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Brad Penny downplays mound argument with Victor Martinez

Jul 29, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Detroit Tigers Getty Images

Brad Penny and Victor Martinez got into a heated argument on the mound in the middle of the fourth inning yesterday, with Penny being removed from the game a short time later after allowing seven runs in 3.1 innings against the Angels.

Martinez refused to speak about the situation afterward, but Penny downplayed the incident and said the disagreement was over his wanting to come to a set position while the catcher was giving signs:

It had nothing to do with pitch selection or anything like that. With a runner on second, I like to come set taking signs. That way the hitter can’t look at second base and anything there. I’ve pitched my whole career that way, and he didn’t want me to do it. I know there’s no other way for me. I guess it’s a habit. It’s natural. I’ve done it my whole career. It’s not that big of a deal. Me and Victor have been friends for a while now, and that happens when you’re competing.

Martinez declining to talk about it suggests he thinks the argument was a bit more serious, but as Penny notes they worked together with the Red Sox in 2009 and have teamed up for eight starts this season. Prior to yesterday’s disaster outing Penny had a 4.52 ERA with Martinez catching him and liked working with the catcher enough to effusively praise him to the media back in February:

What I liked about Victor is he was never negative in any way. If you’re struggling and he comes out to the mound and talks to you, it’s all positive. I mean, you can see he just knows you’re going to get out of it and do good. You can see it in his eyes. I mean, like I said before, what a great teammate. You guys are going to be really impressed with him as a person, not only as a player.

Martinez is “never negative in any way” and if “he comes out to the mound and talks to you it’s all positive.” Except yesterday, when he started yelling at Penny while walking out from behind the plate and was so upset that he wouldn’t even address the incident with reporters. But other than that, all positive!

Penny and Martinez hadn’t been paired up since June 26 and something tells me it might be more than a month before they work together again.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    Penny should have apologized for the way he acted. He looked like a big baby out there and Martinez showed a lot of class not saying anything about it. Penny, on the other hand, is just trying to save face with a bunch of BS. Do the right thing, Brad.

  2. dailyrev - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    the most relieved person in beisbol today is one C. Zambrano…see Z, it ain’t just you…

  3. The Baseball Idiot - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Why would Martinez declining to talk about it make it a serious issue?

    Maybe he just doesn’t buy into the fallacy that the media has a right to know everything that happens, and that what happens on the field between teammates just might not be anyone else’s business?

    • baseballisboring - Jul 29, 2011 at 4:36 PM

      Exactly…imagine how many little arguments and dustups you DON’T hear about, in a high pressure environment being together for 6 months of the year.

      Penny has always struck me as kind of a dick. That’s my somewhat unfair assumption based on limited information.

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