Jon Durr/Getty Images

Jake Arrieta calls Harper-Strickland brawl “awesome,” “refreshing”

46 Comments

No surprise here: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta is a big fan of Monday’s brawl between the Nationals and Giants that starred outfielder Bryce Harper and reliever Hunter Strickland. As a guest on the Bernstein and Goff Show on 670 The Score on Tuesday, the right-hander called the brawl “awesome” and “refreshing,” as CBS Chicago reports.

I don’t think anybody is right or wrong. I thought it was awesome. Every once in a while, it’s refreshing to see two teams emotionally charged getting after it. And when something like that happens versus continuing to chirp and talk about it, why don’t you go out there and see somebody? That’s exactly what happened in the game yesterday.

Bryce and Hunter went out there, they were a few punches, they landed one apiece, I believe. And then Samardzija comes out of left field and smashes into Morse. I’m pretty sure Harper was lucky that they collided, because Samardzija was coming in to do some damage.

Arrieta continued:

If two guys want to go see each other, let them be in the middle, let them throw some punches, then break it up. I don’t like to see any sucker punches. I do think in the heat of battle if you’re getting hit on the hip with 98, then you should be able to go out and see somebody. I think the umpires handled it well. They let them exchange for a moment, then they tried to break it up.

What I don’t like to see is a lot of chirping and guys just talking crap to each other. If you got something wrong with a guy, go see him. And then they’ll break it up and continue to play the game.

Giants catcher Buster Posey memorably stayed around home plate while Harper went after Strickland. Arrieta said he wants his catcher to do the same. Arrieta said, “If it’s my catcher, I want him to wait and give me an opportunity to do a little damage. I don’t want it broken up right away. If it happens, I’ll let you know. I’ll be ready. You know, I like my chances toe to toe with just about anybody. I know Willson (Contreras) would probably beat whoever charges the mound to the mound, but I’ll tell him and Miggy (Montero), ‘Hey, give me 10, 15 seconds to get some work in and then come out and see me.'”

Unfortunately, Arrieta is wrong for championing continued violence in baseball. Eventually, someone is going to be seriously hurt or killed because a baseball man had his feelings hurt. It’s not good for the game, especially if a star like Harper is involved and gets injured either by the pitch or by joining the fracas. It’s not good for kids watching, who learn that violence is an acceptable response to a perceived slight. It’s great for sportswriters, though, who get something to talk about for a couple days. So, uh, thanks, I guess.

Sheldon Ocker named winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award

BBWAA
Leave a comment

The Baseball Writers Association of America has named Sheldon Ocker the winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown on July 29.

Ocker began covering the Indians for the Akron Beacon Journal in 1981 and did so until 2013, when he retired. He was national president of the BBWAA in 1985 and served as chair of the Cleveland Chapter 11 times. He named Ohio Sports Writer of the Year in 1997 and 2000 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.