Buster Posey was plunked twice yesterday and he wasn’t happy about it. Nor would I be, of course. It has to hurt. And if it’s not accidental it’s just lame. I hate plunkings and beanball wars. It’s dangerous stuff and, though it always has been and always will be part of baseball, I wish it wasn’t.
But I find this take on it from Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury-News to be a bit odd:
Am I the only one who remembered the display from Monday’s game, when players from both sides stood together and decried senseless acts of violence? Apparently, the Dodgers forgot the message … If Lilly was taking aim at Posey, then the Dodgers were dumb to be seeking revenge. And worse, they were deaf to the tone these two clubs attempted to set just two days earlier.
It seems to me that you either think it’s OK to plunk guys or you don’t. If you don’t, there are no circumstances under which you’d approve of Posey getting hit intentionally, so Baggarly’s extended explanation of why this particular plunking was wrong is beside the point.
If you do think that it’s OK to throw at someone — and Baggarly’s explanation of the circumstances suggests that he thinks that there is a time and a place for it, just not here — I’m not sure how the Bryan Stow stuff and the anti-violence message enters into it, because that seems to be a totally different thing altogether. That business is about fan behavior and not taking the rivalry outside-the-lines. It’s not about in-game tactics and aggression.
If it was, then we probably need to revisit a lot of other stuff. Like takeout slides at second and plowing into the catcher at home. Baggarly isn’t suggesting we do that, is he?
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.