I wish I could say that I didn’t see the start of this week’s ‘feud’ (for lack of a better term) between the Reds and Cardinals coming awhile ago. I didn’t really see this exactly, but I wasn’t surprised either.
Okay, I’ll explain. I’ve been out of the loop here for a couple of weeks, so bear with me as I knock some cobwebs out…
|That slide is a long way away from home plate.
Photo by Ang
July 28 – Reds at Brewers. Brandon Phillips hit a long grand slam in a 10-2 drubbing of the brew crew. I caught an interview the next morning on Sportscenter with Phillips, and when asked how far he thought the home run had gone, his response was something along the lines of ‘500 feet! Woo! The guys were teasing me in the dugout, saying I had embarrassed them. But man, I hit that a long way!’ I apologize for not being able to track down said interview, but trust me, you didn’t miss much. It was quite a blast – hitting off of Bernie Brewer’s slide in left field and measured at 450 feet, not quite the 500 that one of our newest ‘friends’ of the CDD had predicted, but still a solid piece of hitting.
I shook my head at the interview, because I knew that there would not be kind words said about Phillips up here in the land of cheese. Needless to say, I was correct. Brewer fans are frustrated with how their season has played out to say the least, but having an opposing player mouth off did not sit well with anyone I know around here. I wasn’t feeling the love for Phillips myself, but at the time, despite my beginning a feeling of dislike of the player, I took solace in the fact that he wasn’t talking about my team.
Oh how things change. I’m not going to say that Phillips started a fire in the Cardinals, because I don’t want to give him that much credit. He absolutely doesn’t deserve it.
I will say I like the response the Cardinals have made over the last two days. I think the team has a fairly good tradition of letting their actions speak louder than words. There haven’t been a lot of ‘big talkers’ for the Cardinals over the years. You could look at players like a Bob Gibson, who made statements, but we never had a Rickey Henderson or Reggie Jackson, stirring up trouble and talking big to the media. Reach back to the Gas House Gang of the 1930’s and you’ll find such crazy personalities as Dizzy Dean, Leo Durocher and Pepper Martin, who talked loud and played louder, backing up every one of their crazy ideas with results. However, it took me 80 years of baseball history to get to some major Cardinal blabbermouths. I’m okay with that.
Last night’s melee began when Phillips tapped Yadier Molina’s shin guard before the game. I hadn’t really heard of this or noticed it before last night, but apparently it’s a greeting of some sort between hitters and catchers. Yadi rightly took offense and snapped at Phillips, and it escalated from there. BJ Rains had a quote from Yadi here, where we read,
“I was ready to start the game and he touched me,” Molina said. “With the comment that he made yesterday that he’s got no friends over here, why you touch me then? You are not my friend so don’t touch me. That’s exactly what I said. If we are not good for you, then you are not my friend.”
I couldn’t agree more. Why would you say, ‘I hate the Cardinals’ (among other things), then walk in the box and try to say, ‘Hey man, let’s have a good game.’ Not okay. But you know what? Yadi settled it on the field. Not in the papers, not in the post-game. He walked to the plate in his next at bat after the scuffle and blasted a home run over the wall. The same could be said for Ryan Franklin, who shut Phillips down in the 9th after saying that the comments weren’t worth talking about, as well as Skip Schumaker, who dropped a grand slam over the wall Monday night and said after the game that he wasn’t sure why anyone would say something like that.
When the Cardinal players heard about the comments that were made against them, most of them didn’t have much of a response. They kept their comments to themselves (at least as far as the media is concerned) and just said, ‘We’ll settle it on the field.’ They did, putting up 7 runs Monday night and 8 more last night. I love that, because I’d rather see runs on the scoreboard and wins in the standings than a war of words that are not backed up by solid play.
Game 3 starts early – 11:35 this morning! Let’s finish this shall we? Before I go, I did want to leave our newest friend with a note…
|That looks like it hurt! Poor baby!
Jim Prisching – AP Photo
Dear Mr. Phillips,
You said you would play against the Cards on one leg. To us, it’s looking like both your legs are working. Your bat, however, is having some issues. Your mouth might also be in need of a bar of soap, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Diamond Diary ladies. Please wash, rinse, and repeat. Thanks for playing, and feel free to keep that nice 1 for 10 stretch over the past two days going until October. Then you can talk all you want from the comfort of your own home.
October is for people whose actions speak louder than words.