Last night, the Dodgers took exception to the Brewers pitchers hitting Juan Pierre and Manny Ramirez. In a 13 run game, Guillermo Mota intentionally threw at Prince Fielder. It you haven't seen the video, it is right here.
Mota was completely out of line and I thought Prince showed pretty good restraint after the pitch. It turned out that Prince waited until after the game to show his displeasure. Fielder "stormed" to the Dodgers clubhouse after the game in order to confront Mota. A video of the incident has been leaked and can be seen here.
I find it quite funny how calm Russell Martin was in describing Fielder's "temper" that he has seen before. By all accounts Prince is a player who plays with emotion. He had a right to be upset about what happened. Marin later admitted that the pitch to Fielder was intentional. I wonder how calm Martin would be if he was nailed with a 95 MPH fastball like Prince was. Something tells me this nasty temper that Prince has would have shown up in Martin.
So Mota hit Fielder, how blatant was the pitch? Well aside from the post game comments, the Brewers had to think something weird was going on in the ninth. Right before the pitch to Fielder was delivered, you might find interesting what was going on in the Dodgers bullpen. Ramon Troncoso was warming up behind Mota. Okay, so why was it weird that a reliever was warming up? The Brewers were down 13 runs, with two outs, and the bases were empty. If that doesn't show how obvious this pitch was, then I don't know what would.
The was no reason that the Dodgers should have been retaliating in the first place. The two pitches in question were an 85 MPH fastball that nicked Manny Ramirez's jersey, and a 80 MPH slider that hit Pierre on the elbow. If we were going to send a message, I think we would have gotten our money's worth. It was not like a Dodgers player was injured with either of the pitches that were thrown.
The news came down today that MLB is considering suspending Fielder for his actions. My question is, what actions? What did Fielder do that was so wrong? He never made it into the Dodgers clubhouse. He never hit anybody. The only thing Fielder did was make it known that he was angry about being hit.
Mota has had famous run ins before with bean balls. He hit Mike Piazza on two different occasions. The second at bat can be seen in full here. Keep in mind, this was in a Spring training game. After the game, Piazza supposedly entered the Dodgers clubhouse screaming "Where's Mota." He was later fined $3000 by MLB, and suspended five games. Piazza had a right to be angry, but was what he did really worthy of a five game suspension?
Prince never went into the clubhouse. He restrained himself well on the field. So what is Prince looking at? According to reports, the Piazza suspension was only for conduct after the game. What he did was similar to Fielder. Is Prince really going to get five games? I surely hope not. This teams needs Fielder badly right now. An extensive suspension to the Brewers best player might kill their playoff chances.
The one thing that MLB needs to look at is a long suspension for Mota. I have no respect for a guy that thinks it is okay to throw high 90's fastballs at hitters intentionally. It is not like this is his first instance. He clearly thinks that this is alright for him to do. He needs to be made an example of. I can't believe how cowardly Mota is after watching that Piazza video. He tries to injure Piazza and when Piazza challenges him, Mota runs away and makes a beeline for the dugout.
If major league baseball suspends Fielder, it would be a shame. I don't think his actions were out of line. It will be interesting how they are able to justify a suspension where nothing really happened. Prince didn't hurt anyone. His actions occurred under the stadium, away from fans. The only person that should be looked at is Mota, in my opinion.