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Ryan Braun: ‘Any good hitter has to be pitched up and in at times’

Aug 4, 2011, 1:58 AM EDT

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We’ve written plenty in this blog today about Tony La Russa and the shenanigans in Tuesday night’s Cardinals-Brewers game, so while it’s been fun, I’m not going to rehash the whole thing again.

If you need a recap, go here, here and even here.

But I did want to point out that Ryan Braun, the innocent victim in all of this, handled the whole thing perfectly. If you’d like a lesson in maturity, Mr. La Russa, have a talk with Mr. Braun.

From Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“I get it; I certainly understand where he (La Russa) is coming from,” said Braun. “At the same time, i think any good hitter in this league has to be pitched up and in at times. I get it, Prince gets it. You have to throw Albert that way, (Matt) Holliday, Lance Berkman. You can’t allow guys to be comfortable.

“Occasionally, you have to make that pitch. Nobody wants to hit anybody. I don’t think that’s really the intent. Clearly, we weren’t trying to hit Albert on an 0-1 pitch, first and third with nobody out, and Holliday and Berkman coming up next. But I think any good hitter in this league has to be pitched that way on occasion. Again, the intent is never to hit anybody.

“In general, every good hitter, anybody that can consistently drive the ball and hit home runs, occasionally you have to throw them inside. That’s just the way the game works.”

There are plenty of good nuggets in the story, so click and read. Braun said the incident was over for him and he didn’t expect any lingering problems. He also said that he was surprised the Cardinals decided to hit him with the score tied late in the game, joking that “maybe it was an accident.”

And on a final note, Braun said that while walking to first base he told Yadier Molina that the Brewers didn’t hit Pujols on purpose, and that Molina agreed. La Russa has also stated that he didn’t think the Brewers hit Pujols on purpose, but that he needed to send a message by going inside on Braun.

But this begs the question: If the Pujols plunking was an accident, what message is La Russa trying to send? That he’ll do whatever it takes to protect his players from accidents? It’s all very silly, really, and Braun deserves praise for laughing at the whole thing.

On a side note, I tackled the issue of baseball’s unwritten rules last year, and Braun happens to be featured prominently in the piece. Check it out here.

You can follow Bob on Twitter here, or if Facebook is your thing, be his friend here.

  1. natstowngreg - Aug 4, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    Elect Braun to Congress. It needs more adults.

    • bigdicktater - Aug 4, 2011 at 9:10 PM

      2 people are giving this a thumbs down?
      Do you have an issue with Braun or are you sticking up for the childish disfunctional louts that sit in Congress?

  2. okwhitefalcon - Aug 4, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    “But this begs the question: If the Pujols plunking was an accident, what message is La Russa trying to send”

    Fairly simple, if you’re gonna in – you better know where it’s going. Accident or not.

    • spudchukar - Aug 4, 2011 at 11:40 AM

      Exactly. The ol’ “but mom I didn’t do it on purpose” excuse doesn’t work in baseball, and it shouldn’t.

    • Ryan Lansing - Aug 4, 2011 at 5:34 PM

      You have to pitch inside to get guys out. Even pitchers with all-time great control will hit a guy by accident once in a while. If you’re saying that guys without perfect control shouldn’t pitch inside off the plate, you’re saying they should just let Pujols hit 100 homers a year.

  3. macjacmccoy - Aug 4, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    If teams become afraid of endangering Pujos health by pitching inside and maybe accidently hitting bc they think they will retaliate by hitting their best player then its not silly it works.

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