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The D-Backs weren’t kidding about the retaliation thing

Mar 14, 2014, 8:50 PM EDT

Clayton Kershaw, Kirk Gibson, Clint Fagan AP

Back in October, Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers made headlines extolling the virtues of protecting your teammates. Towers was particularly upset that first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was hit by a pitch and the pitching staff did nothing — no revenge. From’s Steve Gilbert:

Tuesday on his weekly show broadcast on KTAR 620AM, Towers was asked about his comments earlier in the day about wanting the D-backs’ pitchers to own the inner half of the plate.

“But I think come Spring Training, it will be duly noted that it’s going to be an eye for an eye and we’re going to protect one another,” Towers said of what his message would be to the pitchers next spring. “If not, if you have options, there’s ways to get you out of here, and you don’t follow suit or you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you probably don’t belong in a Diamondbacks uniform.”

On Wednesday, D-Backs first baseman Mark Trumbo was hit in the back by Rockies pitcher Tommy Kahnle in the top of the fourth inning. In the bottom half of the fourth, D-Backs pitcher Wade Miley threw at Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, hitting him in the calf. As a result, Tulowitzki has been dealing with a deep calf bruise and pain in his fibula as well, and won’t play for another few days.

Manager Kirk Gibson denied that there was intent behind Miley’s errant pitch to Tulowitzki. Via Troy Renck of the Denver Post:

“It’s part of the game. It can happen in spring or during the regular season,” Gibson said. “I think one of the things we’ve focused on is using all quadrants of the plate. We’re not out there intentionally trying to hurt anybody. Nobody wants their guy to get hit and neither do we, but it’s part of the game.”

Renck correctly adds that, as a result of their previous comments on the issue, the D-Backs can’t be given the benefit of the doubt. While no one on the Rockies would come out and say point-blank that they think the D-Backs threw at Tulowitzki intentionally, the devil was in the details.

Hopefully, this is the last we hear of D-Backs pitchers throwing at opposing players. Otherwise, it might not be until someone gets hit in the head and suffers a concussion that their embarrassing behavior is punished.

  1. zdravit - Mar 15, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Towers and Gibson are a couple of incompetent thugs.

  2. moogro - Mar 15, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    If beaning people is not in the contract, pitchers should tell him to shut up.

  3. observer82ab - Mar 15, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    You non baseball playing idiots do not need to comment please!

  4. brend0 - Mar 16, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    Hopefully it’s the last we hear of this? Yeah right, you guys love writing about this stuff. I love when media give stories attention at the same time pretend to be taken aback by it.

  5. csiegert4 - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:05 AM

    Embarrassing behavior? It’s a part of the game, and not just a part that you say “well it’s been done this way for x amt of time” but a part of the game that’s absolutely necessary to show other teams you will not be walked over. Your comments, and some of the comments on here, show that you guys have never played at a level higher than your little league, b/c at this level intentionally throwing at someone doesn’t mean trying to hit them in the head – you hit someone from the ribs down. At this level it’s not hard to NOT hit someone in the head when throwing at them. There’s nothing wrong with it and it’s absolutely necessary.

  6. masher1965 - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:47 AM

    How’s this for an idea. What if the D-backs paid just a little more attention to the detail of WINNING baseball instead of one-upmanship , they might have a better season all around ?? I have been a baseball fan for as long as I can remember and that is a LONG TIME and I never seen a team , from the top on down ( but especially the management ) more concerned over trivial , non important issues than playing good winning baseball They get worried about accidental HBP’s, supposed unwritten rules being broken, teams celebrating wrong and such garbage , all while playing bad or not getting the right players. I think Arizona has the wrong priorities and needs a check up from the neck up

  7. irlfannphx - Mar 16, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    This is ludicrous! It’s part of the game and you’ll NEVER legislate it out of baseball. Hubby plays this game the way it’s supposed to be played. If you don’t like the way they play baseball, go watch Soccer!

  8. Kevin Gillman - Mar 16, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    Kevin Towers is true grit right there.

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