Potent quotables: Penny has words for Girardi

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“I don’t give two f—s what Joe
Girardi says. I’m coming inside. I don’t care. Anybody can say that. We
can say that about the time they hit our guys. I’m just trying to pitch
inside. Maybe he should worry about managing and not trying to be the
commissioner.”

– Brad Penny responds to Joe Girardi’s assertion that he intentionally hit Alex Rodriguez on Thursday.

“We always support everyone here and
always will. But, you know, we’re all just together trying to win every
day, trying to turn it around. And we’re going to continue to try until
we figure it out. We know the future is bright but we’re not waiting
for the future to get here. We’re going to do everything we can to
speed it up.”

– Nationals owner Stan Kasten addresses a report that Manny Acta could be fired as soon as Monday.

“Brandon was supposed to be taking on
that 3-0. That could have been the ballgame because we had him on the
ropes at that time. He said he didn’t see the take but in that
situation, you have to know you’re taking even if you don’t see the
take. That’s a big play in the ballgame.”

– Dusty Baker calls out Brandon Phillips
for swinging at a 3-0 pitch after Kyle Davies had already walked two
batters. He killed the rally with a flyout and the Reds lost to the
Royals 7-4.

“I wasn’t ready and I’m not going to come back to hurt the team. It is what it is. When it’s ready, it will be ready.”

– Jeremy Bonderman admits he came back too early
from right shoulder surgery. He allowed six runs over four innings in a
Tuesday start against the White Sox. He’s now a long-shot to contribute
this season.

“It’s just disappointing, more than anything. I haven’t been pitching well at all.”

– Manny Parra on being sent down to Triple-A Nashville
after being hammered for six runs over 1 2/3 innings against the White
Sox on Saturday. Parra is 3-8 with a 7.52 ERA in 13 starts this season.

Nationals place Koda Glover on 10-day disabled list

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The Nationals have placed reliever Koda Glover on the 10-day disabled list due to a left hip impingement, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Glover said he is “extremely confident” that he’ll need only the minimum 10 days to recover.

Glover, 24, felt hip discomfort when throwing his first pitch in Tuesday’s relief appearance. He attributed it to the cold, per Janes.

Glover was one of a handful of candidates to handle the ninth inning for the Nationals. It’s been a mixed bag for him, as he has a loss and a blown save along with a 4.15 ERA and a 6/1 K/BB ratio in 8 2/3 innings.

Clay Buchholz apologized to the Phillies for getting injured

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MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that starter Clay Buchholz is at Citizens Bank Park for Wednesday night’s game against the Marlins. The right-hander recently underwent surgery to repair a partial tear of his flexor pronator mass. The timetable for his recovery is three to five months, but most are expecting him to miss the rest of the season since the Phillies aren’t legitimate contenders.

According to Zolecki, Buchholz apologized to GM Matt Klentak “and others” — presumably other front office staff and/or his teammates — for getting injured. Buchholz hopes to return to pitch in September.

It’s saddening to me, and indicative of the general anti-labor culture in sports, that a player feels obligated to apologize for getting injured on the job. Injuries are nothing new for Buchholz, which might have factored into his decision to apologize. Red Sox fans got on his case quite a bit over the years for his propensity to land on the disabled list. But it wasn’t like Buchholz was taking unnecessary risks; he simply did his job, which entails doing a lot of unhealthy movement with his arm. Buchholz owes no one an apology.

Buchholz isn’t the only player to have apologized for getting injured. Outfielder Hideki Matsui apologized to the Yankees in 2006. Starter Masahiro Tanaka apologized in 2014. Twins reliever Glen Perkins apologized last year. Even Madison Bumgarner sort of apologized for suffering injuries riding a dirt bike on an off-day, saying “It’s definitely not the most responsible decision I’ve made.” Because god forbid an athlete has interests and hobbies outside of his vocation.

Players are brought up in a sports culture that allows exorbitantly wealthy owners to bilk the players — laborers — at every possible turn. They’re mostly underpaid and poorly taken care of in the minors. If and when they reach the major leagues, their salaries are intentionally depressed for six years and their service time is toyed with (just ask Kris Bryant). Buchholz endured that and then endured the criticism that comes with having been a hyped prospect who mostly failed to live up to expectations. He’s gone above and beyond what he needed to do to have a successful career as a professional baseball player, even if it wasn’t as much as fans or front office personnel would have liked.