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Friday, April 12, 2013

California Love

Wild on Sports
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California Love

Fireworks on the west coast! In what is quickly becoming a fierce rivalry the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers took their relationship to the next level Thursday night in a two act brawl that could prove costly for both teams.

After Dodger's centerfielder Matt Kemp saw a pitch whistle over his head a few innings prior, Dodgers pitcher Zach Greinke hit Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin in the shoulder. Quentin, who has been hit 116 times in him MLB career deemed the 3-2 pitch to be a little more than one that just got away from the righty and voiced his displeasure by charging the mound and delivering a shoulder check that players across the NHL would be proud of. Naturally, the benches cleared. Kemp, who had been targeted earlier in the game, took particular offense to the altercation and sought to take out his frustration on any and everyone in a San Diego uniform.

After the initial altercation things started to settle a bit but after Kemp got wind that Greinke may have been injured in the melee, he tried for a second time to go after Quentin causing the benches and bullpens to empty a second time. Kemp, Quentin, Greinke and Jerry Hairston, who got into with Kemp during the secondary altercation, were all ejected.

Besides the suspensions which are inevitable for Quentin, Kemp and possibly Greinke, the larger and much more costly implications of the first were announced after the game when it was learned that Greinke had suffered a broken collarbone. That is a huge blow to the Dodgers who just signed the former CY Young winner to a 6-year, $147million contract this past off-season.

"That's just stupid is what it is," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly after the game.  "He (Quentin) should not play a game until Greinke can pitch. If he plays before Greinke pitches, something's wrong. He caused the whole thing. Nothing happens if he goes to first base."

It will be interesting to see how the league handles this given that a serious injury was caused. As much as Mattingly wants it, and he has every right to think that way, it is doubtful the league keeps Quentin out for the weeks, even months that Greinke is likely to miss.

Mattingly did hit one thing dead on -- it was stupid. There is no crying in baseball
 and given the way these altercations play themselves out time and time again, there really shouldn't be fighting either. What does it prove? It is not a momentum setter in a physical sport like you see in hockey. Its baseball. Its a game of strategy and execution, not out muscling physicality.

All that aside; one thing is for sure, this rivalry is really starting to heat up. It will be fun to see how this plays out as the two teams play each other 13 more times this season.

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