Should we raise the pitcher's mound?

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The All-Star break is a good time to talk about stuff we normally don’t
have time to discuss because things like ballgames and transactions and
stuff get in the way. Things like this, which is an article advocating for a return to the pre-1968 pitchers’ mound:

If Major League Baseball is serious about trying to find ways to
escape the fallout of the steroid era, raising the pitching mound would
seem to be a no-brainer . . . It’s time to take another look. It’s time
to realize Gibson’s 1.12 was an exceptional year by an exceptional
pitcher. Those tiny ERAs? Evidence suggests they were more a mirage
than a trend — and hitters have been having far too much fun. It’s
time to give the pitchers a break. It’s time to restore at least part
of the real estate missing from the middle of baseball diamonds
everywhere. It’s time to Bring Back The Hill. Now.

I don’t believe that outrageous offense is as big a problem now as it
was a few years ago, but it strikes me that this could be a good idea
regardless of its direct effects on offense. I could totally see a
higher mound leading to fewer pitchers’ injuries as hurlers will be
able to generate a bit more velocity via gravity as opposed to muscle,
and could theoretically lower their arm slots a bit — thus reducing
shoulder strain — and still get a good angle of attack at a batter.

Just spitballin’ here.

Hey, that gives me another idea . . .

Marlins, Giants get into heated beanball war

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You may have heard that Giants closer Hunter Strickland broke his hand punching a door in frustration after Monday night’s subpar performance. He’ll miss six to eight weeks as a result. Strickland came in to protect a 4-2 lead but ended up giving up three runs. The tying run was knocked in by Lewis Brinson on a single to right field. Brinson moved to third base on a go-ahead single by Miguel Rojas, which prompted manager Bruce Bochy to take Strickland out of the game.

On his way to the dugout, Strickland started chirping at Brinson. Much like Bryce Harper and Strickland, Brinson and Strickland have a bit of a history. Last Thursday, Brinson handed Strickland a blown save with a sacrifice fly to deep center field. Brinson was happy to help his team tie the game, pumping his fast and saying, “Let’s go” at no one in particular. That rubbed Strickland the wrong way. Everything seems to rub Strickland the wrong way.

During Tuesday night’s game, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez threw at Brinson with the first pitch, a 92 MPH fastball. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher issued warnings to both benches. Manager Don Mattingly came out to argue, suggesting that his team hadn’t done anything wrong so it was unfair to essentially take the inside part of the plate away from his pitchers. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly could be seen saying, “You’re next” to catcher Buster Posey.

The Giants scored twice in the bottom of the second against Dan Straily to extend their lead to 3-0. Posey came to the plate with a runner on first base and one out. Straily hit Posey with a 91 MPH fastball on the first pitch, prompting ejections of both Straily and Mattingly. Posey was hit on the arm. If the pitch had come in a bit lower and hit Posey on the wrist or hand, Posey might have had to go on the disabled list for a couple months. Or if the pitch had hit Posey a couple of inches higher, in the head, then who knows what would have happened.

Things calmed down from there, thankfully. The two clubs have one more game against each other in San Francisco on Wednesday and that will be the final time they meet this season. If anything further is going to happen — and hopefully, nothing happens — then it will come tomorrow.

Straily will almost certainly be facing a suspension and a fine, as will Mattingly. It’s less clear if Rodriguez and/or Bochy will be reprimanded for throwing at Brinson, even though it was fairly obvious the pitch was intentional. Regardless, the punishments amount to just one missed start for the pitchers, which isn’t nearly enough of a detriment to deter beanball wars.