Apparently, Zack Greinke is one of the most disliked players in baseball, because the former American League Cy Young Award winner continues to be in the middle of bench-clearing brawls involving his current team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It started in the bottom of the sixth inning on Tuesday, June 11, when Arizona starter Ian Kennedy hit Dodgers' rookie Yasiel Puig in the back. As most pitchers would, Greinke retaliated in the top of the seventh inning, hitting Arizona catcher Miguel Montero in the back.
Both benches cleared, but no punches were thrown, with order being restored rather quickly and both being benches issued warnings that further shenanigans would result in ejections.
Kennedy ignored those warnings, however, nailing Greinke in the shoulder in the bottom half of the inning, inciting another scrum that lasted quite a while and resulted in multiple suspensions being handed down by MLB on Friday:
|Arizona ||Games Suspended
|Ian Kennedy ||10
|Kirk Gibson ||1
|Eric Hinske ||5
|Los Angeles ||Games Suspended
|Ronald Belisario ||1
|J.P. Howell ||2
|Don Mattingly ||1
|Mark McGwire ||2
|Skip Schumacher ||2
Not only were those players, coaches and managers suspended, but they were all fined as well, as were Los Angeles' Greinke and Puig along with Arizona's Montero and Gerardo Parra.
Anyone who believes that the suspensions and fines have bought an end to the acrimony between the two division rivals would be sorely mistaken, as Belisario told reporters: "No, it's not over yet, not at all. I don't think anybody thinks it's over."
Hinske was perturbed by MLB's decision to come down hard on Arizona while not really sanctioning the biggest culprits on the other side of the field, pointing a finger squarely in the direction of a certain Dodgers' rookie:
I've been a model citizen in this league for 12 years. And then there's Puig, who's been in the league for 12 days and he gets no games. So you tell me what's right.
I'm all for pitchers standing up for their teammates and fair is fair. You hit one of our guys, we are going to hit one of your's. Bench-clearing brawls do happen from time to time and they have become part of the game.
That being said, neither Puig nor Greinke should have been spared suspensions, especially Puig, who appeared to be in the middle of the scrum that finally erupted in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Fair is fair, after all.