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Fisticuffsmanship in the Nationals-Cardinals game

Mar 21, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

La Russa closeup

More evidence that we need to suspend spring training and start games now: guys plunking one-another in spring training games, possibly on managers’ orders.

Adam Kilgore has the description of the scene from Jupiter, where Cardinals reliever Miguel Batista hit Ian Desmond for no apparent reason, at least within the context of this game. Kilgore believes it may have been over an incident between the clubs last summer.  Apparently Jim Riggleman yelled at Tony La Russa after the Desmond plunk, basically arguing that he thought everyone was even already.

Kilgore suggests that Batista may have made the Cardinals roster today as a result of the plunking. He doesn’t put so fine a point on it, but I take it to mean that he believes this was a La Russa-ordered plunking.  Or at least a La Russa-suggested one. As has been reported, Batista is on the bubble with respect to making the team. A guy in that position neither rocks the boat with attitudinal freelancing nor does he ignore a direct order from his Genius manager.

If so: low rent move by La Russa. Guys throwing at one-another for vendettas both real or imagined is dumb as it is, but doing it in relaxed and — competitively speaking — consquence-free spring training games with guys who are desperate to impress just makes it all unseemly.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Mar 21, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    As unseemly as ketchup on fries- Whoops, wrong post.

  2. spudchukar - Mar 21, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Your Honor, I object. You are assuming an awful lot here Craig. First off this is a Washington Post account. Next you fail to mention, the collision at first between Morgan and Pujols. Yes, Kilgore analyzed it as minor and unavoidable, but if you witnessed any of Morgan’s displays of bushmanship last year, then any collision, especially with “the franchise” is going to carry some extra baggage. It should also be noted that Batista played for the Nats last year, so maybe there were lingering issues there, or perhaps Batista on his own thought he might endear himself to his new team with new loyalty wildness. The game wasn’t broadcast or I would have been watching. Riggleman and LaRussa are friends and two guys had already been plunked, which would indicate to me, some issue arose during the game. Let’s find out a little more before we travel down the low rent avenue, even if “if so” is a passenger.

  3. Jonny 5 - Mar 21, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    My kid plunked me over the weekend, it was no big deal, the sissies…. Oh wait, he’s nine….

  4. metalhead65 - Mar 21, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    this goes to show that Brandon Phillips was right in what he said about the cards last year,they are a bunch of whiney bitches! yea hitting guys in spring training for something that happened last season is just another class move by the genius. just to be clear now when you play the cards you are not allowed to pitch inside or that is reason for them to throw at your hitters,nevermind if it was intentional or not just do not pitch inside to them. but if thier pitchers do it that’s ok because that is part of the game. and larussa is the genius you because he invented the game in case you did not know,yea batting the pitcher 8th has to rank as one of the greatest moves by a manager ever! and of course his every move in a game is textbook and what every manager should strive for. again phillip’s was right they are a no class bunch of whiney bitches who cry and moan whenever things do not go thier way. so you beat the reds in the season series good for you,how did that turn out for you in winning the division? you did not win because you could not beat anybody else so I would not be bragging if I were you guys.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Mar 21, 2011 at 6:31 PM

      Dude, if you’re going to write that much at one time, please buy a book on grammar and punctuation. For all of us.

      • metalhead65 - Mar 21, 2011 at 9:05 PM

        so sorry I forgot this was a english blog and not a sports one. will try and do netter next time. maybe this will make it clearer for you, I HATE THE CARDINALS AND THEY ARE WHINEY BITCHES!

  5. thefalcon123 - Mar 21, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    You’re long, whiney comment doesn’t help your argument, FYI. The Cardinals ranked 13th last year in hit batsman, so there doesn’t exactly seem to be much credence to your argument about them being all bean-ball happy. Couple of other points:

    1. Brandon Philips is a douuuuuuuuche!
    2. Batting the pitcher 8th has little bearing on anything. See: any one of a billion studies done on the subject
    3. LaRussa is also a douuuuuuuuuuuuuche, lest anyone think I’m defending a guy who consistently play Craig Paquette over Ray Lankford.
    4. Dusty Baker is actually a bigger douche.

    • metalhead65 - Mar 22, 2011 at 1:37 AM

      ok I can see you did not understand what I was trying to say. I never said the cards were headhunters only that when they throw inside it is part of the game but if your team does it to them then you are seen as trying to brush them back and are in for a fight. as for my genius comment I was being sarcastic,every move he makes such as batting the pitcher 8th is treated by cardnial fans and media as a stroke of genius. and you can’t argue with my point about them beating the reds which they treat like winning the world series. as much as I hate the WHINEY BITCHES I will take losing to them but winning the division every time.

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2011 at 7:45 AM

        I see what meathead is saying. As a Cardinal fan, I cringe every time LaRussa bitches about a non-issue; he regularly creates a mountain out of a molehill. But to confuse LaRussa being an ass with an entire team being an ass is similar to confusing a citizen of a country with the policies of that country’s leaders (with which most citizens probably disagree).
        Similarly, meathead, you have to realize that a large percentage of Cardinal fans can not stand LaRussa, his constant nonsensical tinkering, his arrogant attitude, or his inability to let players players be themselves. When they re-signed him, I was bummed for weeks because I am convinced that his stubborn attitude and love of scrappy white guys that “play the game the right way” would lead to another disappointing season with a couple of more trades that give away prospects for busted old players. His “my way or the highway” attitude has sucked the life out of many Cardinal teams, last year’s team was more talented than the Reds, but his insistence on playing inferior players while better players rode the bench and clubhouse suffocation that sucks the life/fun/joy out of playing baseball allowed him to get much less out of that team than a blow-up doll would have.

  6. frankvzappa - Mar 21, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    i love the sound of chin music on the first day of spring!

    • spudchukar - Mar 21, 2011 at 5:39 PM

      I have always waited for the #4 lefty starter for the Kansas City Royals, to throw one high and tight so I can hear a broadcaster say, “How’s that Chen Music”!

  7. okwhitefalcon - Mar 21, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    This is nothing, just wait til Chris Carpenter gets a shot at Johnny “kicky” Queto..

    • okwhitefalcon - Mar 21, 2011 at 9:31 PM

      Just as the idiots (Phillips/Queto) of the Red have done, Morgan has done for the Nats. Drawn bad attention to otherwise good clubs on the rise.

      I’m sure there will be more baseball justice served to both Cincy and Washington as the year moves on courtesy of The Cards and other teams alike – nothing would be better than seeing the likes of Queto and Morgan get what’s coming to them.

      As for Phillip’s, he let his mouth write checks Yadier Molina cashed.

      Go ahead Brandon, tap Molina’s shin guard again…

      • nixonotis - Mar 22, 2011 at 2:19 PM

        Nothing, and I mean nothing, bothers a man more than a tap on the shin guard. It’s just not possible to overreact to that kind of treatment.

  8. fatcatt - Mar 21, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    Still a ballgame no matter the time of year and i dont think the players are only competitive during the regular season and playoffs. you either are all the time (including the offseason in whatever sport u may do) or your not so much. But I have to think most pros are competitive year round and the fiasco that happened last season really wasnt that long ago. Less than a year hardly puts bad feelings to the side. Good for Tony and the players involved. Good for baseball. Thats the spirit!

  9. cur68 - Mar 21, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    t-minus 9 days (nearly) till real ball games. If the pre-season has been any indication there are going to be a few brawls, some serious pitching, a hat being eaten, and a couple of drawn out law suits; all come October. Oh yeah and Jose Bautista will lead the majors again in home runs (never let reality cloud a bold prediction). Can’t wait for the fun to start.

  10. jamesjones12 - Mar 22, 2011 at 3:26 AM

    i dont recall too many times if any that the cards have complained about inside pitches. clearly it is a part of the game its when u start bringing it at the head and when the dugouts clear and all ur weak a$$ starting pitcher can do is run away an kick a guy in the head and end his career. whenever u run a successful franchise as long as we have and dont have a few down years from the rest of the division then ur whiney bitch ass coach that destroys two possible hof pitchers in wood and prior can come have plausible say in it!

    • macjacmccoy - Mar 22, 2011 at 11:08 PM

      “we” I didnt know you play for the Cardinals?! What position do you play?

  11. macjacmccoy - Mar 22, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    Maybe Im just a scum bag Philly fan but I like it. If someone does something you dont agree with you gotta get em back. In baseball that equals getting hit by a pitch. For it happening in spring training I dont see there being a better time. If you feel like you gotta hit someone its gonna happen no matter what so when would you rather have it happen in spring training where you can take a few days off after it happens bc the games dont count or in the regular season when you might have to miss a couple of games that matter cuz of the hit. IMO Id rather take a hit when I know I have time to rest.

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