Monday, August 20, 2012
Sometimes adult males can behave like stupid children. There is a "tradition" in baseball that if a player is plunked (deliberately or accidentally) it is the duty of the pitcher on the other side to retaliate, by deliberately throwing a ball at one of the members of the team responsible for the first "hit by pitcher". Of course, such thrown balls may permanently injure the player receiving one. I recently read of an egregious case. The team at bat had already placed runners at first and second base. No sensible pitcher would deliberately hit another batter, because that would load the bases, and make it much more likely that the batting team would score at least one run. The fact that this was obviously an accidental "HBP" didn't make any difference. The stupid tradition had to be followed, so that the next time the team that had caused the accidental hit came up to bat, one of the players had a ball deliberately thrown at his ribs. Sometimes the result of such retaliatory action is that the offending pitcher will be fined, hardly causing a blip on his bloated salary. In my opinion, the person who should be heavily fined is the manager of the retaliating team, who not only permits but often encourages such infantile behavior. Perhaps the only way to end this childish practice is to deduct one or more victories from the offending team's winning column.