Thursday, August 19, 2004
A brushback pitch? Brushback!? Ichiro took a fastball to the head, and the best that the "Pride of Spiro, Oklahoma" could muster was chin music? I know the ordinary decorum of the game calls for avoiding the head in retaliation pitches, but Ryan wasn't protecting Willie Bloomquist or Justin Leone here. A lesson needed to be taught yesterday and it wasn't. Just like the entire NHL knew to never, never take a shot at Wayne Gretzky for fear of the consequences, the American League needs to know that if they take out Ichiro, one of their guys is going down, and it will hurt. And not a rookie like Andres Blanco. A veteran like Joe Randa or Ken Harvey needs to be the target. And a brawl might ensue. But it has to happen.
You don't have to be Joseph Stalin to see that throwing at Ichiro wasn't an accident (but hitting him was).
Tony Pena's crocadile tears after the fact were to prevent the M's from taking retaliatory action and to position himself (and the Royals) as the good guys with MLB when they do. And of course, Bob Melvin believed him. Hey Bob, when would Tony ever admit that he was trying to intimidate Ichiro?