Before I begin, I need to share that I love Dragonforce, and I don't care who knows it. Their forthcoming album, Ultra Beatdown, is just ridiculous; my Guilty Pleasure #1.
All right, with that out of the way, let's take a peek at some of the suspensions handed down after the fracas the other day.
Miguel Olivo, who had three pitches thrown at his head: 5 games
DJ Carrasco, who threw at Olivo's head three straight times AND bitchslapped Olivo in the skull: Zero games
Zack Greinke: 5 games
Trey Hillman: 1 game
Ozzie Guillen, who promised after the game that his pitchers will be throwing at the Royals in future matchups: 2 games
AJ Pierzynski: zero games (OK, he shouldn't have been suspended for his involvement Sunday, but I just can't stand him and his stupid bleached head. If anything, he should already have been suspended for THAT.)
I get suspending a guy who charges the mound. Five games is normal for that, as we've seen with Olivo already this season. But what about the guy who threw at Olivo three times in a row? I know Carrasco isn't the world's greatest pitcher, but I don't believe that all of them happened to accidentally slip into the exact same area near Miguel Olivo's head. All in a row.
But I guess Carrasco doesn't matter; it was pretty obvious that it was Pierzynski that Olivo wanted to beat. And who among us hasn't wanted to punch AJ Pierzynski in the head at least once...every day? Olivo's grandmother could have thrown those pitches, and he still would have charged the mound, because he didn't appear to have any intention of actually landing a hit on the pitcher.
Hillman's one-gamer is fair enough; that's just what happens. But five games for Greinke? Shoot, that's harsh. Depriving the Royals - who, by the way, have a realistic shot at 3rd place right now - of one Greinke start is pretty harsh.
What I'm wondering about is whether Ozzie Guillen deserves more than two games, based on his postgame comments. I suppose it would set a dangerous precedent to suspend a manager for something he hasn't done yet, but if MLB is cracking down as hard on beanball wars as they say they are, shouldn't Ozzie get like 5 games? If I make a comment anywhere that I'm planning on causing someone bodily harm next time I see them, I'm gonna be in a heap of trouble, and lose my job. But Ozzie promises he's going to have his pitchers intentionally hit Royals batters throughout the rest of his 5-year contract as Chicago's manager, and he doesn't get in any significant trouble? Weird.
I'm glad all of this happened against the White Sox, because they are my least favorite team in the AL. Yes, I even hate them more than the Yankees. So if this is the start of a heated rivalry...I can't wait.
Here are some thoughts about the suspensions at Royals Review. They, as usual, raise some good points: Why would Greinke wait until two innings later to retaliate? And why do it with a runner on and a 1-1 count? And why Swisher; why not someone who actually had some kind of involvement and who is a douchebag?
Jeff Passan weighs in at Yahoo!, addressing the questions about Carrasco's intent, Ozzie's promise to retaliate, and the idea that the Sox should have plunked Mark Teahen when he bunted earlier in that inning. I'm sure they'll get him next time.
Elsewhere (by which I mean Omaha), there is a rumor afoot that Mark Grudzielanek is in town for some rehab, but only one team employee has seen him, and he certainly wasn't in the dugout (I looked), so until I get confirmation or denial, I will keep up this ghost-hunt. I've never met him, but I'd love to hear him say "y'know" 19 times per minute, in person.
During last night's loss, Kila Kaaihue didn't homer (for a change), but showed a pretty decent indication of who he is as a hitter. His one hit was a single he reached waaaay over the plate to slap through the right side. He was down 0-2 and obviously didn't want to get caught looking at another strike 3, which he had done earlier in the game. I know there's a chance that his success so far in AAA is not for real; I know he took a long time to develop in AA, but I'm willing to stay excited about Kila. He appears to have an understanding of the strike zone, as exhibited by pretty much all of his numbers at two levels this year - lots of walks, not a lot of strikeouts, and of course the home runs.
Speaking of Omaha first basemen, Ryan Shealy sat out last night. He's in a bit of a slump these days, going 3 for his last 22 before last night. He also got ejected on Sunday for arguing a called third strike at the end of the 6th inning. Shealy only has three hits (in five games played) since Kaaihue's arrival. I hope that is a coincidence. He should be back in the lineup tonight, likely as a DH again while Kaaihue mans first base. Sigh.
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