I was hesitant to write this because I feel that I am mostly preaching to the choir here on GLB, but I wanted to put it out there after seeing how the baseball world has reacted to the fight between the Dodgers and the Padres last night. After the game, and especially after the news of Greinke's injury, I expected Dodger fans to be irate and say totally inappropriate and nonsensical things (because that is what I would do if a Dodger injured a Padre star), but I am surprised at how harsh the national media has been on Quentin. Before I go on to try and show that Quentin is not a blood thirsty villain I do want to make sure that I am clear: I do not support what Quentin did, and think he does deserve whatever the standard punishment is for charging the mound (10 day suspension?).
With that out of the way I want to address all the people who are saying Quentin is a mean idiot. First of all, I don't want to take people too literally, but I believe that people can be extremely intelligent and still be emotional. While there are all sorts of other judgment calls that have been made about Quentin that I do not agree with I would rather talk about something that is being overlooked, and that is Quentin's history. Quentin does not have a history of being unprofessional, but the media is covering him as if they were discussing Nyjer Morgan. The fact that Quentin has been hit by pitches over 100 times in his career but never charged the mound before last night leads me to believe that something was different. This is the fact that I think, if it had been the other way around and Quentin was the higher paid of the two and played for the more "relevant" team, would be brought up; but because people know the Dodgers, they know Greinke, and he got hurt it is easy for most people to side with him.
That was as objective as I could possibly be, but now I will tell you what I saw as different about this situation through my biased, Padre fan eyes. It started by being a high stress situation in a close game between rivals. Quentin was in his first game back after thinking his wrist was broken by a Dodger pitcher, only to be hit again. Quentin is used to being hit by pitches, but everyone's adrenaline was high and he was just a little more affected by this HBP than usual. Dropping his bat he glared at the mound before taking his base. Rather than hitting him and leaving it at that Greinke, being the punk kid that he seems to be, decides to taunt Quentin because hey, worst comes to worst they get in a fight and everyone sides with the star pitcher. Quentin, in an extremely rare case, lost his temper when Greinke yelled (something inflammatory I would assume) at him. I don't know about you, but I have been there...Stress is building up and you just can't take it when someone provokes you...Any way, once Greinke had taunted the big friendly giant enough to have him make a mistake, he really can't back down either so a fight ensues. After that things got crazy and I am not even going to try and reason what happened after the initial charge...
If I could only write one sentence, rather than an article, I would say: Quentin lost it, and what he did was not OK; but looking at his past he obviously is not the kind of person who normally acts like that and this should be seen as uncharacteristic of him rather than a display of his character.