That's right, the season hasn't even started as yet, however the first bench clearing brawl of the burgeoning 2012 MLB season occurred yesterday in the Spring training matchup between the Rockies and the Indians.
Ubaldo Jimenez says he won’t apologize to Troy Tulowitzki after hitting his former teammate in the left elbow with a pitch. Rumours are yet to be substantiated they might be meeting behind the bike shed at the back of school to finish the brawl after school.
“I shouldn’t be suspended,” Jimenez argued. “Players are hit by pitches every day. With a guy like him, you have to go inside. I can’t get the ball to go where I want every time.”
Sure, that's fine, and having thrown a billion pitches myself, of course every once in a while a pitch gets away, and an ego and a backside or two gets bruised. However, Jiminez's ridiculous macho posturing after throwing the offending pitch was definitely something he had control over.
Normally batters charge the mound after such instance, instead in this case Jimenez charged the plate.
Here is some excellent amateur footage of the brawl.
Maybe we shouldn't be so shocked at Jimenez's wildness, though. Two years ago, Jimenez was 15-1 for the Rockies at the All-Star break, and an NL starter for the midsummer classic. He has gone 14-20 since. He was not sharp this spring, going 1-4 with a 7.43 ERA. In seven Cactus League starts, he had as many walks as strikeouts, 15, indicating some level of wildness.
The real clue to Jimenez's idiotic actions might be found from comments he made recently to The Denver Post that he was upset he didn't receive a contract extension while Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez got new deals. Jimenez was traded by Colorado to the Indians last summer.
Then again, maybe it was just that he is awful, and awfully angry. Jimenez gave up six runs on four hits and five walks in 4 1-3 innings in the game.
Either way, Rockies manager Jim Tracy was extremely upset. "Five days before Opening Day, you're going to take a pot shot like that? It's the worst I've ever seen," Tracy said. "I've lost all respect for him, and that's a very difficult thing for me to say with all the players I've had to manage over the years."
Finally, fantasy baseball owners who spent early round draft picks or big auction dollars on Troy Tulowitzki can breathe easy. Despite his left elbow being swollen and wrapped, Troy Tulowitzki felt confident that he'd be ready for opening day. X-rays were negative, and 'Tulo' should be back in the lineup soon