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Vicente Padilla plunks ex-teammate Marlon Byrd for ripping him in the press last year

Jul 12, 2010, 12:46 PM EST

Marlon Byrd and Vicente Padilla were teammates in Texas last year and when the Rangers released Padilla at midseason Byrd was very outspoken in praise of the move, saying:

About time. It’s absolutely a positive for this team. We have to get rid of the negatives to make a positive and I believe this is a huge positive. You have to be a good teammate. You have to help teach younger guys the right things. He wasn’t a positive influence on the young guys. You started questioning his character and about how much he cared.

Fast forward to a year later. Byrd is on the Cubs and Padilla is on the Dodgers, and they faced each other in the seventh inning of a blowout game last night. As you might have guessed Padilla plunked Byrd in the back, which is amusing given that part of Byrd’s problem with Padilla came from his tendency to hit batters and put his teammates in danger of retaliation.
Which is exactly what happened last night, as Byrd’s new teammate Andrew Cashner responded to Padilla plunking him by plunking Dodgers second baseman Blake DeWitt in the next inning. Oddly enough, Byrd didn’t have much problem with that, calling Cashner “a great teammate” and coyly talking about his “pinpoint accuracy” to make it clear the pitch had a purpose.
Cashner received high-fives in the dugout afterward and despite losing 7-0 the Cubs’ clubhouse was reportedly full of congratulations for rookie. Or as Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune put it: “Happiest losing clubhouse in Cubs history.”
And in a fibbing contest, Cashner claimed the pitch to DeWitt simply “slipped” while Padilla claimed he never saw Byrd’s original quotes because “I don’t really read the papers.”

  1. Buccofan - Jul 12, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    At least Padilla didn’t hit him with his best fastball. It was something off-speed, maybe that really slow curve he sometimes uses well. Byrd didn’t exactly seem surprised, either.
    It’s dumb, but it’s baseball.

  2. Professor Dave - Jul 12, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    The cowardly part is that this is the NL and he waited until late in the game, when he surely wouldn’t bat again, to hit Byrd. Hit him in the 2nd inning and take your own shot, Mr. Padilla.

  3. bofarr - Jul 12, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    Yet another reason to get rid of the DH; headhunting isn’t as fun when you might be on the other end.

  4. scatterbrian - Jul 12, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    Since 2005, 1 out of every 108.8 NL batters have been hit by pitches, compared to 1 out of every 110.8 AL batters. It doesn’t seem like pitchers hitting really affects beanballs as much as we think.

  5. Boo Hoo Florio picked on your team - GET OVER IT - Jul 12, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    Headhunting is fun to watch, but when your favorite player gets knocked out for several games at minimum, somebody’s going to be singing a different tune. A 95 MPH fastball is still a very dangerous projectile to the human body.

  6. nps6724 - Jul 12, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    That incorporates all HBP, not just intentional ones. Thus, it’s not really relevant.

  7. scatterbrian - Jul 12, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    No, what’s irrelevant is suggesting that we can tell the difference between intentional and non-intentional. Regardless, if AL pitchers were hitting more batters because they don’t have to worry about retaliation, it would show up in the numbers.

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