|Bean Wars - The umpires strike back|
Written by Bjoern Hartig (Contact & Archive) on August 11, 2009
I have read a lot of nonsense about baseball in the last few years, but this certainly ranks very high. HoF (!) writer Tracy Ringolsby write about how drilling and retaliation was better in the past:
"They don't understand how the game was played," said Colorado Rockies hitting coach Don Baylor. "The rules have changed and it has taken away aggressiveness from the brushback or breaking up the double play. When players were able to handle it themselves it was taken care of. Umpires weren't put in the middle of things. There weren't warnings. And there wasn't a lot of public posturing."...
"The irony is pitchers were throwing at hitters back before hitters even wore helmets, and it was left up to the players to handle," said McRae.
Now, hitters wear helmets and padding, and if a pitch comes close they wear a scowl ...
Like McRae, if Baylor felt he was intentionally hit, he would quietly head to first base, and then, at the first opportunity, would head for second base, where he would make the second baseman or shortstop, whichever was covering, pay the price.
Intimidation used to be part of the game.
I don't get it. How is it ironic that pitchers were throwing at hitters before they had helmet? Throwing at someone without a helmet is perilous, nothing else. Throwing at the head of a player who wears a helmet is, too.
Why would I want to have players hit by a pitch take out middle infielders? Honor? Respect of the game? Seriously, I don't get it.
Sure, throw inside, move the hitter off the plate, but how can someone endorse actions that deliberately risks players injuries???