The Dodgers are likely moving out of their brief post-All Star break slump. The best indicators of it are threefold: things are breaking their way in games, even when they lose; they kicked Milwaukee’s butt last night, 17 to 4; and, last night, they made one of the Brewers so mad he had to follow the Dodgers back into their clubhouse after the game to try and find somebody to beat up.
Here’s the full story from today’s LA Times. The Brewer in question–Prince Fielder–was so pissed off because Dodger reliever Guillermo Mota pegged him in the thigh with a pitch–in the ninth inning of this Dodger blowout–apparently in retaliation for the Brewer’s pitcher hitting Manny Ramirez in the seventh.
The part I love about the story most is that, yes, that is why Fielder was hit.
After the game, Russell Martin–who came to meet Fielder at the Dodger locker room door–said to the press, “”It’s protection. It’s just about keeping the team unified and pulling the wagons together.”
Now I don’t condone violence or retribution, outside of baseball, but in the game, well, let’s just say there are “rules” you can read in a book and there are “rules” you learn by doing. And I believe in following rules.
Russell Martin is right, it is about protection and unification. It is about being a team, and even being little, petty boys who are emotionally invested in being a team. And it’s old school Dodger baseball, too. Don Drysdale was a fan of the policy of retribution from the mound, as were generations of Dodgers before him and after. Even more, it a good sign that the team is strong and healthy in the ways you can’t really measure, and can’t often control, but that you always need going into the final stretch.
This is going to be a fun ride!