead cut to 3.5 after this loss. It was the narrowest margin Cincinnati held since May 3rd.

Have a blessed week. GO REDS!!!

Dan Howard

Photo Credit: AP

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