Via Baseball Musings, we learn of a study which is sad:
Researchers report “beaning” a member of the opposing team — deliberately hitting him with a pitch — is divorced in fans’ minds from the notion of moral responsibility.
In other words, the batter who received a nasty bruise — or worse — when he was hit by a retaliatory pitch didn’t really deserve it, in the minds of most fans. But a great many support beaning him regardless.
No word on what people thought when it was their team’s player, dammit, who got beaned.