Royals fight their way out of trashy city
RC likes baseball fights. While we're convinced that any civilian over the age of 18 who engages in fisticuffs is probably a big dumb moron (self-defense excluded), there's something about baseball fights that gets us excited. After all, baseball is ultimately entertainment, and what's more entertaining than seeing a group of guys in peak physical condition (plus Matt Stairs) take a few swings at each other?
RC had a softball tournament on Sunday (where RC went 5-for-6, but our team lost the second game, ending the season), so we missed watching the game live. However, thanks to DVR, we were able to watch the game upon our return. And as always, we have some comments.
His first pitch of the sixth inning was low and inside, and Carlos Guillen began to walk to first base, but was called back by the umpire. Replays were somewhat inconclusive, but it appears that the ball may have brushed his back foot. Guillen argued with the umpire for a bit, and then Tigers manager Alan Trammell came out and argued some more. Unable to convince the umpire to change his mind, Guillen stepped back into the box. Hernandez most likely took that as another attempt by the Tigers to upset his rhythm, and he put the next pitch, a 90 mph fastball, in Guillen's ear.
RC has a couple things to say about Hernandez's actions. First, we don't like headhunting, and while we're pretty sure the HBP was intentional, we don't know if he was intentionally trying to hit Guillen in the head. It's quite possible that the ball got away from him, but we understand why Guillen was upset. John Buck was holding Guillen back, but he and Elvys continued jawing at each other, and things escalated from there into a full blown melee.
Our opinion of the whole thing is this: we liked seeing that fire and attitude from Hernandez. Yes, we'd definitely have a different opinion if we were Tigers fans, but we think it's about time we had a pitcher who asserts himself the way Hernandez does. Maybe his actions were a bit juvenile, but we think the notice he served to the league will probably benefit him in the long run. We could be wrong, but again, at least it was entertaining.
As Farnsworth approached Affeldt, you could see Affeldt with a stunned look on his face, as he was no doubt wondering why this big SOB was charging toward him on the Holy Day. Farnsworth managed to lift Affeldt off the ground, but at the last second, Affeldt twisted and stepped back a bit, and Farnsworth wound up doing a faceplant on his takedown. Affeldt got in a few shots, and the altercation seemed to end in a draw. Farnsworth for his effort received an ejection, as well as what is certain to be a suspension, and Affeldt stayed in the game to pitch a scoreless inning in the 8th.
Farnsworth is a big guy, and we're very pleased that Affeldt came out of his charge much better than Paul Wilson did a couple years ago. Affeldt even managed not to tweak his groin, rib cage, or aggravate his blister problem.
Editor's note (7/18/05): We were way off on Murphy's slugging percentage. His present line, after last night's explosion, is .313/.362/.523! That's an OPS of .885, sports fans.