Potent quotables: Sweet Lou turns sour

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”You’re not a player! You’re a piece of sh–!”

– Lou Pinella has had just about enough of Milton Bradley.

“That was awesome. We made him pissed. That’s not too hard to do.”

– Ozzie Guillen throws in his two cents about Friday’s Pinella-Bradley incident.

“I kind of figured that.”

– Ryan Ludwick reacts to being out of the lineup
again on Saturday. On the heels of a breakthrough 2008 season, Ludwick
is batting just .226 so far in 2009, including a .178 mark this month.

“As a pitcher, you know you have a
no-hitter. Whoever says they don’t, it’s a lie. You know you have it.
It was pretty cool to be a part of it.”

– Ricky Romero talks about holding the Phillies hitless
over the first six innings on Friday night. The rookie southpaw’s
no-hit bid was broken up by a Chase Utley leadoff single in the
seventh.

“When I got traded [last] July, it
was a surprise, because I thought I was going to be there until the end
of the season. When that happened, he called me to the office and
wished me the best. He almost cried when he talked to me. For me,
that’s something I’ll never forget. He talked to me as if I was his son
when that happened.”

– Ivan Rodriguez recalls
Jim Leyland’s reaction after the catcher was traded to the Yankees last
season. Rodriguez and Leyland were reunited when the Astros and Tigers
kicked off a weekend series in Houston.

Dan Straily suspended five games, Don Mattingly one for throwing at Buster Posey

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Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that Marlins pitcher Dan Straily has been suspended five games and Don Mattingly one game for throwing intentionally at Giants catcher Buster Posey on Tuesday in San Francisco. Straily plans to appeal his suspension, so he will be allowed to take his normal turn through the rotation until that matter is settled.

Everything started on Monday, when the Marlins rallied in the ninth inning against closer Hunter Strickland. That included a game-tying single from Lewis Brinson, who pumped his fist and yelled in celebration. Strickland took exception, jawing at Brinson who was on third base when the right-hander was taken out of the game. Strickland went into the clubhouse and punched a door, breaking his hand.

The next day, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez hit Brinson with a fastball, which prompted warnings for both teams. Mattingly came out to argue with the umpires about the fairness of issuing warnings right then and there. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly apparently said, “You’re next” to Posey, who was standing around home plate. The next inning, Straily hit Posey on the arm with a fastball, which led to immediate ejections for both him and Mattingly.

Neither Rodriguez nor Giants manager Bruce Bochy were reprimanded, which is ludicrous because it was plainly obvious Rodriguez was throwing at Brinson. But neither team had been issued warnings. Essentially, Major League Baseball is giving free reign for teams to get their revenge pitches in. Furthermore, Straily’s five-game suspension is hardly a deterrent for throwing at a hitter. The Marlins could simply give Straily an extra day of rest and it’s like he was never suspended at all.

Beanball wars are bad for baseball. It puts players at risk for obvious reasons. When players have to miss time due to avoidable injury, self-inflicted (in the case of Strickland) or not (if, for example, Posey had a hand or wrist broken from Straily’s pitch), the game suffers because it becomes an inferior product. That’s, of course, second behind the simple fact that throwing at a player is a tremendously childish way to handle a disagreement. When aimed intentionally at another human being, a baseball is a weapon. That’s especially true when it’s in the hands of someone who has been trained to throw anywhere from 90 to 100 MPH.

Commisioner Rob Manfred has spent a lot of time trying to make the game of baseball more appealing, such adding pitch clocks and limiting mound visits. He should spend some time addressing the throwing-at-batters problem.