Zack Greinke, Carlos Quentin

Carlos Quentin charges mound, Zack Greinke suffers broken collarbone

128 Comments

Carlos Quentin charged the mound after being drilled by Zack Greinke, leading to a benches-clearing incident in the sixth inning of Thursday’s Dodgers-Padres game.

Greinke, a right-hander, suffered a broken left collarbone in the fight that ensued and is likely DL bound.

Don Mattingly, steamed after what turned out to be a 3-2 win, said afterwards, “[Quentin] should not play a game until Greinke can pitch. If he plays before Greinke, something is wrong. Nothing happens if that guy goes to first base.”

Despite the fact that there was a full count at the time, Quentin obviously felt Greinke’s pitch was intentional after a Jason Marquis 0-2 pitch was thrown towards Matt Kemp’s head earlier in the contest. Kemp spent a great deal of time jawing with the Padres with both teams on the field and had to be restrained by Josh Beckett and manager Don Mattingly.

After the parties returned to the dugouts initially, the Dodgers’ Jerry Hairston Jr. sprinted back out towards the Padres dugout, stirring things back up.

Here’s the video:

Following the game, Quentin and Kemp got into an altercation in the players parking lot and had to be separated.

Kemp, Hairston, Greinke and Quentin were all ejected. Quentin will face a five- or six-game suspension if history is any indication.

Greinke is the bigger loss, though. He signed the richest contract of the offseason — a six-year, $147 million pact — to become the Dodgers’ No. 2 starter behind Clayton Kershaw. A broken collarbone is often a 6-8 week injury for most players. That it’s to Greinke’s off arm may aid his timetable a bit, but it’s not something he’ll be able to pitch through right away.

Fortunately, the Dodgers do possess considerable pitching depth, even after trading Aaron Harang earlier this week. They could either activate Ted Lilly from the DL and put him in the rotation or they could promote Chris Capuano from the bullpen.

Previous bad blood between Greinke and Quentin could explain why Quentin charged the mound. Greinke hit Quentin in the back with a pitch on April 8, 2009, and Quentin took steps toward the mound that time before catcher Miguel Olivo restrained him. That happened in the fourth inning of a game between the Royals and White Sox. Three innings earlier, Greinke had a pitch slip that nearly hit Quentin in the head.

“He had a reason for [being upset],” Greinke told MLB.com afterwards. “Any time you throw it that high, it’s justified. You’ve got to be better than that and not pitch like that. You’re going to make mistakes, but the last thing you want to do is hit someone where it could seriously hurt them. As soon as I let go of it, I was scared for him.”

Yordano Ventura represented the best and worst of baseball’s culture

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
19 Comments

It was reported this morning that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Former prospect Andy Marte was also killed in a separate car accident. Along with Jose Fernandez and Oscar Taveras, the baseball world has lost a lot of young, exciting talent in a very short amount of time.

Ventura was, like all of us, a complex human being. At his best, he was an exciting, talented, emotive pitcher who featured an electric fastball which sat in the mid-90’s and occasionally touched 100 MPH. At his worst, he was an immature, impressionable kid trying to fit in by exacting revenge against batters he felt had wronged him by slinging those electric fastballs at vulnerable areas of their bodies.

Baseball needed Ventura when he was at his best. It is players like him and Fernandez, not Mike Trout, that bring in new fans to the sport. To baseball die-hards, Angels outfielder Mike Trout is the pinnacle of entertainment because we know he’s an otherworldly talent. But to the average fan, Trout is just another player who hits a couple of homers and doesn’t do anything particularly interesting otherwise. Trout is milquetoast. Ventura was never an All-Star, but fans knew who he was because he made his presence felt every time he made a start. He was fun, if sometimes vengeful.

Ventura’s baseball rap sheet is rather lengthy for someone who only pitched parts of four seasons in the big leagues. Early in the 2015 season, Ventura found himself in a handful of benches-clearing incidents in quick succession. On April 12, he jawed with Trout, apparently misunderstanding the motivation behind Trout yelling, “Let’s go!” Though catcher Salvador Perez intervened, Trout’s teammate Albert Pujols ran in from second base and the benches cleared shortly thereafter. On the 18th, some drama between the Athletics and Royals continued. Ventura fired a 99 MPH fastball at Brett Lawrie, resulting in his immediate ejection from the game. More beanball wars ensued in the series finale the following day. Finally, on the 23rd, Ventura hit White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu with a 99 MPH fastball in the fourth inning. Ventura was not ejected… until after the completion of the seventh inning. Walking back to the dugout, Ventura barked at White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton and — you guessed it — the benches cleared. All told, Ventura was fined for his behavior with the Athletics and suspended seven games for the White Sox incident.

In August 2015, Ventura called Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista a “nobody” and accused him of stealing signs. He apologized shortly thereafter. Two months later, during his start in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, Ventura got into it with Jays first base coach Tim Leiper. Nothing happened beyond that, but apparently it was part of the Jays’ plan to try to put Ventura “on tilt.”

Most recently, in June this past season, Ventura hit Orioles third baseman Manny Machado with a pitch. Machado charged the mound and got in at least one punch before the players spilled out onto the field in a blob of royal blue and orange. Ventura was suspended for eight games.

Ventura was by no means a model of civility, but he was a product of baseball’s intransigent culture forcing players to assimilate or be ostracized. The old culture taught players to never show emotion. Hit a home run? Put your head down and circle the bases in a timely fashion or risk taking a fastball to the ribs. Players like Fernandez and Bautista — typically players from Latin countries — challenged those old cultural norms and are, as a result, the vanguard of the new culture. Ventura displayed aspects of each, the worst of the old culture and the best of the new. He was not a one-dimensional person; he was strikingly complex. At one moment willing to use a fastball as a weapon, the next stopping by some kids’ lemonade stand and giving out fist bumps. Baseball is made more entertaining and more interesting by its personalities and Ventura’s was a behemoth, for better or worse. His absence from the sport will be felt.

MLB remembers Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Getty Images
2 Comments

Following the tragic passing of 25-year-old Yordano Ventura and 33-year-old Andy Marte, both of whom were killed in separate car crashes on Sunday morning, players and executives from around Major League Baseball expressed an outpouring of grief and support for the players’ families and former teams.

Fans have gathered at Kauffman Stadium in memory of the former pitcher.