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Cliff Lee tossed for throwing at D-backs catcher

Mar 15, 2010, 6:45 PM EDT

Cliff Lee, who was making his second spring start since returning from minor foot surgery, was tossed from Monday’s game against Arizona in the third inning for intentionally throwing at catcher Chris Snyder.
Lee appeared to miss with his first attempt to send Snyder a message. On his second try, he threw one just over Snyder’s head, causing Snyder to walk towards the mound and both dugouts to empty. Nothing escalated from there, though.
Umpire Brian Knight viewed Lee’s pitches as revenge for an incident in the first, when Lee tripped over Snyder while trying to back up a play at home plate.
Considering that Lee had his a motive and went after Snyder twice, it’s quite possible the commissioner’s office will come down on him with a brief suspension to start the season. It’d certainly be deserved if Lee was throwing at Snyder’s head.

  1. Old Gator - Mar 15, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    Seeing these supposedly grown men continuing to indulge in juvenile one-upsmanship games well into late adolescence is cause for hope that all of us can remain young at heart.

  2. middle-aged Gator - Mar 15, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    1. Cliff Lee is a bit of a hot-head, AND a control pitcher… so the question of IF he was throwing at Snyder’s head is already answered.
    2. I know these HardBall Talk items are quick bullet points that don’t include every detail that are found in longer stories… but how about letting us know who Cliff Lee is playing for?

  3. Anon - Mar 15, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    Ah, the old unwritten rule book strikes again. Zito intentionally throws at Prince Fielder? Part of the game. Lee intentionally throws at Chris Synder? Probable suspension. All because Lee has better control than Zito and his ball went near Synder’s head, while Zito’s hit Fielder in the back?
    What a load. Intentionally throwing at someone is either bad or it’s not. This inconsistency is crazy.

  4. Steve - Mar 15, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    I’m pretty sure everyone who reads HardballTalk knows who Cliff Lee plays for. He’s not some minor league scrub.

  5. BigDog PappaD - Mar 15, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    When you play the game – know the rules. Throwing at a batter is part of the game, you get warned, you get tossed, big deal. They have the same possible scenario in the next half inning. So Zito thought about it for 6 MONTHS for a team celebration with pompous Fielder at the center of it for hitting a homerun off him and Lee thought about it for 6 minutes for Snyder tripping him up and not getting out of the way – who are you kidding. Cliff Lee I like you even more dude!!! Play Ball Baby!!!

  6. come on, now - Mar 15, 2010 at 9:22 PM

    i for one am sick of this B.S. in baseball…while i didn’t see the play, i doubt Snyder did anything intentional. and on the subject of Zito et. al., throwing at a guy who hit a home run off you is bush league – if you weren’t good enough to get him out, you deserve whatever you get. throw a better pitch next time!

  7. fissilemissile - Mar 15, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    You could always check to see who Arizona was playing today, or you could magically recall that Seattle Mariners picked him up this last season in a 4 team deal that sent Roy Halladay to the Phillies.

  8. Schropers22 - Mar 15, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    I’m willing to bet that Zito didn’t hit Fielder for the home run. He hit him for the celebration. And for that celebration he deserves to get thrown at. Pitchers like Goose Gossage and Bob Gibson would get ejected and suspended after every game they pitched because if you even looked at them the wrong way, you got a fastball thrown up and in. If you don’t want to get thrown at, don’t pimp the shit out of your home run.

  9. Schropers22 - Mar 15, 2010 at 9:48 PM

    I’m willing to bet that Zito didn’t hit Fielder for the home run. He hit him for the celebration. And for that celebration he deserves to get thrown at. Pitchers like Goose Gossage and Bob Gibson would get ejected and suspended after every game they pitched because if you even looked at them the wrong way, you got a fastball thrown up and in. If you don’t want to get thrown at, don’t pimp the s#&t out of your home run.

  10. Anon - Mar 15, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    You’re right – Zito did throw at Fielder for the celebration. So should Zito be suspended for intentionally throwing at Fielder? Shouldn’t MLB be consistent?

  11. PhillyFan - Mar 15, 2010 at 11:06 PM

    Wrong. The Halladay and Lee deals were independent of each other. Do a little research before trying to mock someone else’s baseball knowledge. Look it up, you’ll see I’m right.
    The Phillies just tried to make it look like they were trading Lee for Halladay to stop the fans from being upset. Didn’t work.

  12. Headhunters Need Not Apply - Mar 15, 2010 at 11:37 PM

    When done right, a payback, like the one Zito delivered to Fielder, is entirely appropriate. He hit Fielder in the small of the back. A little sting, maybe, but absolutely no threat of injury.
    Any time a pitcher throws at a batter’s head, the rules change. There is no justification for trying to inflict serious bodily injury like that. Lee will sit for at least one start, as he should. He needs to calm down.

  13. B. K. Ishi - Mar 16, 2010 at 12:48 AM

    Any pitcher who deliberately throws at someone’s head should be banned from baseball for life. MLB players and and emptying the dugout all show lack of judgment and immaturity. Grow up for goodness sake and just play the game!

  14. B.K. Ishi - Mar 16, 2010 at 12:53 AM

    Any pitcher who deliberately throws at someone’s head should be banned from baseball for life. MLB players and managers who participate in retalation, intentionally hitting the batter, and emptying the dugout all show lack of judgment and immaturity. Grow up for goodness sake and just play the game!

  15. jwb - Mar 16, 2010 at 2:19 AM

    Do this.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r69bApwnzUk&feature=player_embedded

  16. Stevo - Mar 16, 2010 at 8:21 AM

    If you don’t know who he plays for you should become a Baseball Fan before you start yapping.

  17. Jonny5 - Mar 16, 2010 at 8:26 AM

    Still angry about that trade, huh Cliffy? Maybe some of Cliffy’s attitude is why he’s no longer in Philly? Never at the head, It just isn’t cool. Wow!

  18. DJ - Mar 16, 2010 at 9:12 AM

    I don’t, but then again I don’t care. In the real world, it is an assault, punishable with time in jail not just a suspension.

  19. Jonny5 - Mar 16, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    DJ, would you like to see every Boxer ,wrestler, MMA fighter, Etc… Sent to jail as well? Get over it!

  20. Ron - Mar 16, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    In other news, body-checking is no longer allowed in hockey, tackling is no longer allowed in football, and basketball maintains that it is a non-contact sport. Let’s make sure we protect this guys and not let them get hurt.
    By the way, the guys who are saying, “athletes are immature” and “playing a game” in the same sentence really don’t have a clue.
    Also, in other news, drunks no longer fight, police officers don’t get shot at, and muggers say please. Because in the fantasy world some of you live in, people aren’t real. It’s really the “Stepford Ballplayers”.
    I’m also willing to bet that if you took a poll about Zito hitting fielder, the ones who don’t have a problem with it geneerally played competitive baseball, while the ones who do sat in the bleachers and watched.
    For the record, if Lee threw at his head, he should be suspended. Zito did nothing wrong.

  21. joe - Mar 16, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    Fielder showed him up with a ridiculous celebration at home plate. Zito was right to plunk him. Showing up a pitcher after hitting a dinger is grounds for a little chin music. Learn the game!

  22. Old Gator - Mar 16, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    Ah, so let’s have some young guy with a wife and family left with a fractured skull in a permanent vegetative state. That’ll live up to your blockheaded neanderthal standards for what makes one butch, wouldn’t it, you blowhard dickwaving nincompoop?
    .
    Well, you’re right about one thing: when I thought me-macho-man idiots like you were merely immature, I didn’t have a clue. Now I think it’s probably a concatenation of extra Y chromosomes, and you couldn’t have turned out any different if Mother Theresa had raised you.

  23. Sailor101 - Mar 16, 2010 at 10:05 AM

    I’ve never heard of The guy and I consider myself a big baseball fan.

  24. willmose - Mar 16, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    Lee is a lefty. Enough said.

  25. DUBrave5 - Mar 16, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    Growing up you learn that hitting a player is part of the game, heck even some pitchers are told by their coaches as young as high school, if not younger, to do that. Our coach taught us that and it was about having respect for the game and for your opponents. If you want to make a flaunt how great you are, be ready to that inside pitch. In lamen’s terms, act like you have been there before. Act like you have hit a home run before. There is no need to showboat it and rub it in the other teams face, they already get it as you run around the bases. Hit the ball and run.
    However, we were also taught that when you hit somebody intentionally, you aim waist and below. You never go for the head, ever. If Lee had hit him in the middle of the back or further down, this may not have been a problem, but going for the head should get you suspended every time. These guys get paid millions to play a game and they wouldn’t be getting paid that much if they didn’t have control over where they were throwing the ball. So aim for the back and not the head.

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