Dodgers-Diamondbacks and the great angry contest
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OK, kiddies, let’s not forget that the Dodgers wrap up their season with three games in Arizona, Sept. 26-28!
The Dodgers, always finding ways to make their disappointing season interesting.
Let’s see, we have the Dodgers mad because they don’t think umpire Bill ‘Quick Thumb’ Welke would let them pitch inside, some of the Diamondbacks upset because they think Clayton Kershaw was throwing at Gerardo Parra, the umps unhappy that their infinite wisdom would even be questioned, and Frank McCourt ticked because this bankruptcy thing is interfering with his daily haircut.
Otherwise, just another Wednesday night at the old ballyard.
When Kershaw hit Parra on the elbow with a pitch in the sixth inning Wednesday, Welke immediately ejected him.
Was Kershaw throwing at him? You’ll be shocked to learn he said no. But was he really? Normally, if you mean to hit someone, it’s not with a pitch inside around the waist. If you’re going to get tossed, you want to get your money’s worth.
‘The first at-bat I threw him all away and he hit a double, so the next at-bat I came in,’ Kershaw said. ‘It’s just unfortunate. I understand [Welke] has a job to do, but at the same time he has to pay attention to what’s going on in the game a little better.’
Surprise, crew chief Tim Tschida saw things slightly differently.
‘It was intentional,’ he said. Nope, he was told, the Dodgers said Kershaw was simply pitching inside.
‘It’s always that view,’ Tschida said.
Some of the Diamondbacks were unsure, but not catcher Miguel Montero.
‘It was a stupid move by [Kershaw],’ Montero said. ‘I thought he was better. He was the one who was talking crap [Tuesday]. I don’t know. We’ll see him next time.
‘We knew that he was going to. I guess there was a warning going on already, especially with Parra. I think that’s part of the game and the umpires did the right move.’
There was no official warning, though Major League Baseball called both clubhouses before the game to let them know after Tuesday’s brouhaha that occurred Parra stood and admired his home run off Hong-Chih Kuo and the Dodgers -– particularly Kershaw -– let him have it from the dugout as he circled third.
But the clubhouses seemed to interpret the MLB phone call differently. The Diamondbacks took it as a warning. Ex-Dodgers manager and current MLB executive vice president Joe Torre called Don Mattingly.
‘Joe called before the game and basically said he didn’t want anything to happen,’ Mattingly said. ‘Still, there was no official warning about not being able to pitch inside.’
Tschida admitted no warning had been issued, but said that given what had happened Tuesday, none was needed.
‘It was left over from last night,’ he said.
Mattingly argued the ejection out of frustration, and was soon asked to take a seat next to Kershaw in the clubhouse. Kershaw said he tried to make his objections to the call known to Welke, but the other umpires intervened.
‘I didn’t talk to Bill at all,’ Kershaw said. ‘They wouldn’t let me. I was pretty composed. I wasn’t out of line. I just wanted to talk to him and plead my case a little bit. They’re just being too protective, in my opinion.’’
He was pretty composed, save for the yelling and screaming part. Still, at age 23 Kershaw seems to becoming the leader on the team. It’s an interesting evolution to watch.
As to facing the Diamondbacks again, assuming he’s not suspended, Kershaw will get two more starts this season. If the rotation stays on its regular turn, his last start would be in San Diego Sept. 25. Just before that final series in Arizona.
Future fun may have to wait until next season.
-- Steve Dilbeck