Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 6/12/13
The most common complaint about the occasional bench-clearing brawl is that it exposes players to potential injuries. But as much as pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, biting or whatever can harm players, nothing is as dangerous or as bush league as a pitch intentionally thrown at someone’s head. The mere idea of a hard baseball traveling 90-plus mph toward a human body should be enough to make you say, “You know what? There’s a strong chance this guy ends up feeling some physical pain.” But when a pitch is thrown near someone’s head, the accompanying danger is so great that it often creates a sinking feeling within onlookers. That’s why throwing at someone’s head is nothing to mess around with, and it’s exactly why Ian Kennedy deserves a big punishment following Tuesday’s brawl between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks. Plunking batters intentionally will remain part of the game. And that’s fine. But Kennedy’s pitch to Zack Greinke in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s heated affair went beyond protecting a teammate or sending a message. It was a dangerous and reckless display of immaturity, and it’s one thing that baseball needs to clamp down on when it comes to in-game fisticuffs. Tensions were running high at Dodger Stadium. Greinke plunked Cody Ross in the fifth inning, and Kennedy hit Yasiel Puig in the nose — yes, the nose — in the sixth inning. That particular beanball from Kennedy didn’t seem all that intentional, but it laid the groundwork for what was to come. Greinke drilled Miguel Montero in the top of the seventh inning — likely as retribution for the Puig beaning — and Kennedy responded by throwing a ball right at Greinke’s head when the pitcher came to bat in the bottom of the seventh. Sometimes, you can debate whether a pitcher threw at a hitter on purpose, but there’s no debating Kennedy’s intentions. In fact, it’s pretty clear that Greinke drilled Montero on purpose, too. The difference is that Greinke protected his teammate by hitting Montero where the slugger was unlikely to get hurt. He didn’t go throwing up and in like a mad man — something Kennedy clearly has mastered the art of. Everything should have been over and done with once Montero was hit, the benches cleared for the first time and the fire was extinguished. Instead, Kennedy reignited the flame with his despicable antics, leading to an uglier scene than was necessary. Kennedy appeared ready for the repercussions, as he sauntered off the mound immediately after tossing the dangerous pitch that struck Greinke high on the shoulder. Now, Major League Baseball should send a message that those repercussions are far greater than an ejection and the six-game suspension that’s typically handed down to pitchers following on-field brawls. Drilling a batter is one thing. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. Kennedy chose the latter path, and it’s something that shouldn’t be tolerated. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jerry Jones: It’s hard to beat Brees with ‘limited’ Weeden

Report: Cowboys fear Lance Dunbar has torn ACL, MCL

Adam Schefter: Richard Sherman blocked me on Twitter

Martellus Bennett compared Jay Cutler to Jesus

Jimmy Johnson thinks 49ers need to move on from Colin Kaepernick

Pat Murphy won't be back as Padres manager next year


Brian Cushing's wife gets upset with Houston talk show host

Marshawn Lynch won't play against Lions on MNF

DeMarco Murray unhappy with role in Eagles' offense

Big 12 admits officiating error in Oklah St-K State game

George Karl apologized to DeMarcus Cousins for trade comment

Jason Whitlock, ESPN part ways again

Top 10 takeaways from Sunday’s Week 4 NFL action

Eight notable NFL Week 4 winners and losers

Professor moves student’s exam to accommodate Cubs playoff game

WATCH: Adrian Peterson torches Broncos for marathon touchdown

Don Orsillo gives moving farewell to Red Sox fans on NESN

WATCH: Ichiro Suzuki takes the mound for the Marlins

Clay Matthews taunts Kaepernick with Russell Wilson line

Jay Feely shares thoughts on why NFL kickers are struggling

Female reporters blocked from entering NFL locker room

Pierre Garcon makes awesome game-winning TD catch

WATCH: Mario Williams obliterates Rashad Jennings

WATCH: Ed Dickson scores TD on crazy fumble recovery

WATCH: Nelson Agholor makes incredible one-handed catch

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 takeaways from Sunday’s Week 4 NFL action

Eight notable NFL Week 4 winners and losers

Jimmy Johnson: Move on from Kaepernick

WATCH: Ichiro Suzuki pitches for the Marlins

Philbin not worried about job status

London PR guy trolls Suh

10 takeaways from Week 5 of the college football season

Rick Pitino and the shadows that never leave

Chad Johnson ... Steelers kicker?

Flacco deserves more from the Ravens

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker