242 thoughts on “Game thread: Braves at Cubs”

  1. Let’s keep the streak rolling in Old Coors Field!

    (Or is the Denver Ballpark ‘New Wrigley’? I can’t keep that distinction straight…)

  2. Yesterday, some sources were predicting rain for tonight’s game, but it looks as though it’s going to be a nice night for baseball.

    On another note, Freddie Freeman, not Bryce Harper (was surely considered for merely existing) named NL Player of the week. Congrats Freddie! Eat dung Bryce.

  3. Freddie is on pace for over 140 RBI. He won’t get there but it’s crazy to think about. I wish he was walking a little more, though.

  4. #6: Sounds about right to me. Just because I endorse what Hamels did doesn’t mean there should be no league repercussions. My guess is Hamels agrees with me and won’t fight it. After all, 5 days is a really lukewarm penalty: it’ll be a very minor inconvenience for the Phils rotation and by the end of the year, you won’t see any evidence in his GS totals that he was suspended. Looked at it that way, it could almost be more of a message to Harper than anything.

  5. A ridiculous suspension. I don’t think Hamels had any real reason for it, but there’s also no reason whatsoever for MLB to take the issue off the field where it had been resolved, as the pitch had no chance of hurting him. Harper, much to his credit, even took it in stride and pretty much shrugged the issue off.

    It’s sad to see how soft the sport is getting. We celebrate pitchers who used to knockdown, brushback, and yes even deliberately bean, hitters all the time. But now we have players getting suspended for a simple plunk on the back, and umpires warning teams because an inside pitch gets away (which negatively impacts the game when it affects how pitchers are allowed to approach batters, i.e. they’re afraid to throw inside for fear of reprimand). MLB might as well just go the route of slow-pitch softball and add a second, orange bag on the foul side of first base because “hey, safety!”

  6. MLB might as well just go the route of slow-pitch softball and add a second, orange bag on the foul side of first base because “hey, safety!”

    The ‘ban maple bats’ and ‘put a net all the way around the infield’ crowd approves.

  7. I actually don’t remember the last time I watched a game where the umps did the whole preemptive warning thing. It seems to me that, after an initial period of overenforcement, it hasn’t been an issue in a while. That’s the way it usually goes with making a rule, right?

  8. Hamels gets five games, or as we like to call it, an extra day of rest between starts.

  9. The girl who Pastornicky hit paid a just price for not paying absolutely constant attention!

  10. Grst, I agree with Rusty. Hamels admitted it, so a penalty of some kind was in order. If he’d not said anything, or said “it just got away.” Nothing would have happened.

    And honestly, even with the penalty, nothing is happening.

    But I totally agree: baseball is suffering from a little bit of wussification.

  11. @12

    I’ll contradict myself and say the rule against arguing balk calls remains suffocating and weird.

  12. I’m reminded of Burt Lancaster in Atlantic City, shuffling along the boardwalk and lecturing a whippersnapper about old times. “The Atlantic Ocean was something then. Yes, you should have seen the Atlantic Ocean in those days.”

  13. I am not in Chicago this week. You may weep for my absence if you like.

  14. Hot dogs are a known choking hazard for kids. All ballparks need to ban them. Anything that has ever hurt anyone at any time ever, or just has the potential to, obviously needs micromanaging.

  15. @21 Yes, a hard object flying 100MPH at you is totally the same thing as being a poor masticator. Great job Dan!

  16. Now, now, people, don’t all gang up on Dan. We all have our ways of getting that adrenaline rush from courting danger. Some people climb mountains…some skateboard…and Dan attends baseball games in person.

  17. We used to celebrate hot dog vendors who passed on infected or poor quality goods to consumers as titans of capitalism. I weep for the wussification of hot dog eaters.

  18. If you were a real man, you wouldn’t let salmonella pick on you. Why don’t you just man up and punch it in the mouth next time it gives you shit, you little crybaby?

  19. My friend that I’ve discussed here before (author of God and Football) has invited me to go to Moscow with him in June. We will be there to get perspective on Christianity from Russian Christians and from Americans who are Christian in Russia. The interviews, church visits, and all that go with it will take up about 2 days but I’m open to suggestions on places to go (restaurants, historic sites, museums, etc.) for the remainder of the trip, which will be about 4 days. Thanks in advance.

    Also, my wife and I are headed to Ireland to hike the Dingle peninsula and any knowledge of hotspots in that area will also be greatly appreciated.

  20. Now, now, people, don’t all gang up on Dan.

    No, no; go ahead. It’s comical, the people who think they need businesses (MLB) and governments to protect them from themselves.

  21. Spike: Someone makes a simple assertion that baseball is “a little bit wussified” and so I undermine that with a ridiculous comment about hot dogs. Classical argument!!!

  22. That’s right! If you get hit by a baseball you were clearly asking for it! Let’s take the windshields out of cars, because if you get hit by debris on the road it’s your own fault.

  23. We all have our ways of getting that adrenaline rush from courting danger. Some people climb mountains…some skateboard…and Dan attends baseball games in person.

    To hear Bethany tell it, between the “wood flying in people’s faces” and “hard objects flying 100MPH at you;” an MLB game in basically a war zone.

  24. @16 So he’s being punished not for his actions on the field, but for making MLB look bad by being honest about it? Well, I can at least buy it as a possible rational from the league’s point of view, even if I still find it insufficient as such.

  25. @30, I was replying to 21 and not you, but if you insist on being included, fine – I am sure the coddled prima donnas that are today’s ballplayers wouldn’t have lasted 10 minutes on your post-little league nine.

  26. And to hear you tell it, the only thing that preventative measures prevent is freedom.

  27. Woah, woah, woah there Dan! Governments to protect us? You wouldn’t be grabbing hold of a discussion of machismo bean-balling to make sweeping generalizations and cram your political views down our throats, now would you?

  28. HBP’s are fairly common (approximately as frequent as sacrifice bunts), but how many batters have actually been seriously injured by being hit by a pitch? a tiny handful, if even that?

    I can understand how folks who haven’t been in the situation can think it very dangerous, but it’s actually not. So long as you’re wearing a helmet and capable of turning your face, there are very few places a ball can hit you to cause serious injury. It hurts, sometimes a lot, but it’s not particularly dangerous. Probably even less so than things like sliding head first, or taking out a player to break up a double play.

  29. Thanks, ububba.
    I guess nothing should suprise me after Fox started playing Widespread Panic during the WS a few years back.

  30. @40- at issue isn’t “safety” in and of itself. Of course theres a risk of concussion, but more at issue is a minor injury causing a player to miss time.

    The potential of changing the competitive balance of a division by breaking a hamate bone or a rib of a player, intentionally, because you think he’s icky is problematic. Better to just put the kibosh on intentional HBPs and encourage the players to even their scores in ways that can’t effect the quality of competition, and thereby, the product on the field.

  31. #30: Asking if you played organized ball past Little League was not designed to insult you. I’m sorry you’ve taken great indulgence in insulting me.

    I asked that question for a reason. You don’t seem to grok that baseball players have a system in which pitchers sometimes punish opposing hitters for breaking certain unwritten codes. My assumption was that you haven’t really been around any real baseball players who played the game in a serious way. It turns out my assumption was right.

    Your worldview is that there is no such system, even though there’s a massive amount of evidence that there is one. You have nothing substantive to say about the players that subscribe to such a system (which, off the top of my head, would include the anti-Pascual Perez Padres, Tom Glavine throwing at Dale Murphy, TP running off the field in protest against his timid teammate Marvin Freeman, and of course Hamels…) Instead, you turn your wrath and indignation on me, who has never once thrown a major league fastball at a major league douchebag’s rumpus.

    I am not the problem. Your problem is with your inability to grasp with how major league players think in the real world, and if not condoning it, at least accepting it on its own terms rather than your own faulty premises.

    You have another problem subordinate to that one, and that’s not being able to provide counterarguments without making cartoons out of what other people say.

    Bryce Harper has entered Major League Baseball. His talents are obvious, as is his tendency to be a douchebag. There are some ballplayers who will not want him to be a douchebag. They will do everything from take him aside while shagging fly balls and give him some homespun wisdom, to hitting him with purpose pitches. There is nothing violent or uncivilized about the latter. I understand that you disagree with me, and I’m fine with that.

    Jason Heyward will not have to deal with any of Harper’s problems, and as a Braves fan, I am very thankful.

  32. @43 Is there any evidence that has ever happened? And why is the prospect of retaliation not a sufficient check on such behavior? Heavy-handed rules affect the quality of play, too.

  33. #43: Following up on Grst’s post: If you’re going to raise the specter of broken hamate bones or broken ribs, can you cite an example of a purpose pitch like the one thrown by Hamels that has caused such an injury? (I’m not talking about dickheads like Clemens throwing at batter’s heads because he’s got emotional problems.)

  34. Claiming special insight based on experience and then complaining when called on it is right up there with hitting someone with a baseball because you don’t have the courage to take them on man to man. I guess Moyer should have just hit Chipper. Clearly all the players know what the unwritten rules are and should expect to be corrected when the pitcher deems it necessary.

  35. Two other notes, slightly off-topic:

    John R, what kind of “message” would the league be sending Harper? “We have to appear to protect your safety because of the union, but, we kinda think you’re a dick, so, we’re gonna give the penalty no teeth.

    This 5 famed for a starter is standard practice. The idea is that, we can’t keep your team from adjusting the rotation without suspending you for 10 days, so, we won’t. But you’ll lose 3% of your pay, just like a hitter who charges the mound.

    Second, someone noted a starter being suspended last year for throwing behind a batter, and not even hitting him… It’s commonly accepted that throwing behind a player can be more dangerous than hitting him in the ribs, because the natural tendency to bak away from the plate, not go toward it.

  36. The potential of changing the competitive balance of a division by breaking a hamate bone or a rib of a player, intentionally, because you think he’s icky is problematic. Better to just put the kibosh on intentional HBPs and encourage the players to even their scores in ways that can’t effect the quality of competition, and thereby, the product on the field.

    Fine. From here on out all MLB disagreements will be solved the old fashioned way. By having Nolan Ryan wail on people’s heads.

  37. I would be fine with that. I have little baseball experience, it’s true, but I was a 3 year starter on the Auburn rugby team. I am no tough guy, but I played with a few, and they would find Sams’ idea eminently preferable to some throwing a ball at someone nonsense.

  38. And to answer your question, I have no evidence that an intentional HBP has lead to any specific injury. But I fail to see why it matters. Are you going to contend that these surgeons of the mound will be sure to avoid inflicting injury?

  39. #47: Wait, what? I was “called on it”? When? Is this another one of your hyperbolic overstatements?

    There is an unwritten code about showboating in baseball. Don’t do it. There are countless examples that this is so, including one that happened just yesterday. Hamels was very explicit what he did and why he did it. Are you really going to continue to be this obtuse?

  40. #52: Most pitchers known to place their purpose pitchers at a players mid-section.

    If a pitcher intends to throw at the knees or the head, he is being a dick and deserves to be punished. If a pitcher doesn’t intend to throw at those areas, but accidentally does so anyway, well them’s the hazards of the trade, and ought to be punished accordingly.

    Anyway, Hamels was not actively trying to injure anything but the part of Harper’s ego that makes him such a douchebag. It’s important to recognize this before getting all hysterical about the “violence inherent in the system.”

  41. @50- I think you understand what I mean. You can’t have the Phils run away with the division because the Nats go out and break Heyward’s wrist because he watched a homer for 2.4 seconds, instead of the accepted 2 seconds flat.

  42. #29
    Never been to Russia. Even though I’ve heard the food’s kinda terrible & everything’s super-expensive, I still wanna check it out one of these days.

    Ireland’s pretty awesome. I’m a fan of Dublin—not everyone is—but Galway Bay is a pretty terrific site. Music’s pretty good in the city of Galway as well.

    The Ring of Kerry tour is worth it, IMO. Lots of sheep, lots & lots of sheep.

  43. @53, when there is clear disagreement on what both the crime and penalty is from current and former players it ain’t being obtuse. I’ve given you specific recent quotes from former players saying this is NOT the way the game is played, and you have hand-waved them away. You are continuing to assert things are true without providing any evidence that it is so, other than your experiences.

  44. The only counter quote I’ve seen is from Mike Rizzo, the Nats’ GM. That’s not a counter quote of much merit.

  45. Yeah, I didn’t answer John’s question in the last thread about baseball experience, because I didn’t want the conversation to become about credentials. We’re all paying attention, and have been for a long time. I’ve listened to Rob Dibble talk about codes. I know them well enough.

  46. @58, Bob Tufts explicitly said over at BBTF “I never heard of hitting a players because they were viewed as a hot dog or arrogant.”

  47. I’m still confused as to what gives Cole Hamels the right to hit him. What did he do to COLE HAMELS except beat his team twice in a row?

  48. You’ve given a quote from Harper’s GM. Saying he’s biased is not “hand-waving them away.”

    You’ve also given a quote from some guy who pitched a few innings 30 years ago. I don’t know in what context he made that comment, if it’s a full or edited quote, or if he’s suffering from Alzheimer’s, but I’ll grant you that one.

    But then you’ve got the examples I cited earlier, and I forgot the Mike Schmidt quote someone else mentioned that perfectly illustrates the concept. I mean, Tom Glavine threw at freakin’ Dale Murphy for crying out loud because. You’re in denial, dude.

    Here’s a writeup on that moment, to refresh your memory:

    “Tom Glavine vs. Dale Murphy, June 19, 1991: After Philadelphia’s Roger McDowell drills Atlanta’s Otis Nixon in the top of the ninth inning, it’s time for payback. The responsibility falls to Glavine, whose body language suggests he would rather drill Mother Teresa than his friend and former teammate, Murphy. Glavine throws four batting-practice fastballs well inside, but can’t muster the enthusiasm to paint Murphy’s back porch red. Umpire Bob Davidson ejects Glavine, regardless.”

    Now, why was Roger McDowell throwing at Otis? Well, our guy was doing a little showboating. That’s why. McDowell didn’t want to let that pass so he drilled him. (Mike Schmidt wasn’t retired by then but surely approved.) It just so happened I was watching that game that day with a girl I had just started dating. I was having to answer all her questions about “what’s happening?” When it got to the brawls, I had to explain to her about how players often police themselves on the field when they perceive lines have been crossed.

    She didn’t really seem to have a problem understanding that.

  49. @62, I’m afraid if you haven’t played D-1 athletics, I can’t really explain it to you,

  50. #63: See, I don’t get that, nor is it in any way responsive. You’re now just interested in being a dick and wasting my time. I’ve always liked you, Spike, especially as a musician, but jesus dude.

  51. I kid, but seriously, even if every baseballer that ever played agreed with you it’s still a fallacious appeal to authority – baseball players agreeing to act like cowardly P*ssies as a group doesn’t change the fact that they are acting like that. And providing an anecdotal quote as proof that it’s the general or even majority opinion still leaves you woefully short on the burden of proof here.

  52. Can I point out there’s a difference between retaliation and hitting a player because hes icky and makes you all mean inside.

  53. @64, then you should respect the fact that I maintain my convictions to my friends as well as anyone else.

  54. Who cares who Cole decides to hit and not hit? If he wants to hit a player, he can. He just better hope his players support that decision also, because they’ll be on the other side of this.

    We didnt care when Venters plunked Fielder last year.

  55. If you hit Chipper Jones because Michael Bourn stole third up 4, I’m going to hit your Todd Helton. I will not hit Jose Reuse because he plays hard, kicks my ass, and is happy to do it.

  56. @52 No, I’m contending that it is utterly foolish to enact solutions to problems that don’t exist.

  57. @68 – Zimmerman had the balls to hit Hamels, rather than Pence or some other star player.

    If you hit Harper, and they hit Pence, Pence might want a word with you.

  58. I kid, but seriously, even if every baseballer that ever played agreed with you it’s still a fallacious appeal to authority – baseball players agreeing to act like cowardly P*ssies as a group doesn’t change the fact that they are acting like that.

    What a strange argument. The discussion with you is whether such a code exists or not. You say it doesn’t. I say it does. If every baseballer that ever played agreed with me, it would prove that I’m right. That’s all I’m trying to prove.

    Your premise that the code makes players inherently “cowardly pussies” is one I don’t accept. But it’s not what my argument with you is about.

    “And providing an anecdotal quote as proof that it’s the general or even majority opinion still leaves you woefully short on the burden of proof here.”

    And yet my several anecdotes are far bigger in number than your two, one of which is Harper’s GM. And yet you try to win an argument using the same standards of proof you find so woefully short with me?

    I don’t understand you.

  59. Yes he did, but Zimmerman could hit anyone. He took it out on Hamels, next time it may be Pence.

  60. Now who’s being obtuse. The idea that this is an morally acceptable practice because some group of folks say it is what’s unacceptable. The fact that you have proof that some players agree with this construct is not a validation of it. Further, I am not trying to ‘win an argument’ based on this, merely pointing out that your moot point isn’t even provable, let alone sufficient rationale for engaging in it.

  61. 73—It’s really not that hard to understand.

    You say: Good for Hamels for throwing at Harper. He broke The Code, and The Code is a reasonable thing, so he deserves what he got.

    spike says: The Code? Where can I get a copy? It’s obvious that not everyone agrees on what The Code says, and anyway, even if The Code says that, The Code is stupid.

    There are two parts to the argument: 1) Does The Code exist in clear form? 2) Assuming it exists, if it entails pitchers throwing at hitters, is it a good thing?

    You disagree on both questions, and you’re both switching back and forth between your answers to the two questions. All this effort trying to falsely paint spike as moving the ball seems like a waste, to me.

  62. @74

    That’s too bad — he had an option that vested with playing time. Now he’ll be a 36-year-old free agent shortstop coming off knee surgery. Not a big market for that. He was an unspeakably awful hitter for long stretches with us, but he played good defense with a lot of panache, so I liked him in spite of the clueless hitting approach.

  63. Five games is the standard. Hammels shoudl have been suspended. As for the girl that got hit in the stands, hey, you have to pay attention if your goign to sit that close. If you don’t want to, then get seats somewhere else. It is not big secret thar you might get hit with a baseball at a game.

    This has been an epic day on here.

  64. 1) Does The Code exist in clear form?

    How can something “unwritten” exist in “clear form”? It’s a pretty simple concept. As I stated before: Don’t showboat. Don’t be above the game. If you do, some folks might try to teach you that lesson in ways you won’t like.

    Who here disagrees that such an “unwritten code” is well understood to exist by the majority of baseball players? Besides Spike, that is?

    Just because it’s administered differently by different players doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist at all.

    2) Assuming it exists, if it entails pitchers throwing at hitters, is it a good thing?

    Not always, no. But a lot of times it is a good thing. It depends on the situation. You know, baseball players disagree with each other on a lot of things, including the unwritten codes. That’s why they fight from time to time.

  65. It’s National League baseball – I have no issues with a pitcher throwing at anyone he wants, for whatever reason he wants, so long as he stands in the batters box himself and takes a retaliatory hit without charging the mound. Hamels threw at Harper then took his hit without moaning about it. If it weren’t for Mike Rizzo, everything would be settled.

  66. @81- you can’t even tell me THAT Harper did something wrong, let alone what it was, and why Hamels is the guy to settle things.

    I’d say the “code” is a bit obscure.

  67. @83- I am sympathetic to this concept, but I’m unconvinced.

    If you shut on my ruf

  68. Pardon… If you shit on my rug, then clean it up… You still shit on my rug.

    My point being, was the HBP a thing that needed done? Or just stupid grand standing?

  69. Does anyone else feel like we’re reading the first draft of “A Few Good Men”?

  70. 84: I don’t find those questions all that interesting, nor really relevant to whether an unwritten code exists or not.

    I don’t find your assertion that an “unwritten code” might be “obscure” or administered in different ways by different people to be all that revelatory. No duh. It certainly doesn’t disprove that a non-specific and unwritten code of conduct exists among most baseball players, and they act upon it when they see fit.

    I don’t know specifically why Hamels did what he did. Maybe he saw something in the previous two games and wanted to take the kid down a notch. But he did talk in the post-game interview about how he perceived Harper to be kind of a dick that needed a little lesson in the manner Mike Schmidt described. (This kind of lesson is part of what baseball players refer to as the “unwritten code.”)

    After seeing Harper blow a kiss at a guy after a homerun, flip his bat so it came close to hitting a catcher and an ump, watching him race around the bases and flip his batting helmet off so his silky hair can blow in the wind like he’s Apollo… I’d be tempted to hit the guy, too.

  71. Brian McCann is the worst catcher to ever open his career with six All-Star selections.

  72. @88, you really could have saved some time and just written “tautology” there.

  73. @88- So you’ll know you broke a rule when someone hits you in the spine, and John R takes to the web to call you a douchebag.

  74. In the interests of allowing discussion about the actual game taking place right now, I yield.

    Spike, you are right. Nobody in baseball cares about showboating, and it’s foolish to even suggest baseball players might want to police themselves over it.

  75. How can something “unwritten” exist in “clear form”?

    This is actually far more interesting a question that it seems. If you mapped all of homo sapien history, from dropping out of the canopy and going all “upright walker” on the savannah to splitting the atom as a 24 hour day, written language wouldn’t show up until after 11:00 PM, heading towards midnight. It’s not necessary for something to be “written” to be understood by humans.

  76. Jeff Samardzija is some kind of ugly. But at least he’s gone all out with it.

  77. Chip Caray is at his worst — and that’s pretty freaking bad — on long fly balls.

  78. You do have to give Samardzija some credit for embracing the redneck fugly like that.

  79. 94: Point extremely well taken. I’d have more to say on the topic but I’m gonna stick by my “I yield” from my last post.

    We are winning thanks to Jason Heyward, who I love.

  80. On the subject of writing and understanding, well, OK — but when it comes to the fair enforcement of rules, writing sure helps.

  81. @93, any argument that cites throwing a baseball at Dale Murphy as an example of it’s moral necessity is pretty flawed.

  82. @96 He absolutely is, but I also thought that Heyward ball was a no-doubter and was surprised when it barely cleared.

  83. 103—The worst part of the call was at the end, when he seemed to decide that it wasn’t going to clear the fence after all, then had to awkwardly call the homer.

    He’s just so, so bad.

  84. In the interest of clarity and rules specificity I feel the need to write once again that I do not like Tommy Hanson. Not one little bit.

  85. Would’ve liked to have seen Bourn trying to steal. Soto is horrible at throwing out runners.

  86. John, my point would boil down to: every team has showboats. Everybody has guys who walk halfway to first and throw their bats in the air after homers. Carlos Ruiz does it for the Phils, Juan Francisco does it on our club.

    The difference with Harper seems to be a combination of “hes never done anything” and “the media has hyped the hell out of him.”

    My contention is that neither of those is his problem. He should tell SI “nah, I shouldn’t be on the cover. I ain’t done nothing yet.” He should tell his agent “nah, I don’t deserve 7 million, I ain’t done nothing yet.”

    He’s a rookie. Of course he’s done nothing yet.

    The one thing he can do is be a good citizen. Play hard, say nothing stupid, don’t act foolish.

    From where I sit, he’s done nothing wrong in the big leagues. Blowing kisses to a pitcher, flipping his bat too high, saying childish stuff on Twitter; that stuff is all minor league. It just so happened he was a minor leaguer when he did those things.

    Hit him if he wrongs you. Whatever. Don’t hit him because of what you saw on Sportscenter. That makes you a douchebag.

  87. What is the point of having Bourn if you aren’t going to run him against bad throwing catchers? I mean, I guess Fredi thinks its ok to run yourself into double caught stealings with failed squeeze attempts though. Stupid Fredi

  88. Why didn’t Pastornicky break for second on pitch on a suicide? Missed sign? Happy Hanson did not pitch in Denver.

  89. It’s almost as if Tommy should stop grooving first-pitch fastballs to LaHair.

  90. Nice pitch Tommy…seems like the 395 foot out on the first pitch last time wasn’t enough to keep you from throwing another first pitch meatball….

    And then follow it up with a 2nd pitch meatball to Stewart. We are now in the midst of an “episode”

  91. For Glavine, it was the 1st inning.

    For Hanson, it has seemed to be the 4th.

  92. Giving up a HR to Stewart was worse. That’s the same Ian Stewart who OPS’d .464 in 2010 and .597 in 2011 while playing half his games at Coors Field.

  93. I would write a diatribe about how you guys don’t do this to Minor, but honestly, I wish Tommy would do the talking for me.

    All he needs to do is cruise through one start versus an inferior team. Just one. No disrespect to LaHair and the year he’s having.

  94. Also, I’m a little late on this and I hate to bring it back up (that’s not true), but I like throwing at people. Not because I believe in baseball mannishness, but because I’m a bad person and I like dirty baseball and players duking it out for my (safe, removed) enjoyment. I’m also a hypocrite, in that I think anybody who throws at a Brave should be summarily banned and stricken from the records, while Braves pitchers should be able to throw with impunity.

    I celebrate myself, and sing myself.

  95. @129, If you are going with Whitman, you should have gone with “Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself”

  96. Joe Simpson thinks Cole Hamels was wrong. Joe Simpson knows the freaking code.

  97. @132-

    Any code that didn’t insist upon throwing at Joe Simpson’s head with the intent to maim every time he came to the plate is meaningless.

  98. Joe Simpson is just mad that nobody ever cared enough to throw at him in his entire career.


  99. Inigo Montoya. Steve Berthiaume said it on Twitter, and yes, that’s who Samardzija looks like.

    But, why?

  100. He’s a former Notre Dame football player, so I know you could take him if you wanted to, Jason.

  101. I am kinda confused, guys. Hanson’s given up two runs through six innings; that’s nothing to complain about.

  102. Douchebaggery begets douchebaggery, and pro sports are full of douchebags. Except the teams I like.

  103. Actually, he didn’t just say he thought Hamels was wrong — he said “I’ve never heard what he’s talking about, not that I’ve heard all the so-called “old school” stories in baseball…I’ve never heard anybody saying you’re supposed to hit some phenom rookie. I’ve never heard of that.”

  104. @141 He’s giving up several balls that would have gone out on any other night too. This is a weak hitting team and he’s let them take advantage of him.

  105. I thought he pretty clearly implied that Hamels was in the wrong — because, you know, Joe would’ve heard it if it was a thing — but maybe not.

  106. Anyone think that was for Tommy hitting Reed Johnson, and almost doing it again?

  107. I’m a lot more frustrated with the PAs against Inigo Montoya than I am with Hanson’s performance.

  108. What precisely happened there? I see: Hinske lined into double play, first to shortstop – Heyward out at third. Do they mean out at second?

  109. Right, he said it was a stupid thing to do. I just transcribed the part where he addressed this “code” issue we’ve been debating.

  110. Oh look, there’s one of those completely unnecessary “warnings” against baseball players not to play baseball in a way that makes the wimpering ninnies squeamish.

  111. If you’re going to hit someone intentionally, you should at least have the skill to not give up the run. Otherwise it looks really stupid.

  112. O’Flaherty:

    2011: 8 earned runs (all year)
    2012: 8 earned runs (as of May 7th)

  113. Well this was informative… So, our guy hit their guy by accident, and clearly so. Then, he made the mistake of almost hitting the very same guy a second time.

    Link head (or should I say, shining knight of baseball chivalry?) decides “Woah, woah, woah, one mistake was fine.. but now you’re pushing it. Ima go out and hit YOUR guy!”

    But… That isn’t fair. Our guy did it on accident! But, as the prophecy has decreed, we’ve got a tough guy of our own, to go hit THEIR guy. AND THANK THE GODS WE DO, because now we get to lose the game by more, and BE REALLY TOUGH.

    Kinda makes me wish they’d just thrown out the first dingleberry who hit someone in purpose, rather than waiting til it was “even” to do so.

  114. Real nice at bat Mac…way to come through with runners in scoring position with the bat on your shoulder

  115. McCann watches a hanging slider and Uggla swings at one a foot of the plate. Nice.

  116. Hard to lay this one on the pitching.

    Exactly. Typical offense with Hanson on the mound.

  117. Durbin sucks. But we can’t blame this on Fredi because he got ejected. He’s probably down in the visitor’s clubhouse checking his fantasy teams.

  118. 2-1 was too much to overcome tonight, anything more is just insult to injury

  119. If we hadn’t hit that guy, we’d be in a one run game. If we were in a one run game, we wouldnt use Durbin. If we didn’t use Durbin, it’d still be a one run game.

    But hey, we’re tough, right?

  120. It would have seemed impossible for the Braves to find someone for the No. 32 jersey who represented a downgrade from its previous occupant, but by golly, they did it.

  121. @195: I’m impressed that of all the hypotheticals for tonight, you believe that hitting DeJesus was the single most critical play of the night contributing to the likely loss.

    Are you competing in London 2012? In verbal gymnastics?

  122. Dirtbin leads our team in appearances. Why does the last pitcher in our bullpen always have to be epically bad?

  123. #195: Heyward got drilled by a goofy-looking, mullet-haired dickhead for no reason. Whether you like it or not, whether you agree with it or not, whether you understand it or not, baseball players will seek to even that out at their nearest opportunity.

    Direct all complaints about this to baseball players everywhere. Good luck.

  124. Maybe one day the team’s two best hitters will bat higher than 6th and 7th. And maybe one day somebody in that front office will realize that Chad Durbin has no business being on a major league roster.

  125. #202

    That is, of course, a completely different scenario than what we were discussing.

  126. Just using a bit of hyperbole to illustrate how stupid it is for grown (millionaire) men to play grab ass.

  127. #206: I wasn’t talking about Hamels/Harper. I was talking about tonight’s game. So, yeah, it was a different scenario than we were discussing. What’s your point?

  128. Uggla should bat 7th until he stops pulling off every single pitch. He looks as bad as he did last year.

  129. @202- it was some deluded version of chivalry that lead to Heywards drilling.

    It’s not “code” when you do it, and “absolutely no reason” when they do it. They thought they had a reason. That’s the whole fucking point.

  130. You clearly implied that some people don’t understand eye-for-an-eye, based on the lengthy debate about not understanding eye-for-a-magazine-cover.

  131. Well, I shall be sure to avoid offending the sophisticated sensibilities of some here when discussing future games. Words and phrases to be avoided include ‘hit’, ‘strike’, and ‘stolen base’.

    For those of you in need, the fainting couch can be accessed at Alt+F4.

  132. It’s getting hard to keep track of all the strawmen in this thread. There is a huge difference between suggesting that 1) players do enforce unwritten rules in the game and they are sometimes right to do so, versus thinking that 2) every possible instance where someone thought they were justified to take an action, if such justification involved the unwritten rules, must be agreeable. Beating the dead horse of 2 does absolutely nothing to disprove 1.

  133. #210: It’s not “the Code.” Heyward didn’t do anything to merit retribution. It’s the Cubs pitcher being a jerk.

    Listen to Curt Schilling on ESPN commenting about the Harper/Hamels incident. The bottom line was, “Look, there’s a time to hit a guy when he’s done something to deserve it. Hamels didn’t have a reason to hit Harper.” I disagree. I think drilling Harper for being Harper in a “welcome to the bigs” kind of way is perfectly reasonable. Schilling and a lot of you disagree. Fine.

    But my main point all along isn’t that Hamels was indisputably right to do what he did. It was merely to point out that baseball players do have a code about personal conduct on the field, whether Spike understands that or not. Schilling made that perfectly clear in his statement. As did Mike Schmidt. As did the guys on MLB.tv tonight (who, like Schilling, disagreed with Hamels while still acknowledging there are times when you have to do that kind of thing).

    Same thing with Heyward. Obviously their pitcher’s idea of message pitching is faulty. He needed to be shown the error of his ways, either through a personal plunking, or through encouraging his teammates to take up the issue with him.

    There’s a code. Accept it.

  134. Just goes to show, you stick with an argument long enough and the manhood-questioning insults eventually come out.

  135. Gattis with another HR. He also walked twice. He’s a Chipper injury away from getting a callup.

  136. Hanson hit their guy HIGH in the back, and then came damn close to doing it again. Samardzija hit Heyward to say “Hey, watch it now.”

    I’ll have to check my code-book from post-little league baseball, but I’m pretty sure there’s an allowance in there for a HBP to say “You better watch it.” Provided of course, the game is sufficiently close, to make that HBP costly to you, too. I don’t think you can hit him if its a blowout, that would make you a pussy.

    Isn’t this situation instructional to you in anyway? With a silly “unwritten code,” OF COURSE your transgressions against me will carry more weight than mine over yours! That’s how bean-ball wars and bench clearing brawls happen!

    Because it was fair when I did it, but you took it too far; because I was just evening the score, and you had to have the last word.

    Wouldn’t it be better to do the thing that is mist helpful to your actual cause; the actual purpose of your job, that supports your family? Shouldn’t you just NOT give free base runners, and BEAT HIM as your revenge?

  137. I read Jonah Keri’s “The Extra 2%” over the weekend. Couldn’t help but think how far the Braves lag behind in every single facet that has made the Rays a succes — ownership, front office, game management.

    Frank Wren’s idea of value is Chad Durbin.

  138. #219 – Doubt it. Fransisco would get the job and they would call up Constanza. Fredi loves him.

  139. #217: Here’s an objective take on the matter that doesn’t include your special brand of obtuseness:


    Here’s an excerpt:

    “Hamels didn’t need to explain he was enforcing his interpretation of the game’s unwritten rules, a traditional and generally accepted code understood by players, managers and umpires.

    “This is the Code at its deepest and most ingrained levels” says Jason Turbow, who authored The Baseball Codes and maintains a website to discuss events such as Sunday’s. “It is the confluence of ability and pride and hype and the concept that all men must earn their successes.”

    Sunday’s showdown is the talk of baseball for the moment, a collision of tradition and modern sensibilities. Unlike their predecessors, today’s players know following the code means risking suspensions and fines .

    With that backdrop, the most shocking part of the events to baseball folks was that Hamels did own up to it. All you would have gotten from such veteran hard-throwers such as Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan or Roger Clemens was an icy glare.”

    “I remember coming up to the plate,” said Snow, now a special assistant for the San Francisco Giants who was hitting .408 with six home runs after his first 15 games for the California Angels. “Clemens threw a fastball over my head. I didn’t say anything. I just watched him come halfway toward the plate, get a new ball from the umpire, and he smiled. That was old school.”

    It seemed to have its desired effect. Snow hit .108 over the next six weeks and was demoted to the minor leagues.”

    It goes on to say that, to his credit, Harper had the last word against Hamels. Fair enough. Hamels won the game, but Harper did win that showdown. Good for him, I suppose. Maybe all this discussion will encourage him that his game is good enough, and to capitalize on all the attention by changing his behavior.

    But for crying out loud quit refusing to insist this kind of thing hasn’t been a part of the unspoken language of baseball. That’s all I want out of you people, just to acknowledge that. I’m not asking you to agree with Hamels, or to denounce Harper. Just understand that this is how major leaguers in the aggregate behave and deal with it on those terms. Quit the denialist games.

  140. You left out the money quote.

    FTA – Not so fast, says Snow: “Hamels was trying to prove that he was old school and tough, and then he comes out admits what he did. All he proved is he’s not old-school.”

  141. #221: “Wouldn’t it be better to do the thing that is mist helpful to your actual cause; the actual purpose of your job, that supports your family? Shouldn’t you just NOT give free base runners, and BEAT HIM as your revenge?”

    In an ideal world, sure. But sending a message through winning the game is not always an option.

    Let’s say you’re facing Bryce Harper and in his first at bat, he hits a homer and blows a kiss at your pitcher as he crosses home plate.

    As manager, you say, let’s ignore this and just beat him.

    But in his second at bat, he hits another homer and blows another kiss. You’re down 4-0 by now and things aren’t looking good.

    By his third AB, your offense is showing no life, and Harper hits a third home run. He stands in the batter’s box, says, “Whoo, lookit that! Aint’ that something!” Then takes a minute-and-a-half to touch home, then blows another kiss.

    Your guys have shown admirable restraint, but now you’re losing 7-0 on a trio of Bryce Harper home runs where he has also completely shown you up on the field with his antics.

    What do you do? Do you drill him in his last AB? Try and send a message to him and to your players and fans watching the game? Or do you tell your team, “No, we’ll try and beat ’em again tomorrow. That’s how we come out on top!” But if you choose the latter, what if you lose again? With even more Harper showboating punctuating the misery?

    When do you do something to put the guy in his place? Actually, it’s probably too late by now. He’s already made you look like his bitch.

    Drilling guys is an imperfect way to keep them in check. But sometimes it’s the best option available to keep your team’s self-respect in play.

  142. #226: You’re absolutely right. Gibson, Ryan and Clemens never admitted it. In that, Snow is correct in pointing out the contrast.

    I left out Gary Sheffield’s extensive comments, which were a joy to read since I cited him as someone who started out a douche but got his mind right:

    But home runs at the major league level may not make the purpose pitches disappear. Gary Sheffield, a nine-time All-Star, said he — and others around the game — noticed when Harper flipped his helmet off his head on his first major league hit.

    Like Harper, Sheffield was a 19-year-old rookie, and recalls staring at the ground after responding to a Nolan Ryan brushback pitch by hitting a double.

    “I’m pretty sure over time, he’ll calm down,” Sheffield said. “But I think he’ll keep getting hit for awhile. Pitchers have got to make sure they establish their presence, too. You don’t want a young kid hanging out over the plate. … I think the only way to handle it is what he did. You can’t start chirping. If you do, you only make it worse.”

    That’s more of the code: Nothing demonstrative when you strike out a batter. The same goes when you hit a home run, or you can count on just what Harper got from Hamels your next time up.

    There’s a Code. Spike, just admit it. Admit. It.

  143. That is a compelling argument that Hamels did it for a reason. But nobody disputes that he did it for a reason. Your original point was that it was an enforcement of sportsmanship, but it wasn’t. The dividing line between earned arrogance and unearned arrogance isn’t sportmanship, it’s membership. Hamels saying “you’re not one of us quite yet” is an initiation rite. But that is not sportsmanship, and not even those defending or explaining his actions are claiming that it is. Only you are doing that, and that remains the crux of my disagreement with you, regardless of what rabbit holes you may have gone down with anybody else here.

  144. @229, One that noted denialists Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano, Trevor Cahill, Joe Saunders, Ian Kennedy, and Vance Worley didn’t see fit to enforce apparently.

  145. #230: Exhibiting “earned arrogance” is being a good sport? So you can be arrogant and disrespectful towards opposing players as long as you go through a sustained period of showing respect for the game and opposing players? Who matches that career arc? Isn’t it usually the other way around? Isn’t that how some people are defending Harper? That he’s an arrogant jerk now, but he’s only 19 and he’ll mature on his own and stop being obnoxious, so we don’t need opposing pitchers to enforce this “Code” that you’ve made up out of whole cloth anyway?

    Methinks you’re playing semantics with me.

  146. Has anyone actually argued against the existence of a “code”? I think the argument is more “appropriateness of beaning.”

    But I haven’t been following that closely on the grounds of apathy.

  147. #232: Because they didn’t choose to drill Harper in the manner Hamels did doesn’t mean they are “Code deniers”. Again with a strawman argument.

  148. #234: Yeah, Spike’s been pretty insistent that there’s no Code because of what Harper’s GM said, what a player nobody’s ever heard of said, and what a baseball writer said. Pretty maddening.

    But you’re right: Out of respect for others’ apathy and annoyance, I’m done. It’s bed time.

  149. @236, please point to a single example of where I claimed there was no code. And 234 is referring to your shifting the argument, but I will leave that to it’s author to amplify, if he chooses to. And the other pitchers not throwing at him is no strawman. If this Code is so universally understood, how is it that it took 8 games and Cole Hamels to “welcome him to the big leagues”? Your logic fails on conversality.

  150. what a player nobody’s ever heard of said

    Your ridicule of the opinions of those who have actually participated in that which you are speculating on is duly noted.

  151. Don’t stop on my account. My apathy concerns the subject of the debate, not the outcome.

  152. I’ll bow out as well. My last word, while we’re questioning sources, would be to say that a guy who wrote a book called The Baseball Codes might be behooved to pipe up and say “This is it! This is the code that I discuss in my book The Baseball Codes!!”


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