Kirk Gibson has been taking some heat over the plunking of Andrew McCutchen. Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The Arizona Diamondbacks are making headlines across the country. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with how well their starting pitching was this weekend. It’s not even about how bad their record is (14 games under .500). No, it is about that plunk heard around the world, or when Randall Delgado threw a fastball directly at Andrew McCutchen‘s back. This was one day after Paul Goldschmidt had his season ended thanks to Ernesto Frieri breaking his left hand with a fastball. While most everyone believes that Goldschmidt’s injury was an accident, they also believe that McCutchen’s was intentional.
First up, is a piece by Gregg Doyel at CBS Sports which you can read in its entirety here. He calls Kirk Gibson a “meathead” for putting McCuthen’s safety at risk. In fact, he linked Gibson and “meathead” seven times in the article:
"Now he’s a meathead, and his meathead mentality has seeped through the organization, so whether Gibson ordered it or not isn’t the question."
Next up is Michael Baumann at Grantland who writes about the D’backs’ history under Gibson of throwing at opposing players. You can read that by clicking here:
"Towers and Gibson order batters to be hit because MLB, through its inaction, empowers them to do so. You stand for what you tolerate, and while the commissioner’s office would have to be a little nuts to suspend Gibson for, say, the rest of the season, the game would be better off if it did."
I haven’t written anything since it happened. My opinion: there is no way that Frieri was trying to hit Goldschmidt. You are talking about a guy with an ERA over 7.00 and 14 walks in 41 2/ innings. Understandably, the D’backs were upset and had months of frustration building to that point. Now to watch your best player go down for the rest of the season was the final straw. However, the answer was not to retaliate against Pittsburgh’s best player. They had all that time to cool off and realize that it was just an accident. But Gibson took the childish way out and decided to take out his frustrations in the form of a Delgado fastball. No excuses and totally classless.
However, I have a question for each of the writers I mentioned, Doyel and Baumann.
First for Mr. Doyel. You called or attached the name “meathead” to Kirk Gibson seven times. Yet in your recent article about Ray Rice and Roger Goodell you didn’t use one derogatory name to describe Rice. You call an old guy a meathead but choose not to call a guy any name who renders a woman unconscious? Are you afraid of offending Ray Rice or his family?
As for Mr. Baumann, why did you subtly throw in the race card?
"Of course, when baseball people talk about grit and intangibles, they often mean something else. But I’m not in Kendrick’s head, or GM Kevin Towers’s head, or manager Kirk Gibson’s head, so I won’t assume that if they ran the Carolina Panthers, they’d move Cam Newton to wide receiver."
Totally needless. Don’t try to be a member of the thought police.
Sorry if I went off-topic a little bit. But those two items the writers put out there bothered me a little bit.