Yesterday the Giants faced the half of the Brewers squad that wasn’t facing the Cubs over at HoHoKam. In that game, a nearly two-year old grudge continued to play out as Prince Fielder and Barry Zito jawed at one another after Zito walked Fielder.
The grudge, of course, is based on Fielder’s infamous “bowling ball” celebration after he hit a walkoff homer against the Giants in 2009. In response, Zito plunked Fielder in a spring training game last March. Yesterday’s little back and forth came after Zito walked toward home plate following his walk to Fielder to ask the ump what was wrong with the pitch that was called ball four.
Like any rivalry, however, this one has gotten more refined and enjoyable over time. For evidence, just look at what they said to Tom Haudricourt of the Journal-Sentinel about the incident after the game yesterday:
“I asked the umpire if it was a ball or a strike and Prince was letting me know it was a ball,” said Zito. “We talked a little bit. Asked how his off-season went. How’s the family? No new tats (tattoos).”
Fielder had a different recollection of the chat though equally fictional.
“We have the same agent (Scott Boras) so we were talking about going out to dinner. I don’t think I’m going to make it.”
After which they shared some tea.