White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko has curiously come to the defense of his ex-teammate, Carlos Quentin.
By now you know that Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin was hit by a Zack Greinke pitch, and that he charged the mound, and ended up fracturing Greinke’s collarbone, resulting in the Dodger pitcher missing two months. Quentin was handed an eight-game suspension, which he is appealing.
Well now one of his ex-teammates, White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, has come to his defense. Apparently, clean-living Paulie believes it’s OK to charge the mound after getting hit by a pitch, and if you knock the pitcher out for two months, well then, so be it. Part of the game, eh Paulie?
Not quite. It’s this kind of mentality that makes me want to turn away from the game.
Here’s his logic: “If you watch the games I’ve watched, he probably has had more than five pitches that have gone over his head,” Konerko told the Chicago Tribune. “At some point, it’s going to be the last straw and that’s what happened.”
Konerko, who apparently resides inside Quentin’s head and knows what he’s thinking at all times, acknowledged that Quentin, who has been hit 116 times in his career, stands too close to the plate. And, it’s also true that Quentin and Greinke have a bit of a history; this is the third time Greinke has hit him with a pitch.
Now, Greinke isn’t entirely with culpability here; he apparently said something to Quentin after the pitch hit him. Perhaps if he keeps his mouth shut, none of this happens.
Perhaps not. Quentin has always the reputation as a hot head, and not exactly the swiftest guy on any given team. White Sox fans will remember back in 2008 when Quentin, who was having an MVP-like season, fractured his wrist after slamming the bat against his wrist when he fouled off a pitch against the Indians.
What Quentin, and other batters fail to realize is that, once they’ve been hit by a pitch, they’ve won. Take your base, buddy. The idea of baseball is to get on base, yes? And one can only score runs if he is on base, yes? What is so hard about this logic?
Also, batters these days love to pad themselves up with wrist bands, arm bands and the like. They understand that pitchers try to throw inside, and so they take measures to protect themselves. Barry Bonds was notorious for this, for the simple reason was that he knew he was a target. As detrimental to the game as Bonds was, he had it figured out – if pitchers are going to hit me, I’m gonna wear as much padding as possible, my on-base percentage will go up, and my team’s chances of winning will increase.
Maybe someday Quentin will figure it out.
Back to Konerko for a moment: has he really seen Quentin get thrown at five times this year? Wouldn’t all those pitchers have been warned? The math doesn’t add up. And is he seriously advocating that Quentin take matters into his own hands because he stands too close to the plate? In the same story, he praises Quentin for not charging after getting hit his whole career, but now he backs Quentin’s decision?
Can you have it both ways, Paulie? Is there something he knows that the rest of us don’t? I doubt it.
Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin took exception to being hit by a pitch from Dodgers right hander Zack Greinke, and decided to take matters into his own hands. A real man!
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