Head Hunting

Gary Bennett(aka Wild Turkey Shooter) was nailed on the back of his head by Reds pitcher Aaron Harang in the 2nd inning of Tuesday nights game against the Reds. It was not a purpose pitch, Aaron called Gary after he was pulled from the game to apologize and make sure Gary was OK. Which he was, and is. But Tony La Russa is far from OK.

If you have been a Cardinal fan for any length of time, I’m sure by now you’ve heard Tony’s take on batters getting hit in the head with pitches, or pitchers throwing high and tight to a batter with the intent to harm. To say he’s against it is putting it mildly. He strongly feels that any pitcher who hits a batters head should be suspended for two weeks by MLB. Whether the pitch was intentional or not. And that’s just for the first offence. If the same guys does it again, even to a different batter, Tony wants him to take a months vacation. And GOD forbid the pitcher does it again, if lord Tony ruled the baseball world, that pitcher would take a full season off from the game. Yes, that’s right. Tony feels that if a pitcher hits three batters in the head in one season, he should be suspended for ONE FULL SEASON. A little harsh no?

What got me thinking about this was while I was driving back from the store last night I was listening to the Reds vs Cards game on 700 WLW. Marty & Thom Brennaman had the Reds MLB beat reporter in the both, and they were talking about Tony’s remarks. All thought Tony was overreacting. Because it was not an intentional high and tight pitch that hit Gary. You can read the beat writers take here. What I find funny is the St. Louis media for the most part ignored Tony’s take on this. While deep in Reds country,(where I live mind you) they thought Tony was being an idiot. I find it odd they’ve never heard Tony’s take on head-hunting before. Maybe the St. Louis media ignored it because we’ve all heard it time and time again, so it’s old news to them,and they don’t think much of it. Now there was a small story on it on stltoday.com, and in the story where they recaped Tuesday’s game. So it’s not like they totally ingnored it.

The main problem I have with Tony’s punishment ideas is, he leaves no room for human error. And I’m surprised because after the year he’s had, he ought to know mistakes can happen. TO ANYONE. Even the manager of the defending World Series Champion. Now if a pitcher is throwing at a guys head, and hits him. Then yes, I believe he should be suspended. We’ve all seen guys like Pedro throwing at guys heads. In his early years before he became Dream Weaver, Jeff got the rep for being a head hunter for throwing at Manny’s head while he was still playing for the Indians. So it does happen, and for that I believe a guy should be suspended. To figure out how long he should set down I think you need to look at a varitey of things. For instance, take into account the pitcher and hitters history. Is there any bad blood between the two? Did any thing happen in that game to one of the pitchers teammates that made him think he should nail a guy in his head? You need to find out what the intent was before you can hand down some form of punishment. MLB can’t just start throwing guys out for weeks and months at a time for pitches that simply get away from a pitcher. And they won’t any time soon. But even if they wanted to, the player’s union might have a thing or two to say about that. Tony knows that MLB won’t be handing down his punishments any time soon. But there’s no stoping Tony from voicing his opinions. Even if he’s preaching to deaf ears now is there?

I gotta admit something to everyone. I missed the first 6 innings of the game Wednesday night. I simply had to go to the store, it was unavoidable. And when I got home, dad wanted to watch something that didn’t go off till 10pm eastern time. So I don’t have any thing to say about how Brad pitched, or how any of the guys in the line up looked before the 7th innings. When I left Marty and Thom, the game was still tied at 1 a piece. So when I turned the game on, at that very instant mind you, Ludwick’s bat connect with the ball, and we saw the game tied. Pretty cool way to pick up a game. Not a bad way to hit your first home run as a Cardinal eather. And of course a few batters later Albert untied it with his monster two run shot to left center. And there was noooooo doubt about that home run. It was a thing of beauty. The Reds got to be kicking themselves because they said at the start of the series, Albert Pujols was not going to beat them. Well, last night be beat them like a rented mule.

So later today the Card go for the sweep of this series. Adam is pitching for the good guys. He’s been looking more and more like the real Adam Wainwright we all know and love latley. Pitching for the Reds is Kyle Lohse and his 2-7 record and 4.58 ERA. Another pitcher the Cards should crush, but for some reason they don’t. Although after a quick check of his stats, the Cards did get 11 hits and 5 earned runs off the guy in his last start against them. So I’m sure they are all filled with confidence that tonght’s game will be no different. And it better not be. The Brew Crew just lost another series. And now only lead the Cards by 5 games.

Don’t look now, but somehow, some way the Cards have slowly crawled back into this thing. They are finally starting to look like the real St. Louis Cardinals. With all their injuries, with all the bad luck, with the entire team stuck in a ungodly hitting slumps. Without Carp or Marky Mark to solidify the starting rotation. Our beloved Cards are within striking distance of the division lead. But first things first, they need to get back to .500. And at 26-30 they still have 4 more wins to go. So this sweep is a must for them because take a peek at the up coming schedule of games. Go ahead, take a quick look here. The Cards will face the Angels (probably the hottest team in both leagues right now) the Royals who always play their best against the Cards. The A’s, another very, VERY good AL team. Then the Royals again, then the hard hitting Phillies, the Mets, and then the Reds again to close out the month. Not an easy schedule to make up games and try to get back to .500. The Cards do have one good thing going for them this weekend. The Angels play terriably away from LA LA land.

But that’s a story for a different day. Right now the Cards need to finish off the Reds tonight, and then worry about the Angels on Friday. And hopefully I’ll get to watch the game tonight, and then hopefully again I’ll be right back here to tell you all about it.

Till next time this is Jonny Bone reminding everyone, always keep makin it bounce.

PEACE. 

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