Did Brewers' celebration go too far?

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Sunday’s extra-inning affair between
the Brewers and Giants was everything you could ask for in a September
baseball game. A little bit of history, the Brewers turned a
triple-play for the first time since 1999. The game had plenty of
drama, too, ultimately being decided on a 12th inning walk-off blast by
Prince Fielder. The loss knocked the Giants two games behind the
Rockies in the Wild Card race. So why am I writing about this on Monday?




Upon rounding the bases after his
game-winning homer, Fielder untucked his uniform, seemingly setting
things up to toss his helmet as he approached home plate, a popular and
accepted form of celebration in recent years. However, the Brewers went
against the grain, using a choreographed celebration where when Fielder touched the plate, he extended his arms to the sky and his teammates fell to the ground around
him. With even veterans like Craig Counsell taking part, it was a
ridiculous piece of theatre that
won’t be forgotten by the Giants any time soon.



“Did you see that celebration?” bench coach Ron Wotus
asked. “You would like to think professionals would have a lot more
respect for the game and their opponents. That was choreographed.”




Yet, if you were to read the recaps
this morning, you’ll see the incident celebrated in pictures and
highlights. I’m no Yankees fan, but imagine if this was Alex Rodriguez?
The criticism would be overwhelming. Fielder is getting a pass today. No bones about it.




Surely the Brewers may have thought
twice about doing this if they were going to face the Giants again on
Monday, but don’t be surprised to see Fielder catch one in the back or
worse when he faces them next season.

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.