That’s like asking if hockey fights are good for hockey, are NBA scuffles are good for basketball, and are soccer scuffles good for their sport? In short, YES. Any sort of violence in sports leads to an eventual rivalry, it gets the fans more into the game, and it catches media attention from every angle!
Last night, the LA Dodgers faced off against the Arizona Diamondbacks and things got more than chippy. The benches emptied last night after a series of hit by pitches occurred from both teams. Rookie sensation Yasil Puig was hit right in the shnoz, and the LA Dodgers were right to retaliate in hitting Miguel Montero. Then Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy had to get all hard and plug Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke. The issue should have been squashed after the Dodgers got their revenge, but the Diamondbacks took it a bit too far, and that’s when tempers flared.
I say Ian Kennedy acted like a hardo, but if I were in that situation, I would have wanted to do the same exact thing. I plugged one of my best friends in high school right in between the numbers in a very chippy game. Our schools were big rivals and things got out of hand, and a message needed to be sent. Without the coach’s nod, I put one into his back and we were yelling at each other for the next inning or so. About a week later we were having beers again at a local Buffalo bar, but the physicality of the game was so exciting.
Baseball gets a bad rep for being a physical sport, so when you get the chance to flex your muscles, you usually do it. Players get these opportunities when:
- Pitchers hit opposing batters
- Batters charge the mound
- Base runners plow the catchers
- Managers/players argue and get ejected
- Batters pimp homeruns
- Hollering after a big play is made
So when these opportunities come about, can you really blame the guys for taking advantage. Yeah, so Ian Kennedy will get suspended 5-10 games, but that really only means he’s going to miss 1-2 starts. Ask any pitcher and they’ll tell you this is a vacation. Now instead of having to worry about the games ahead of you this week and planning and prepping for the big day, you get to do as you please. While games are going on, you’re hanging out in the dugout/bullpen playing ridiculous games, seeing who can spit sunflower seeds the farthest, talking about every sexual encounter you’ve ever had to your fellow pitchers, and pumping through a stupid amount of chewing tobacco. All in all I think Ian Kennedy has made worse decisions in his life than to dot a second LA Dodgers in last night’s game.
So when the question comes about, “Are baseball brawls good for the MLB?” you can quickly answer yes and list these reasons:
- It is the talk of the town in the entire sports world for the next week.
- The media absolutely smothers the story and baseball becomes the hot sporting topic in the midst of another major sport’s championship (NBA).
- The fans love it. Just like in hockey, more people are on their feet when a fight breaks out than there are when a goal is scored.
- A sport like baseball, given all the controversial topics going on today, needs a spark like this to distract the upset fans.
- It creates a newfound rivalry between two teams that have previously never had one.
- It makes every pitch more exciting for the rest of the game.
- For the lack of physical contact there is in baseball, it needs as much of this stuff as it can get.