Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 6/12/13
Mlb-diamondbacks-tigers
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.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Carmelo Anthony: Knicks were more free-flowing before triangle emphasis

Report: Deal in works for Raiders to play at Sam Boyd Stadium in Vegas

Yoenis Cespedes: MLB would grow if they played with Latin culture

Georgetown fires John Thompson III after 13 seasons

GGG, Canelo Alvarez reportedly resume fight talks

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Shaq comes clean on flat earth talk: ‘I’m joking, you idiots’

NFL to discuss possibility of reviewing penalties

Report: Paul George wants to play with Gordon Hayward

Reds pitcher Raisel Iglesias injures elbow, hip in shower fall

Report: Top NFL draft prospect Fabian Moreau has torn pectoral

Five teams that could trade down in the NFL draft

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

The 'Duke schadenfreude season came early this year' quiz

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/22: Team USA is heading to the championship

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Eastern Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker