The ridiculous Dodgers-Diamondbacks feud apparently based around the unwritten rules of baseball (that really don't exist) is carrying over to 2014. Well, it would have if Arizona radio host Doug Franz had his way.
In a column posted on Wednesday before the Diamondbacks Spring Training opener with the Dodgers, Franz advocated that the Diamondbacks plunk Yasiel Puig because….well, I'm going to need to break down this backwards logic piece by piece.
It's time for the Dodgers to pay their debt. Plunk Puig!
I'm not advocating violence. There's no way any pitcher should ever go after someone's head. In baseball, not plunking says, "walk over me." Everyone knows it's coming. Therefore, let's finish it now.
You literally ARE advocating violence. If throwing a fastball at a player isn't violent, then I have no idea what you'd consider it.
Also, why target Puig? In the Dodgers' NL West clincher over the Diamondbacks at Chase Field last year, Puig went 0/4. Why not go after Hanley Ramirez, who went 4/5 with a pair of homers in that game?
Or is this somehow tied to Puig's role in a brawl back in June, which was started when Ian Kennedy (who isn't even a Diamondback anymore) threw at Puig's head? The two teams played 11 games after that brawl, and the Diamondbacks hit Puig exactly zero times in his 54 plate appearances.
Waiting until the regular season just risks lengthier suspensions. Plunking Puig in Australia would make it more difficult to replace those suspended because you're not traveling with your whole minor league system behind you.
So hitting Puig in America during Spring Training is cool because…you could use a minor league player as a sacrificial lamb? Because Franz apparently thinks Spring Training games count as valid suspensions and that a punishment would come down within hours if Puig was hit in Australia during the season opening series?
Plunking Puig today at Salt River Field declares the Diamondbacks will not back down. Waiting around is like sneaking behind someone's back. Be a man. Take the punishment. Move on. First, however, the Dodgers must pay their debt.
No, it declares that the Diamondbacks are petty and potentially unstable. The Diamondbacks had all year after the brawl to plunk Puig and they didn't. If they're holding Puig's role in the pool incident, which the ENTIRE DODGERS TEAM TOOK PART IN, against him, they're nuts.
You know what throwing at Puig in Spring Training would tell me? It wouldn't tell me that the Diamondbacks can't be walked on. It wouldn't tell me that they're not manly men. It would tell me that they're cowards, doomed to another .500 season spent without a playoff berth.
Thankfully, logic prevailed. The Diamondbacks didn't throw at Puig on Wednesday, when he went 2/3 with an RBI double. They didn't throw at him on Thursday either, went Puig went 0/2 with a strikeout. There's nothing that would have been gained from the Diamondbacks hitting Puig this spring, and if they did, there would be hell to pay from MLB.
Well, at least there's no reason to hit him until the next time he breaks the unwritten rules of the game, of course.