Fun stuff from Phil Mushnick of the Post: he hates the fact that Robinson Cano doesn’t hustle. And he hates it even more that the Yankees broadcasters at YES don’t call Cano out for it. Really, he lays into the network for not noticing this, accusing them of being the Yankees’ Pravda or something:
So is the silence of Yankee TV commentators who for some reason — perhaps a lack of guidance from YES management or YES’ fear of having to hear from Yankee management — feel that we don’t know good baseball from bad … Yet, the Yankee TV guys, Ken Singleton, David Cone and Lou Piniella, ignored what had just happened. They passed on Cano’s inconceivable disregard for playing winning baseball before they even had a chance to change the subject. Piniella, three-time Manager of the Year for crying out loud, said nothing! Standard Cano, followed by standard TV indulgence.
I guess Mushnick doesn’t watch every game — or else he doesn’t read HBT — because if he did he would have remembered that just a couple of weeks ago YES’ Michael Kay spent a long time going after Cano for not hustling down the line. Oh well, I guess it doesn’t count if the only one doing it is the LEAD BROADCASTER ON THE NETWORK.
Not that it should matter. Joe Girardi has been asked about Cano’s habit of not running out 4-3 grounders at full speed all the time and Girardi says he doesn’t care. Nor should he, given that Cano is the one superstar he’s got who has been consistently healthy and given that the dude is hitting .307/.386/.510.
Maybe the failure to give 110% when it doesn’t matter is bothersome to people, but I’ll take that line and some occasional jogging over a guy who busts it down the line in the course of making far more outs or a guy who pulls a hamstring in the name of empty, showy hustle.
Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that Marlins pitcher Dan Straily has been suspended five games and Don Mattingly one game for throwing intentionally at Giants catcher Buster Posey on Tuesday in San Francisco. Straily plans to appeal his suspension, so he will be allowed to take his normal turn through the rotation until that matter is settled.
Everything started on Monday, when the Marlins rallied in the ninth inning against closer Hunter Strickland. That included a game-tying single from Lewis Brinson, who pumped his fist and yelled in celebration. Strickland took exception, jawing at Brinson who was on third base when the right-hander was taken out of the game. Strickland went into the clubhouse and punched a door, breaking his hand.
The next day, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez hit Brinson with a fastball, which prompted warnings for both teams. The next inning, Straily hit Posey on the arm with a fastball, which led to immediate ejections for both him and Mattingly.
Neither Rodriguez nor Giants manager Bruce Bochy were reprimanded, which is ludicrous because it was plainly obvious Rodriguez was throwing at Brinson. But neither team had been issued warnings. Essentially, Major League Baseball is giving free reign for teams to get their revenge pitches in. Furthermore, Straily’s five-game suspension is hardly a deterrent for throwing at a hitter. The Marlins could simply give Straily an extra day of rest and it’s like he was never suspended at all.
Beanball wars are bad for baseball. It puts players at risk for obvious reasons. When players have to miss time due to avoidable injury, self-inflicted (in the case of Strickland) or not (if, for example, Posey had a hand or wrist broken from Straily’s pitch), the game suffers because it becomes an inferior product. That’s, of course, second behind the simple fact that throwing at a player is a tremendously childish way to handle a disagreement. When aimed intentionally at another human being, a baseball is a weapon. That’s especially true when it’s in the hands of someone who has been trained to throw anywhere from 90 to 100 MPH.
Commisioner Rob Manfred has spent a lot of time trying to make the game of baseball more appealing, such adding pitch clocks and limiting mound visits. He should spend some time addressing the throwing-at-batters problem.