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"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Friday, May 19, 2006

Was It Worth It, Russ?

MLB slapped Russ Springer with a 4 game suspension and an undisclosed amount of fine for successfully beaning Barry Bonds once in his five seperate attempts.

I say good. I was at that game and anyone who saw the at bat knows Springer was clearly trying to hit Bonds regardless of what he says. No matter what your opinion of Bonds is there's no place for that kind of vendetta in baseball. After the third pitch that hit Bonds' bat right above the hands, the umpire wouldn't have been out of line to go ahead and give Bonds his base to avoid the inevitable.

The most unfortunate part of the situation was the Houston fans cheering the entire event. I had to double check to make sure I hadn't somehow been transported to Philadelphia through a portal. The sad part about the fans' behavior is that Houston has never been known for rude or vehenemous fans. If anything Houstonians have been too disinterested in the game.

But everytime Bonds visits a new city we see firsthand how fickle and easily instigated our society can be. The fact that fans are giggling and high-fiving each other after every taunt leads me to believe that most of them could give two shits about Bonds' steroid use or Babe Ruth's home run mark. They're just going along with what the others are doing. Well cheering for somebody to get beaned by a 90 mph fast ball is a poor excuse for commrodary if you ask me.

So congratulations Astro fans. You've made the city of Houston look ridiculous. Was it worth it?

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Blogger AstrosFear said...

I'll be the first to agree that cheering any man being hit by a pitch is in poor taste. (I won't be the first to agree that 'vehenemous' is a word.) I would hope that the cheering was in support of a man being unfairly ejected, though I know that's not the case.

That being said, are you serious? Maybe you got caught up in the heat of the moment when faced with some poor sportsmanship. But can we stop and look a little closer?

Russ Springer is a ten-year veteran reliever. He does not close out innings with a 95-mph fastball. He shuts down batters with a variety of well-placed, slower pitches.

You claim he hit Bonds on his fifth attempt. Are you trying to tell me that a veteran like Springer can't hit a target the size of an overly-swollen Barry Bonds in four attempts? And that when he finally did hit him, he hit him in his protected arm with a puttering, non-fastball? What's the point? Why not just intentionally walk him? If Springer wanted to plunk Bonds, he would've put a fastball into his head or back.

The first pitch was uncustomarily wild, but shouldn't have drawn a warning. The next 3 pitches all came inside, but if they were meant to strike Bonds, one of them would have. There's no sense in throwing a fat one over the plate to any decent hitter just because the last couple pitches were too inside.

If the Astros were really gunning for Bonds, they would've handed it to Wheeler or maybe Borokowski and had them take the junkie out of the game.

10:51 PM  

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