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Jim Tracy on Ubaldo Jimenez: “It’s the most gutless act I have seen in 35 years of professional baseball”

Apr 2, 2012, 8:48 AM EDT

Ubaldo Jimenez

Jim Tracy didn’t mince words about the Ubaldo Jimenez-Troy Tulowitzki thing from yesterday:

“It’s the most gutless act I have seen in 35 years of professional baseball. I have lost all respect for him. To do something like that and walk down off the mound, and if there’s any suggestion whatsoever that the ball got away, I don’t want to hear any of that (expletive). He intentionally threw at him. He should be suspended. I am going to be very disappointed if he doesn’t get suspended. He deserves to be”

I don’t know about “gutless” — a lot of behavior people call cowardly actually takes a lot of dumbass and misguided bravado of a sort — but this is low rent.  But it’s not unprecedented or anything. Guys settle scores like this — including ones based on pissy little media wars — all the time.  I think the gold standard for this may be Jose Mesa drilling Omar Vizquel every single time he faced him for years following Vizquel slamming Mesa for blowing the 1997 World Series in his autobiography.

Anyway, even if I disapprove of Jimenez’s stunt — throwing at guys intentionally is the worst — I think the most gutless part of it was the standard “the ball got away from me” stuff after the game.  They all say that because it helps form the basis of their appeal after they get disciplined, but gosh, at least give a no comment here. Everyone knows what was going on.

  1. contraryguy - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    Somebody has their panties in a bunch…. it’s baseball, get over it. Clemens throwing a broken bat at Piazza, that was worse. This is just baseball.

    • wendell7 - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      That was in the world series. This is spring training. BIG difference. Spring training is NOT beanball tune-up time for pitchers. If Jiminez has an issue with something Tulo said about him, then he should strike him out and stare him down on his way back to the dugout. NOT put one in his ribs. TOTAL GUTLESS B.S., it’s SPRING TRAINING

      • Kevin S. - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:35 AM

        What part of the World Series justified Clemens chucking a shard of wood in Piazza’s path?

      • wendell7 - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        Who said it was justified? Personally, I think Clemens is a 1st-Class Douche for doing that, and for drilling Piazza in the head that season.

        My point is that you can’t make the comparison between a World Series game and a Spring Training game.

        Sorry if it was lost on you

      • aceshigh11 - Apr 2, 2012 at 1:01 PM

        What justified it?

        Well…possibly the fact that Clemens was suffering from such severe ‘roid-induced psychosis that he thought he was, in fact, Captain Ahab, Piazza was the white whale, and the bat shard was a harpoon.

        Other than that scenario…nothing, really.

    • bigmeechy74 - Apr 2, 2012 at 2:41 PM

      your name is “contraryguy.” nice trolling

    • basedrum777 - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:31 PM

      Not to completely absolve him because he was obviously/is obviously an a-hole but if Roger Clemens wanted to hit Piazza with that bat then he wouldn’t have missed. He was the greatest pitcher to join the league in the last 25 years. He wouldn’t miss from that distances with a feather.

  2. Francisco (FC) - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    At least own it. Jose Mesa did.

  3. poreef - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    I recall Pedro having an interaction with reporter that wen’t something like “why’d you miss [the plate when you plunked the guy]?” and his response being “I don’t miss.”

    On a related note, I’ve been on a mission to have WHIP count HBPs. I don’t see any good reason it shouldn’t. It would’ve taken a few bucks off PM’s fantasy value a few of those years.

  4. ispysomething7 - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    It’s nice to see the Indians finally making some headlines.

    • aceshigh11 - Apr 2, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      Now THAT’S a good comment.

  5. yahmule - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Ubaldo wanted to parlay a three month stretch when he pitched completely over his head into a huge contract. He knew this was unrepeatable and he was hoping to cash out big time. The Rockies, quite sensibly, spent their money on Tulo and Carlos Gonzalez, the only real superstars on the roster. Ubaldo was an enormous distraction before they traded him, some of his teammates even feel that he was deliberately tanking. The Rockies kept all of that in-house and managed to get a solid return in trade. Drew Pomeranz is already a far better pitcher. Jimenez should worry less about Colorado and more about Columbus, because that’s where he’s likely to be pitching pretty soon. Tyler Colvin and Chris Nelson took him out yesterday and his spring ERA is sitting @ 7.43 now. The larger issue for Cleveland isn’t that Jimenez has no class, it’s that he just flat out sucks now.

  6. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    “It’s the most gutless act I have seen in 35 years of professional baseball. I have lost all respect for him.

    Yes, because it’s completely respectful for ex-teammates to bash a player after he’s left the clubhouse rather than say stuff to his face while he is there.

    Which brings up another point. Isn’t one of the unwritten rules that clubhouse stuff stays in the clubhouse? So if Tulo broke the rules first, isn’t Jiminez getting back at him justified retribution?

    I’m so confused. Now I’m writing like Plaschke/Simers. Someone should really write these rules down….

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      Yeah … I have a hard time pitying any victim of stupid-on-stupid crime. All parties involved are behaving like children.

    • personalspaceinvader - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:05 AM

      Tulo broke the rules first? I don’t think so. He was standing up for the organization. The same organization, I might add, that sheltered Ubaldo after poor outings and trade demands. Ubaldo made a comment in the media about Colorado and dysfunction. Tulo responded.

      Also to note: This may have been brewing for a while. I remember Ubaldo took a trip to Europe right before 2011 and it became a piece of media fodder. I also remember a Tulo quote talking about how some people need to get their heads in the game and not care so much about things like Twitter and which vacations they took over the offseason.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:23 AM

        So Tulo did call out members of his team instead of keeping it in house? Thanks, exactly what I thought.

      • personalspaceinvader - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:13 AM

        Do you have selective reading or some sort of extreme dyslexia? Ubaldo said something disparaging about the Rockies. Tulo wasn’t the one that went to the media first. Of course last season he called out members of the team. It’s Tulo’s team to call out. In case you didn’t notice, he’s a pretty important member of the Rockies. Which makes Ubaldo’s lack of responsibility all the more frustrating. Tulo has said he (and other members of the team) tried to connect to Ubaldo, to no avail. They got brick walled.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        Tulo is the single worst nickname in the history of sports. For whatever reason, it pisses me off to no end. I’m sure Tulowitizki or however you spell it is an okay guy, but that nickname makes me hate him. Every time I hear or read it, I want to fly into a profanity laced tirade. Seriously, what a fucking stupid nickname. They couldn’t come up with anything more creative?

      • wendell7 - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:50 AM

        Tulo

      • basedrum777 - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:46 PM

        you can call him “witsky”…

  7. The Baseball Idiot - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Jim Tracy is the new Jim Leyland.

  8. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Pitchers, especially AL pitchers, feel free to pull this crap because they know there will be no repercussions for them. This is where MLB could learn a little something from the NFL or NBA. If batters stepped into the batter’s box with a glock tucked into their uni-pants, I bet pitchers would start loving on the outside corner.

    • rooney24 - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      Really, the next step is batters carrying a gun? So, if they could carry it, I supposed it would be okay to use it. Why carry if you won’t use it. Try to actually think about what you are writing before you post it.

      It is this kind of mindless macho BS that leads to all of the senseless violence out there. Oh, somebody wronged me, so I’ll hit him. Oh, somebody hit me, so I’ll shoot him. Oh, somebody shot this guy, so I’ll go shoot up his entire group of family and friends at his funeral.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 2, 2012 at 2:53 PM

        So, you are upset because you think MLB players might actually not only bring guns to the ballpark, but bring them on the field? You feel as though that could happen and requires protest to avoid?

        I thought my post was about as exaggeratedly sarcastic as could be (mocking the thuggish bravado so ubiquitous in the NBA and NFL). If I failed, my bad.

        For the record, no. I don’t think it is OK to shoot pitchers. I also don’t think it is OK to throw baseballs at people because they called you out for whining about your contract. I ALSO don’t think it is ok to put mayonnaise on french fries, but if I had to cave on one of these beliefs, it would probably be the mayonnaise thing. I might ask for the names of the people involved in the other scenarios, but would most likely still cave on the mayo thing.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      Batters already carry bats.

      Did you know it’s against the law in some counties to drive around with only a baseball bat in your car? So all you wise guys better bring a ball and mitt as well as dress in stirrups.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      AL pitchers’ repercussions should come in the form of their teammates being the recipient of the same treatment. For example…let’s say C.C. drills some guy. Jeter, A-Rod, Texeira etc…getting some of that same medicine. These things have a way of working themselves out as I guarantee you Jeter (or whomever got plunked in retribution) would have a serious talk with C.C. about it.
      Disclaimer: Before you take offense to my example…please know it’s just that (an example).

  9. ezthinking - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    Jimenez is a bitch, pure and simple. he admitted he was being a bitch about not getting a contract and mad at the Rocks front office and wanted out. Then Tulo said he couldn’t get Jimenez to open up last year. Jimenez then takes a shot at Tulo in the last time they face each other this season.

    On conclusion, Jimenez is a total bitch and should be treated as such. Any team that gives him a long-term deal will see Oliver Perez-type fanchise crushing disaster on their hands.

  10. Ben - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Everyone knows what’s going on, and it could have wrecked Colorado’s season. Taking out their most valuable, expensive player is pretty gutless, IMHO. If Tulo had actually gotten hurt we’d be talking about this differently.

  11. dowhatifeellike - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    Much ado about nothing. This is baseball, not bridge club. If it weren’t for these guys running their mouths to the media, nothing would have happened.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      No doubt! I am tired of the “he could have gotten hurt” bullshit. What a bunch of silk panty wearing crybabies. Wow. “He could have gotten hurt.” Yeah…and he could have charged the mound and whipped Jimenez’s ass too. The only real issue I have hear is Jimenez’s punk ass chose to do this in Spring Training. On the other hand…he fully realize this would likely be his only chance. Right or wrong…the “he could have gotten hurt” b.s. makes me want to roof a house…work on a car…bail some hay…lift some weights…something. Hearing that crap over and over make me feel like I am at a freaking scrap book party.

      • stex52 - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:08 AM

        I just wrote this note below. Jimenez is definitely gutless, knowing that he doesn’t have to face retribution. I will go far as to say he hit him in the ribs. I have a completely different feeling about guys that throw at someone’s head. That has ended careers and killed people.

  12. stex52 - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    I Tracy had just said, “That’s pretty gutless” there wouldn’t be much argument. I’d say he overstated a bit because we will see the same thing happen a dozen times this year.

    I have little patience with pitchers going after other players with a ball that can kill someone, and knowing they don’t have to face the consequences. But, at least from the reports I’ve seen, he hit him in the ribs. There are plenty of headhunters in the league.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      I couldn’t agree more with you Suzy (from the perspective of throwing at guys’ heads). No place for it whatsoever. As far as retribution…that should have come from Tulo in the form of him whipping Jimenez’s ass after he charged the mound.

      • stex52 - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:43 AM

        Got to differ on that one. Let the rules cover it. On-field rumbles are boring and send the wrong message about baseball. We don’t need the kind of thuggery that passes for sport in the NFL, NHL or NBA.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      We are gonna have to agree to disagree then. I love the game of baseball for many reasons. So much so that I can easily say it is my favoriate sport. One of the many reasons I love it is because of the way baseball has a wonderful way of working things out.
      Namely…drilling a guy in the back with a 90+ MPH fastball. Or…charging the mound and whipping a guys ass who drills you (which is exactly what Tulo should have done). Had he done that…Colarado wouldn’t have to wait until interleague or ST next year to settle things.

      • stex52 - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:33 PM

        Actually it brings back a story I like about a player I like. In August 2004, right before they started their end-of-season rally, the Astros and Cubs were playing one of the worst games I ever saw. A batter had been hit earlier (probably on a pitch that legitimately got away), so both teams had been warned. In one of the middle innings (I think the 4th) Roy Oswalt was on the mound and the defense behind him was terrible. He should have been out of the inning. Instead there were guys on base, a couple of errors, and the game was headed for a rout. Roy threw one of his soft curves right into the batter’s back and got thrown out of the game. I swear to this day he just wanted out of that nightmare of a game and he knew that he wasn’t going to get pulled. I laughed out loud.

  13. okwhitefalcon - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Geez, there’s a pretty easy solution to this, just drill a couple of guys from Cleveland the next time they play in interleague or next spring – whichever comes first.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      You got it Falcon! Or to put it another way…play the game of baseball.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:47 PM

        “Or to put it another way…play the game of baseball poorly.”

        FTFY. All plunking somebody does is put runners on base. The rest is just noise.

      • stex52 - Apr 2, 2012 at 2:03 PM

        Gotta go with Kevin. Football players and hockey players (basketball, too, sometimes) resolve issues with violence. Then, first thing you know, you end up with headhunters who win by injuring the other side’s best players.

        One of the many reasons baseball is the better sport is because you beat the other guy by being smarter and more skillful.

  14. savocabol1 - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    You guys are making a mountain out of a molehill and it is hilarious. This type of bean ball crap happens every week during the season. Spring training, regular season, world series, who cares when this happened. A lot of you guys are acting like Ubaldo just committed treason and should be burned at the stake.

    Unless you are one of those old timers who hate everything about new age anything….this kind of stuff is great to watch. It spices it up a little bit. Watching a good ol fashioned brawl adds some excitement.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      Savo: We are dealing with a huge number of “participation ribbon” sorta’ people.

  15. drewsylvania - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Glad to see we can all act like adults when we play sports.

  16. stlouis1baseball - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Good story Suzy. And I would tend to agree with you on Roy wanting out of the game. Good stuff.
    Thanks for sharing.

  17. stlouis1baseball - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Kevin S.: “FTFY.” :All plunking somebody does is put runners on base.” “The rest is just noise.”
    I am going to have to disagree Kevin. All it does is work itself out. XWGE.

  18. mikeinthevine - Apr 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH,WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH,WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

  19. imaduffer - Apr 2, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Get rid of the DH, problem solved.

  20. K. Harker - Apr 2, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    I completely agree that it’s bush, juvenile, idiotic, (“low rent” pretty much sums it up)… but the MOST gutless act he’s seen in his entire career? I’ve seen more gutless acts – actually I usually see one or two a season. Somebody’s trying to hype things up. Unless Tracy is just prone to hyperbole, in which case, he makes the best point in human history.

  21. sabatimus - Apr 2, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    I wonder if Ubaldo will test positive this year…

  22. bbk1000 - Apr 2, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    “They all say that because it helps form the basis of their appeal after they get disciplined, but gosh, at least give a no comment here”

    Gosh?

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