HBT Breakfast Wrap

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I missed a lot of the late afternoon and evening stories yesterday because I had to take my son to soccer.  Can I tell you how miserable soccer has been this spring? Tons of cancellations, but they don’t cancel until you’ve already got the boy into his shin guards and cleats and taken him out to the soccer fields, so you’ve already disrupted your day. And when we have played, it’s been a muddy mess of awfulness. Even the boy — who likes soccer — is ready for it to be over.  And of course, after we got to the field last night they canceled it due to lightning and stuff.

So I took the kids to Steak ‘n Shake for dinner. That trip was worth it, though, if for no other reason than I encountered Steak ‘n Shake’s new special burger.  Hmmm, I wonder who they’re trying to rip off with that?  Note to Steak ‘n Shake: the palm tree logo may be a bridge too far.  But hey, in the interests of science I ordered it.  The verdict: still tasty, but really not much at all like an In-n-Out Burger Double-Double.  I have much love in my heart for you Steak ‘n Shake, but please, stick to what you know.  Anyway:

One more soccer game this spring. Next Thursday.  I can’t decide if I should just pray for more rain now and get it over with or if I should actually hope it happens.

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.