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


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.

Giants fans will have to pay a surcharge to park at Athletics games

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Athletics president Dave Kaval is ready to take full advantage of the interleague series between the Giants and A’s this season. While the two teams customarily play a few preseason “Battle of the Bay” games each year, they’re also scheduled to meet each other six times during the regular season; once for a three-game set in San Francisco, then for a three-game set in Oakland. On Saturday, Kaval announced that any Giants fans looking to park at the Coliseum this year will be charged $50 instead of the standard, general admission $30 — an additional “rivalry fee” that can be easily waived by shouting, “Go A’s!” at the gate.

This isn’t the first time that a major-league team has tried to keep rival fans at bay, though Kaval doesn’t seem all that intent on actually driving fans away from the ballpark. Back in 2012, the Nationals staged a “Take Back the Park” campaign after people began complaining that Phillies fans were overtaking Nationals Park during rivalry games. They limited a single-series presale of Nats-Phillies tickets to buyers within Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia in hopes of filling the stands with a few more friendly faces. Washington COO Andy Feffer told the press that while he would treat all guests with “respect and courtesy,” he wanted Phillies fans to feel irked enough to pay attention to the Nationals. In the end, things went… well, a little south for all involved.

Whether the Giants are planning any retaliatory measures has yet to be seen, but it’s not as if this is going to be an enforceable rule. The real travesty here, if you’re an A’s fan or just pretending to be one, is that the parking fees have increased from $20 to $30 this season. Unless you’re a season ticket holder with a prepaid $10 parking permit, it’s far better to brave the crowds and take advantage of local public transportation. There are bound to be far fewer irate Giants fans on BART than at the gates — even if the gag only lasts a few days out of the year.