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Actually, Wily Peralta, that’s exactly the moment you’d throw at someone

Sep 5, 2013, 9:15 AM EDT

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 9.07.15 AM

Wily Peralta hit Justin Morneau with a high hard one in last night’s Pirates-Brewers game and benches emptied:

After the game, Peralta was asked if he threw at Morneau on purpose. Here’s what he said:

“It wasn’t on purpose,” said Peralta. “We tried to go up and in. The ball slipped out of my hand and go right up and hit him. I don’t want to hit him, especially in that situation.”

Of course, Morneau came to the plate right after Andrew McCutchen hit a homer (after which some might think was admiring it, but in reality he wasn’t sure where the ball went). Yet, at the time, the Brewers still had a four run lead and there was, of course, no one on base. Which pretty much makes that the EXACT situation someone would throw at a batter if one were so inclined. So spare me the “in that situation” talk, dude.

Let’s see a suspension for Peralta today, MLB. He clearly threw at a guy’s head on purpose. A guy who lost a huge chunk of time as well as his MVP-level mojo thanks to multiple concussions.

  1. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    MLB will just give him a 3 game suspension. That way he can make his next start and no one can say they don’t care about the obvious felonies their players are committing. Just because it happens on a sports field, doesn’t make it not a crime fellas. Time to get this nonsense out of the game. I have to give the NHL credit for stepping up and getting their players to tone down the violence, now it’s time for MLB to do the same. 4 week suspension minimum for any pitcher who throws at another players head. Make them miss serious time.

    • homelanddefense - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:23 AM

      a felony? Jeez that is a leap.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:26 AM

        How? It’s assault with a deadly weapon. You throw a baseball at 90+ mph to a players head, even with a helmet, and serious damage, even potential death can ensue. Just wait, one of these days if this crap isn’t knocked off, some player will get hurt, will get a debilitating concussion or other brain trauma, and will file both criminal and civil charges.

      • deathmonkey41 - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        Someone already has- remember that guy in the minor leagues lost vision in one eye.

      • kopy - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        Kirby Puckett’s final major league plate appearance was him getting his jaw broken by a fastball.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:24 AM

      One more thing. It’s it about time we ban the bullpens from running on to the field in these situations? I understand the benches since there’s a 9 to 1 advantage for the defending team, but what purpose does the bullpens clearing serve, other than to help make a bad situation worse? The NBA had this problem, and solved it quite easily by issuing massive suspensions to any player who left the bench.

      • homelanddefense - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:30 AM

        Really, I didnt know a baseball was classified as a deadly weapon, news to me. So is a normal pitch that doesnt hit a player “attempted assault?” I understand wanting it out of the game, but a FELONY is a huge stretch.

        Oh, and Tony Conigliaro would argue your scenario has already happened.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:35 AM

        A Penal Code 240 “simple assault” is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on another person. California Penal Code 245(a)(1) defines assault with a deadly weapon as an assault that is committed with any type of deadly weapon or by means of force that is likely to cause great bodily injury to another.

        Do a simple google search for thrown baseball kills. People die from thrown baseballs all the time, and often not the ones thrown at 90+ mph by a professional.

        At the very least it’s Assault, and really at this point you are simply arguing semantics. My main point, is that we are not taking this issue seriously enough, and MLB needs to step in and knock it off.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:44 AM

        It is a fair point. There are things that happen in the normal course of playing the game, like an accidental HBP. However, if it is possible to prove the pitcher’s intent to hit a batter, why wouldn’t it be assault?

        I remember this being discussed on some Sports Law blogs in connection with the NFL “Bounty Scandal.” Sure, players getting hit and getting hurt is a part of the sport, but if the INTENT is to case an injury that is a whole different ball of wax. Now, intent is a difficult thing to prove, but intentionally harming another person is generally frowned upon by the law. Throwing a ball at a baseball player is not a valid play within the sport, so if the pitcher goes outside of the rules to try to cause some harm, I would say that is open to criminal consideration.

      • homelanddefense - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:56 AM

        who says the player intends to commit violent injury to the other guy? So I guess boxers should all be locked up since they ALL are trying to knock their opponent out, and there have been thousands of cases where fists have killed someone?

        I do agree that its an issue, and MLB should seriously go after players if they feel that a pitch was intentionally thrown at a head. But saying there should be criminal charges is just too far of a leap.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:28 PM

        Comparing throwing a 90+ mph baseball at a player’s head to a Boxing match is completely ridiculous. The two have nothing in common. Boxers are trained to receive blows and to defend themselves. There are also referees and medical personnel on hand there to lower the risk of injury. There are various rules in place to help prevent injury, with the penalty being an immediate stoppage of the fight, and the boxer even facing the possibility of losing their ability to fight. They are also in a situation where they knowingly agree to punches in the head area. No batter steps in the batters box and says, “Here I am, defenseless, please throw a baseball as hard as you can at my head.” Sure accidents happen, but intent is the key here.

        Anytime a baseball player intentionally throws a baseball at another player’s head, the intent is to injure. How could a rational person say otherwise? If the player simply wanted to send a message they could throw the ball anywhere else. When I raise my fist and punch you in the face, I am attempting to injure you. This act is a crime.

        I’m not saying there should be criminal charges. I’m saying there could be, and one of these days it will happen, unless Major League Baseball steps in and controls this situation. There is a line, and throwing at another player’s head crosses it. Even the NHL has recognized this. Below is a list of several times an incident on the ice have resulted in criminal charges.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 5, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        What I find hilarious is that all the thumbs down people are the same that will come out and scream bloody murder when it’s one of their players who gets drilled by a fastball up and in. Keep on thumbing me down, it doesn’t make you any more wrong. Throwing a baseball at another player’s head is no different than swinging a bat at another person. The intent is to injure, and it’s assault and it needs to stop. Plain and simple. No one ever said that proving intent was easy. That doesn’t make it right, and again, I NEVER said it should be taken to court. I’m simply saying that if MLB doesn’t put an end to it, sooner or later, it will end up there. It has happened in other sports, and it will happen here.

    • schuch10 - Sep 5, 2013 at 4:57 PM

      Dumb. While doing your legal research, please navigate to the jury instructions for assumption of risk, intent, and beyond a reasonable doubt. I hope this explains to you why, especially in a situation like this, a MLB pitcher will not be charged with a felony…

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 5, 2013 at 6:25 PM

        Stupid. (See I can do it too. Makes you really cool to insult people with simple opinions over the internet.)

        Explain to me how someone intentionally throwing a ball at a person’s head is assuming risk? This isn’t a foul ball broke my windshield territory, its’ a professional baseball player thew a fastball at my face. Explain how when a pitcher such as Cole Hammels last year comes out and fully admits that he threw at another player how that doesn’t prove intent and how that is not beyond a reasonable doubt.

        And explain to me how any of these things are necessary in a civil lawsuit or how any of those things helped the before listed players who have been convicted of assault during hockey games. How is it any different if some DA decides that he can make a decent enough case that a player intentionally threw at another player. Everytime a player gets hit, people on these forums decide intent, who is to say a jury won’t do the same?

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 5, 2013 at 6:26 PM

        Oh, and here is more information on intent for you.

        Although the concept of mens rea is generally accepted, problems arise in applying it to particular cases. Some crimes require a very high degree of intent, whereas others require substantially less. Larceny, for example, requires that the defendant intentionally take property to which the person knows he or she is not entitled, intending to deprive the rightful owner of possession permanently. On the other hand, negligent homicide requires only that the defendant negligently cause another’s death.

        Criminal law has attempted to clarify the intent requirement by creating the concepts of “specific intent” and “general intent.” Specific Intent refers to a particular state of mind that seeks to accomplish the precise act that the law prohibits—for example, a specific intent to commit rape. Sometimes it means an intent to do something beyond that which is done, such as assault with intent to commit rape. The prosecution must show that the defendant purposely or knowingly committed the crime at issue.

        General intent refers to the intent to do that which the law prohibits. It is not necessary for the prosecution to prove that the defendant intended the precise harm or the precise result that occurred. Thus, in most states, a defendant who kills a person with a gun while intoxicated, to the extent that the defendant is not aware of having a gun, will be guilty of second-degree murder. The law will infer that the defendant had a general intent to kill.

  2. homelanddefense - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    I dont have a huge problem with hitting a guy, but not up in the head area like that.

    Also, I always laugh when the bullpens empty and all run in to the main pile. Why not just start shoving (more likely hugging) each other in the outfield?

    • kopy - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:41 AM

      And at Target Field the bullpens are side-by-side with one corridor alongside both with one door onto the field. They have to empty in a single-file orderly fashion to go fight.

      Pictured here:×375.jpg

      • yahmule - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:18 AM

        Too funny.

      • homelanddefense - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:53 AM

        side by side at Fenway too

  3. Brandon Warne - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    I’m not sure the last sentence needs to be said. Throwing at anyone’s head should be grounds for suspension, whether he’s a former MVP or the 26th man up just for the day.

  4. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Who’s doing color commentary for that Brewers TV broadcast? Not his finest moment, whoever it is.

    • danaking - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      I watched that game on, with the Brewers’ announcers. They may be the worst in baseball, if only because they just get things wrong. They had what they thought were insights into the Pirates that, as a Pirates fan, I know weren’t just bad opinions, but were factually incorrect. They must do no research at all.

    • yahmule - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      Boy, you just knew he was going to say “old school” at some point, didn’t you?

      • Jeff - Sep 5, 2013 at 2:30 PM

        i’m sure the Pirate announcers had some stellar moments during the twenty years of futility that just ended

  5. larjones64 - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    I give Justin props for not going out there and kicking Peralta’s ass. Morneau is a class act. We miss him in MN already

    • albertmn - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      Class act, yes, absolutely. But, not all of us miss him. It was time for the team to move on. Good luck to Morneau and the Pirates!

  6. larjones64 - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    Kirby Puckett would also argue that the aforementioned situation has already happened. That is if he were still alive to do so.

    • ezthinking - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      Puckett got hit in one eye, he developed glaucoma in the other later, and retired from the glaucoma.

      Not that head-hunting is proper, just your facts are wrong.

  7. jm91rs - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    I don’t know who keeps stats on this, but my gut tells me the Pirates lead baseball in HBP. Why are they always getting into it with teams?

    • Brandon Warne - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      Yep. 73 times. Next highest is 66 (CIN) and then 63 (MIL).

      Actually, all three in the same division. Weird.

  8. muskyhunter2542 - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    If you guys knew anything about Milwaukee Brewer baseball you would know that there is no way that Ron Roenicke would allow another player to be hit. He is a classy guy and would rather get the bext guy out before hitting him and putting him on base.
    Peralta did not hit him on purpose!!!

    • ezthinking - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:11 AM


      Fastballs from righthanders don’t “slip out” and head up-and-in to a lefties head. If it does, it turns into a cutter or slider. That was 4-seams, straight as an arrow heading for the neck.

      • muskyhunter2542 - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        Look at Peralta’s reaction just as its thrown. You can see that it was not intentional.

      • kevinbnyc - Sep 5, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        He stood there and stared down Morneau. How does that say it was an accident?

  9. danaking - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    I’m not in favor of throwing at anyone’s head, ever, but, if, even if we assume Peralta was upset over McCutchen’s delay in running (replays did look like he lost track of the ball), the guy to take it out on is McCutchen, not Morneau.

  10. stlouis1baseball - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Meh. I am not so sure Wily drilled him on purpose.
    Immediately after throwing the pitch he had a serious look of disgust on his face.

  11. tmohr - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Never mind the brushback pitch – why is Morneau wearing the number of a left tackle?

    • albertmn - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      He is Canadian and a big hockey fan. Being in Pittsburgh, I am guessing it is an homage to Lemieux.

      • yahmule - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        That’s cool.

      • danaking - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        That’s what the Brewer announcers said. According to the Pirate announcers who actually spoke to Morneau, he has always been 33, but that number is retired in Pittsburgh. So he doubled it to 66. It’s a coincidence it matches Lemieux’s number.

  12. Jonny 5 - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    The last time I heard the reference “high hard one”, baseball was NOT the topic of discussion.

  13. ezthinking - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Notice the catcher already almost standing behind the plate before the pitch, set right over the middle of the plate? He wasn’t sitting inside at all. Look at the McCutchen HR. Catcher setting up low and in.

    Catcher knew it was coming. He was just getting ready to stop Morneau from charging.

  14. saints97 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Lost in all of this is the media darling McCutchen’s role.

    Let me get this straight. Hitter hits a ball, and doesn’t know where it went. His basically stands in bewilderment, and slowly makes his way in the general direction on 1B, just in case it is foul or going to be caught. You don’t want to actually run in case it is a gapper, right?

    Had this not been a media darling, he’d be getting a lot of press for “playing the game the wrong way” and getting his teammate plunked. But because of who it is, we only vilify the pitcher.

    • kevinbnyc - Sep 5, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      Your focus here isn’t the guy that almost got hit in the face, it’s the guy who, by all accounts, is awesome. You’re clearly a class act yourself.

  15. danaking - Sep 5, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    These quotes appeared in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette+ blog. I saw the game last night, and I’m prepared to accept them all at face value:

    McCutchen: “No. Definitely not. It’s the last thing that I’m sure he was trying to do.
    Peralta: “I don’t want to hit him. Especially in that situation.”
    Brewers manager Ron Roenicke: “Anytime you give up a home run and the next guy is hit? I don’t care what hitter it is, but when you get hit with a ball you get mad. I don’t have any issue with Morneau getting a little mad there. I know we weren’t trying to hit him. I know Wily wasn’t trying to do it. And I think you just, you get mad. That’s not an issue with me.”

  16. brewcrewfan54 - Sep 5, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Most of you obviously haven’t watched Wily Peralta pitch much. Control isn’t his stong suit.

  17. schuch10 - Sep 5, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Laziest bench clearing I have every seen. It is like a group of high schoolers preparing to cause trouble, each looking to the other to be the initial transgressor. Charge, no you run, no you charge.

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