Prince Fielder tries to force his way into Dodgers clubhouse
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Prince Fielder apparently wanted to deliver a message late Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium in the wake of the Dodgers’ 17-4 thrashing of the Milwaukee Brewers.
With a number of his teammates in pursuit, Fielder the Brewers’ first baseman stormed into a tunnel leading to the Dodgers’ clubhouse following the final out of a ninth inning in which he had been plunked on the right thigh with a pitch by reliever Guillermo Mota.
Fielder was apparently incensed because he felt the pitch was in retaliation for Brewers reliever Chris Smith hitting Manny Ramirez with a pitch in the seventh inning after the Dodgers slugger had homered and driven in three runs.
Fielder was stopped outside the Dodgers’ main clubhouse entrance by security guards and his own teammates, who forced him to retreat to the Brewers’ clubhouse.
‘He was trying to throw a cutter and it just missed,’ Fielder said sarcastically of Mota’s pitch that left a large welt and led to the reliever’s ejection.
Mota did not immediately appear at his locker after the game, leaving catcher Russell Martin to speak for him.
‘It’s protection,’ Martin said of the payback pitch. ‘It’s just about keeping the team unified and pulling the wagons together.’
Martin said the Dodgers didn’t want to repeat the same scenario they had in the National League championship series last year against Philadelphia, when they were intimidated by Phillies pitchers and refused to retaliate.
The Dodgers hitters struck plenty of blows during a seven-run sixth inning and a five-run eighth on the way to setting a season high for runs and amassing their biggest outburst at home since they scored 17 runs on May 25, 1979, against Cincinnati.
-- Ben Bolch