“Baseball’s Code–Ugly incidents”
It was the way the game used to be played, but it shouldn’t be that way any more.
The baseball code was written for decades, pitchers had a right to throw at hitters.
Some would say it was hurlers having the right to pitch inside to hitters.
Some would believe pitchers had a right to throw at hitters who tried to show them up at home plate.
Some pitchers would knock hitters down if the preceding batter had hit a home run.
Sometimes batters would get hit in retaliation for a dirty play on the base paths by a teammate.
Those were the days off old time style, the era of pitchers like Don Drysdale, Sal Maglie, Early Wynn.
But as the game evolved over the last decade or so, the money went up, and the urgency to protect star players from getting beaned, the code was rewritten.
Every once in awhile there would be incidents. Sometime there would be really ugly incidents, like the Pascual Perez Padres-Braves beanball brawl back in the day..
That’s why what happened this week was so shocking, but then again understandable, remembering the baseball code.
Raw emotions spilled out in the Astros-Angels series. Houston outfielder Jake Marisnick crossed the line when he dove head first into Halos catcher Jonathon Lucroy at home plate. He was ejected and suspended 3-games for the violent slide. Disciplined because he left his feet-launched and targeted Lucre’s head-hitting him with his shoulder.
The Angels catcher is out with a concussion, recovering from surgery for a fractured nose.
The new rules imposed by baseball a year ago, were put into place to protect catchers from serious injury, in that they were defenseless, reaching for throws, while trying to tag a baserunner. Of course, catchers can no longer block the plate while reaching for a ball.
What Marisnick did was borderline dirty. What the Angels did was nearly criminal.
Angels pitcher Noe Ramirez threw a 95mph fastball at the Astros player’s head while batting-hitting him in the upper back. He got a 3-game suspension and fine, and Brad Ausmus was given a 1-game suspension too for the incident.
On the same night, Dodgers 1st baseman David Freese took a 95mph fastball in the back from Phillies pitcher Hector Nesi, angry that LA had just hit a 3-run home run off him. Noesi was hit with a 3-game suspension too.
It was a bad look for baseball, considering the pitches were thrown at peoples heads. Old history would have you plunk a guy on the legs or on the backside or the arm. Never up around the neck. Now is different than then.
The historic Braves-Padres brawl went nearly 9-innings, when Pascual Perez hit Alan Wiggins, and Padres pitches threw at the Braves pitcher 4-different times before a full scale brawl broke out back in the early 2000s..
Equally as bad was the John Roseboro-Juan Marichal Giants-Dodgers incident way back in 1965, that left Roseboro bloodied after he went to the mound to assault Marichal with his bat in response to getting hit in the head..
A Red Sox-Yankees brawl involved Pedro Martinez, a notorious head hunter, Manny Ramirez, and coach Don Zimmer getting knocked to the ground in a rage response rushing the mound in 2003.
A Texas sized brawl-Nolan Ryan pounding the head of the White Sox Robin Ventura is part of baseball lore after Ventura went to the mound looking for revenge..
There’s so much money to be made in baseball, but there is more than just home runs, big plays on defense and great pitching now, and what can happen now is scary.. .
The game is dominated now by 100mph fastballs, and there is a great danger now when incidents happen like what we saw in the Angels-Astros, and Phillies-Dodgers game.
The game is still played with great emotion, and should be played with great respect. But
Jake Marisnick, Noe Ramirez and Hector Noesi don’t see it that way.
We haven’t had a fatality with a beanball since 1920, when the Indians-Yankees game was marred by the death of Ray Chapman, skulled with a pitch.
But the dangers are much more evident now, because of how good these players are.
A couple of hot heads don’t see it that way. though. Baseball needs to get even tougher with these knockdown pitch incidents.