The dumbest thing you’ll read today

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I wouldn’t say it unless it was true.

You might remember that Jose Reyes was called out while trying for a triple last Wednesday night against the Nationals. It was one of the worst calls in recent memory, as Reyes never took his hand off the third base bag, but Tom Van Riper of Forbes saw the play as an opportunity to chuck spitballs at the shortstops’s entire major league career.

The triple/ non-triple against the Nationals had all the elements of Reyes’ eight-year career: strong bat smoking a ball up the gap, explosive speed getting him to third, only to wind up back in the dugout thanks to a lack of brains. The sad part was how predictable the play was. Scintillating as he is to watch when he’s going well, Reyes has never really learned how to play the game.

Yes, let’s blame Reyes for Marvin Hudson’s complete and total ineptitude. And what if Reyes was called safe there? I guess Van Riper would have said he was just lucky.

Unfortunately Van Riper’s commentary is par for the course among those who blame Reyes, David Wright and Carlos Beltran for the team’s failings since the 2006 NLCS, despite each of them being among the best position players in the history of the entire franchise. Folks like Van Riper shouldn’t be ignored, but highlighted for their complete lack of understanding.

(Hat-tip to friend of the blog Ted Berg of Tedquarters for bringing this to my attention)

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.