It’s been a rough week for the Colorado Rockies. The kind of week that can really take a toll on a manager, his team, and the fan base. The kind of week that teams usually experience in the late-July or mid-August.
Carlos Gonzalez had a small tumor removed from his left index finger on Tuesday at the Cleveland Clinic. Often times these tumors are the result of repetitive trauma and turn out to be benign. Remember Cargo spent the last half of the 2013 season battling hand issues.
While the removal of the tumor has removed Cargo from the Rockies lineup, it is a sigh of relief for both Rockies fans and the front office. Manager Walt Weiss expressed his relief earlier this week saying, “It helps explain some of the things that Cargo’s been dealing with and why that finger kept blowing up on him.”
Currently on the DL, Gonzalez’s return to the Colorado Rockies will take a few weeks. But at least he and the Rockies will be able to move forward and the tumor’s removal will have Cargo back to his MVP-caliber self.
As for the rest of the Colorado Rockies, a foul-tip and backswing blew up into a mass of ejections and flared tempers yesterday against Atlanta. Corey Dickerson caught Braves catcher Gerald Laird in the mask with a foul-tip, then a few pitches later clipped Laird in the mask again in his backswing.
That’s when Braves reliever Dan Carpenter felt the need to retaliate and nailed Dickerson on the thigh. Naturally, tempers flared, retaliation ensued, and the post-game quotes were full of denial. While I will be the first to defend the unspoken rules of baseball, nowhere in that “figurative” book was Carpenter right to nail Dickerson.
This just highlights a week of tempers flaring that included Manny Machado’s “incidental” throwing of his bat. Back in Colorado and four ejections later, baseball pundits took their pads to discuss baseball’s unwritten rules. The problem here wasn’t the interpretation of baseball’s unspoken rules, it was the result of egos picking a fight.
While many of baseball’s unwritten rules are set on the premise of writing a wrong. Flip your bat, you’ll feel the next pitch. Throw too close to a batter, better tell your due-ups to expect chin music. Nowhere in the hidden code of baseball should someone be inclined to retaliate for an unfortunate foul-tip and backswing.
We won’t expect to see baseball do anything about this. After all, Manny Machado got just five games for hurling his bat at Oakland A’s third baseman Alberto Callaspo. Benches cleared. Machado continues to claim accident, and is appealing his suspension.
No the Rockies and Braves did not clear benches. And no these teams won’t see each other the rest of the season. But if baseball wants to stand by their “rules of the game”, they need to slap Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and pitcher David Carpenter with suspensions for turning a non-issue into four ejections, two bean balls, and igniting a fire that could’ve taken off quickly.
One thing is for certain, tempers are rising across baseball. And when someone decides to puff up their chest and do something stupid like the Braves did yesterday, the potential fallout is not only dangerous, it’s flat out ridiculous. Unless Bud Selig is interested in adding a “Summer Slam” event to spice up the dog days of summer.