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David Freese takes one to the head; diagnosed with a mild concussion

Aug 5, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

David Freese

Cardinals third baseman David Freese was hit on the side of the head by a pitch from Clay Hensley during last night’s game. It clearly wasn’t intentional, as the HBP came with the bases loaded and drove in the go-ahead run for the Cardinals, but someone should probably ask Tony La Russa what he thought about it.

Freese walked off under his own power and seemed to me more or less OK afterward, but he has been diagnosed with a mild concussion and head contusion, so it looks like the seven-day disabled list is in his future.

  1. shaggytoodle - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:49 AM

    I didn’t get to see any of this game unfortunetly.

    Does anyone know if La Russa got the Marlins back, because apparently if any Cards get plunked its always intentonal, or is that only when Pujols is up?

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:52 AM

      Pujols hit a HR not long after. That was payback enough.

      • cktai - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:11 AM

        You mean hitting Braun was not enough?

  2. jjschiller - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    La Russa’s gonna have to send Motte out there with a 2×4 and a folding chair.

  3. metalhead65 - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    clearly everyone in the league is out to get the cards. something must be done about this. since every pitcher has pinpoint control except when they play the cards then they should be forced to pitch like a beer league softball pitcher does so there will be no chance of anyone getting hurt should they be hit. would that satisfy his majesty larussa?

    • spudchukar - Aug 5, 2011 at 11:22 AM

      The Reds are tanking, and yes their starting pitching does resemble beer league softball tossers.

  4. thefalcon123 - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    LaRussa is an overblown, ego-maniacal a-hole, but there is *some* merit to what he is saying. With David Wright, David Freese, Scott Rolen (Jeez, what’s with all the 3rd basemen?) ect, it really sucks that they’re seasons were shortened because of a pitch that went where it shouldn’t have. Unlike a pitch on the wrist, a pitch in the head could kill somebody, or f**k them up forever.

    Where LaRussa is wrong is in his solution: “Don’t pitch people inside….ever!”. Helmets now exist which would drastically reduce the likelihood of serious injury in the event a Matt Cain fastball runs astray and hits you on the head. MLB mandated batting helmets for safety, then ear flaps for further safety. If players are unwilling to use the new helmets on their own, then MLB should mandate their use as well.

    • fearlessleader - Aug 5, 2011 at 12:47 PM

      TLR is pretty clear on this: He doesn’t have a problem with pitching inside. He has a problem with pitching UP and in. That’s why he was so bent out of shape about the Brewers’ approach to Pujols—and last night was a good reminder of why he gets so irritable about it.

    • umrguy42 - Aug 5, 2011 at 1:00 PM

      But LaRussa’s solution isn’t “don’t pitch inside”, it’s “don’t pitch UP and inside – keep it below the shoulders”.

  5. saints97 - Aug 5, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    I love that we have a blog where almost every commentator knows more about baseball than Tony LaRussa. We are truly blessed.

    • paperlions - Aug 5, 2011 at 12:11 PM

      LaRussa doesn’t set the bar particularly high….most of us are smart enough not to sacrifice bunt with no outs and a man on 2B in the first inning.

      • saints97 - Aug 5, 2011 at 2:25 PM

        I don’t even like LaRussa, but are you actually saying you know more baseball than LaRussa?

        That is laughable, at best, and just plain sad, at worst.

        Goes to show, everyone is a genius and a black belt on the internet.

      • paperlions - Aug 5, 2011 at 3:21 PM

        You are right, LaRussa knows more about baseball, I just understand more about baseball.

      • saints97 - Aug 5, 2011 at 3:26 PM

        Let me guess, you post on at least two message boards and you are huge fan of sports talk radio. Am I close?

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 5, 2011 at 12:23 PM

      In 2003, the Cardinals had 4(!) players in the 10 fifteen in WAR, 3 of them in the top 10.

      They won 85 games and finished 3rd.


      • thefalcon123 - Aug 5, 2011 at 12:29 PM

        I have to argue against my own comment. The Cardinals had terrible pitching and were hardly the first team to have good offense/bad pitching. That was a weak, weak LaRussa criticism.

  6. spudchukar - Aug 5, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    It was not intentional. Hensley was obviously distressed by the incident, and McKeon wisely removed him after the beaning. But Hensley was all over the place particularly with his fastball, and particularly up and in to right-handed hitters. (Or up and away to lefties) He nearly plunked Freeze earlier, and did hit Holliday, after he homered off of him in the first. Neither was intentional, neither was retaliated against, but that still begs the question as to what, if anything, should be the action? The easy answer is nothing.
    And of course in Little League, High School, and College baseball that would be the appropriate action. But this is the Bigs. Pitchers who do not control their release points and threaten the careers of players have some responsibility too. Unless the league steps in, and that answer would be fraught with difficulties, I believe that managers still are entitled from time to time to “send the message”. When, of course, will be the stuff blogs are made of.

  7. skitd - Aug 5, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    If there is no payback for repeatedly pitching up and in then why intentionally walk anyone? Just keep throwing it around the chin and then if you do hit someone in the hand, head, or ear the star player on your team gets a free pass. Same result as a walk. So why would that make anyone mad?

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