Prince Fielder got plunked by Guillermo Mota in the ninth, and then this happened:
Fielder took off for the Dodgers’ side of the stadium after the final out, shouting obscenities all the way to the clubhouse door. Several teammates trailed behind him in a surreal scene, but Bill Hall and Casey McGehee got a firm grip on Fielder while a wall of security blocked his way.
Obviously Fielder was hot about Mota’s pitch! Listen to him unload in the post-game interviews!
“He came inside. It just got away from him. It happens. That’s baseball. He tried to come inside.”
Er, yeah. I can only assume that by that point he had had a conversation with his union rep or the lithium had kicked in or something. Best part: he claimed not to recall that whole storm the clubhouse incident from a few minutes prior. That ought to keep the fines and suspensions at bay!
What kills me about this is that, though I think the code of plunkings in baseball is totally stupid, within the context of that code the Mota plunk was totally legit. Manny Ramirez had hit a homer and a two-run double by the time he came to bat in the seventh, and the Brewers were losing ugly when Chris Smith hit him. That happens from time to time, and when it does, the plunking team has to expect that someone on their side is going to get hit in return. Fielder is the obvious target for that, and as long as the ball hits the dude on the rump or somewhere similarly padded (which is everywhere on Fielder), folks tend to move on.
Why Fielder flipped like he did is beyond me, especially given Ryan Braun’s whole “tell Mr. Selig, we’ll see what happens. It’s going to be interesting” business and subsequent beanball war with the Pirates earlier this season.
It’s as if someone needs to write down all of the unwritten rules for the Brewers, because they clearly don’t understand them.
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.
If you’re looking to rep the red and royal blue this October, you best get your gear inside the ballpark. According to Lauren Zumbach of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have sought a court order that would allow them to seize unauthorized merchandise being hawked outside of Wrigley Field. That includes shirts with taglines like “Just One Before I Die” and apparel depicting a blue flag with a white “W.”
[The Cubs] received a trademark for “W” flags, but a trademark for use on apparel is pending. Deeming a letter of the alphabet worthy of a trademark might seem like a stretch, but around Wrigley, everyone knows what that particular W in that particular color combination means, [intellectual property attorney Douglas Masters] said.
While seven vendors have been named in the suit, the Cubs have a list of 30 more whom they suspect of trademark infringement, including retailers who primarily operate online.
Back in 2013, the Cubs ran into a similar issue when a fan dressed as alternative mascot Billy the Cub and made multiple appearances on game days outside the park. After six years in the role, Billy the Cub was ordered to cease and desist his ballpark activities by the team.
This time, however, Billy’s tip jar pales in comparison to the revenue unauthorized sellers stand to reap over the next two months. With the playoffs just around the corner and playoff merchandise sales in full swing, quashing the competition (both on the field and off) will be top priority in weeks to come.
The club’s full complaint can be found here.