As usual, Ozzie Guillen had something to say on Sunday afternoon after a bench-clearing brawl between his White Sox and the Royals. Ozzie Guillen told a secret that, even though it is true, Bud Selig did not want to hear.
When asked about intentionally throwing at hitters, Ozzie responded by saying: "I’ve hit people before on purpose...Yes, I have. Because that’s my job. Protect my players."
Managers are cringing all across the league, as a secret that is between them and their pitchers is now out in the open. We all know that pitchers, on occasion, are told to throw at a hitter.
However, now Bud Selig is going to be forced to step in and take action. The league is already very strict when it comes to throwing inside; how will they react now?
Many pitchers have made a living by owning the inside of the plate. For example, Roger Clemens, whom, before the accusations, was considered by many to be the best pitcher ever. He was never afraid to throw inside because he did not want hitters to get comfortable, and he had great success.
The same goes for Pedro Martinez. If he felt a batter was digging in and was not intimidated, he made sure the batter knew who the boss was.
Any time a pitcher is ejected after hitting a batter, he is looking at a suspension. Depending on the situation, a pitcher will generally get either a one game or three-game suspension.
Recently, the managers have also received suspensions for a pitcher getting ejected. Now that Bud Selig knows that managers intentionally throw at hitters, what will the consequences be?
No matter what the league does, pitchers are still going to intentionally throw at hitters. The thing that the league does need to worry about is the timing of the hit batsmen.
For example, in the most recent Yankees/Red Sox series, there was an instance in which Joba Chamberlain threw at the head of Kevin Youkilis.
The first thought that came to mind was the history that the two have. Almost exactly a year ago, Chamberlain threw two straight pitches at the head of Youkilis and received the first suspension of his career.
However, in this instance, it was a 1-0 game in favor of the Yankees, so there was no way that Chamberlain was trying to hit Youkilis. As I said though, with the history that these two men have, one's first thought was that Joba was doing it intentionally.
Umpires will now be forced to make reasonable decisions when it comes to inside pitches.
Whether it is the situation such as the Joba/Youk instance, or the pitcher, such as D.J. Carrasco, who only reached 82 MPH on the fastball that hit Miguel Olivo that prompted the brawl, umpires will be put in a tough spot.
Their current job is hard enough, as baseball is the only sport in which human error is part of the game.
As Ozzie Guillen always does, he created controversy that will affect not only his team, but the whole league. Pitchers will have to be careful when throwing inside, managers will have to play it safe when telling a pitcher to back a guy off the plate, and umpires will have to make a judgment call that can crush a team’s chances of winning a game.