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Giants pitchers hit four Reds batters in one inning

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The bee-infested day game between the Giants and Reds down in Cincinnati got weirder in the bottom of the sixth inning when Giants pitchers tied a dubious major league record by hitting four batters in the inning. The record of four hit batsmen in an inning was set way back on August 19, 1893 in a game between the Boston Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates. Back then no one threw as hard as they do now, so I’m guessing it was easier to take.

Ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte hit three of the four and used both arms to do it.

With one out, and the Giants trailing 7-4, he plunked Eugenio Suárez while pitching right-handed. Then he walked Yasiel Puig, gave up a single to load the bases, gave up two more singles and found himself and his team down 10-4. At that point he hit José Peraza, again pitching righty, then hit lefty pinch-hitter Josh VanMeter after switching to southpaw to make it 11-4.

By then Bruce Bochy had seen enough and replaced Venditte with Sam Dyson. He struck out the first batter he saw for out number two and then plunked Joey Votto to force in yet another run. Suárez came back up again, grounded out and the inning was over. It’s still 12-4 as the game enters the ninth inning.

UPDATE: The Giants used Pablo Sandoval to pitch the ninth inning. He hit a batter too, so make it five plunkings in the game for Giants “pitchers.”

I don’t have the game on because I’m blacked out of Reds games, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that none of these were intentional. For one thing, it does not seem that anyone jawed or postured or had any thoughts of fighting about it. For another thing, you generally don’t hit guys on purpose with the bases loaded. Seems to me that Venditte just had no control today and Dyson simply lost one.

No matter the case this was one ugly game for the Giants.

 

MLBPA: MLB’s ‘demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected’

Rob Manfred and Tony Clark
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On Thursday evening, the Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement regarding ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. The two sides continue to hash out details concerning a 2020 season. The owners want a shorter season, around 50 games. The union recently proposed a 114-game season that also offered the possibility of salary deferrals.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said that the union held a conference call that included the Executive Board and MLBPA player leaders. They “resoundingly rejected” the league’s “demand for additional concessions.”

The full statement:

In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, Players want nothing more than to get back to work and provide baseball fans with the game we all love. But we cannot do this alone.

Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless Players negotiate salary concessions. The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in Player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon.

This threat came in response to an Association proposal aimed at charting a path forward. Among other things, Players proposed more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals in the event of a 2020 playoff cancellation, and the exploration of additional jewel events and broadcast enhancements aimed at creatively bringing our Players to the fans while simultaneously increasing the value of our product. Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless Players agree to further salary reductions.

Earlier today we held a conference call of the Association’s Executive Board and several other MLBPA Player leaders. The overwhelming consensus of the Board is that Players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves, but their families as well. The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.

Important work remains to be done in order to safely resume the season. We stand ready to complete that work and look forward to getting back on the field.

As per the current agreement signed in March, if there is a 2020 season, players will be paid on a prorated basis. Thus, fewer games means the players get paid less and the owners save more. MLB has threatened to unilaterally set a 2020 season in motion if the two sides cannot come to terms. It should come as no surprise that the union has responded strongly on both fronts.

There have been varying reports in recent days over the confidence in a 2020 season happening. The MLBPA’s statement tonight doesn’t move the needle any; it simply affirms that the union remains steadfast in its goal to avoid a second significant cut in salaries.

As I see it, the ball is in the owners’ court. The owners can strongarm the players into a short season, saving money but significantly increasing the odds of a big fight in upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Or the owners can eat more of a financial loss, agreeing to a longer season than they feel is comfortable. The latter would have the double benefit of not damaging overall perception of the sport and would not disrupt labor peace going forward.

The MLBPA statement included a declaration that the players are “ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions.” If there is no 2020 season, we will have only the owners to blame, not the players.

Update: Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, who has been quite vocal on social media about these negotiations, chimed in: