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The Bean Ball Incident, Day After
While watching an ESPNews segment in the clubhouse about Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder’s attempt to have a meet-and-greet in the Dodger’s clubhouse, Dodgers reliever Guillermo Mota laughed.
“Is he Mike Piazza II,” Dodger reliever Guillermo Mota asked fellow reliever Jeff Weaver in the Dodger clubhouse before the game.
Mota was referring to a spring training game on March 12, 2003 against the New York Mets when to lead off the bottom of sixth inning Mota brushed Piazza off the plate then hit him on the back with the next pitch. Piazza stormed the mound, Mota threw his glove at Piazza and took off. Piazza went looking for Mota in the clubhouse after the game only to find that Mota had left the premises.
With this history, Mota pitching in the ninth inning with the Dodgers leading 17-4 hit Fielder with a fastball on the thigh with two outs. Mota was immediately ejected while Fielder just stared at Mota in shock. Fielder then proceeded to take first base at the urging of the umpires.
“Why do people get so mad when they get hit,” Mota asked. “It’s baseball. We have to pitch inside to those guys. Don’t you agree? We have to pitch inside no matter who it is. You pitch inside, then you got the outside part [of the plate].”
Dodgers manager Joe Torre does not expect any further escalation of hostility in tonight’s game.
“I just expect baseball to be played tonight,” manager Joe Torre said. “There’s a lot of passion in this game. I’m a little surprised and disappointed that this is taking all the attention. It’s baseball. People get hit, people strike out, people make errors, and I think we’re making more of it than it is.”
Certainly a lot has been made of this incident with the CBS2/KCAL9 video looped practically non-stop on ESPNews and the jump in media covering the game. Jim Hill of CBS2 and KCAL9, Kurt Sandoval of ABC7 and Colleen Dominguez of ESPN showed up for a Wednesday game in August against the Brewers.
“Can we get onto another subject which means about ¾ of the people will be gone here,” Torre requested after three minutes on the subject.
However Torre later talked about how he understood Fielder’s anger in getting beaned.
“I had a player when I was managing in one of my other stops,” Torre recounted, “was hit in the head with the bases loaded and charged the mound. It certainly wasn’t on purpose but it didn’t mean he was any less po-ed about it.”
Weaver asked if Mota and Fielder were good friends.
“Was, not no more,” Mota replied.
Tonight Jason Schmidt goes to the hill for the Dodgers. He picked up his second win of the season on Friday in Atlanta allowing only one hit in six scoreless innings. He walked five and struck out three in 87 pitches.
When asked about the key to Schmidt’s outing Torre replied, “Location and then the difference between his fastball and change-up.”
So with that here are the line ups:
- Felipe Lopez, 2B
- Craig Counsell, SS
- Ryan Braun, LF
- Prince Fielder, 1B
- Casey McGehee, 3B
- Mike Cameron, CF
- Frank Catalanotto, RF
- Jason Kendall, C
- Braden Looper, P
- Rafael Furcal, SS
- Juan Pierre, LF
- Andre Ethier, RF
- Casey Blake, 3B
- James Loney, 1B
- Matt Kemp, CF
- Russell Martin, C
- Orlando Hudson, 2B
- Jason Schmidt, P