When you think baseball, you think home runs; stolen bases, and diving catches. You think of robbing home runs off the wall and 10+ strikeout games from quality pitchers. When you think about baseball you do not really think about fighting! The bench-clearing brawl, which is one of the dumbest things in baseball to date, went a little overboard last week in San Diego.
The L.A. Dodgers were in San Diego facing the Padres and the Padres were down 2-1 when LA pitcher Zack Greinke hit San Diego Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin in the arm with a pitch. Quentin charged the mound after the hit and a bench-clearing brawl followed. During the fight Greinke had his collar bone broken, no thanks to Quentin. There is history between Greinke and Quentin when they played in the American league. Quentin is also a batter who crowds the plate a lot and has been hit by a pitch more than Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle combined. That being said Quentin did not need to charge the mound and attack Greinke, he should have just walked to first base and left it alone and no one would have been hurt. Unfortunately that is not how it turned out in the end, Greinke who needs surgery for the injury will be out for at least eight weeks. Quentin is suspended for 8 games by the league, but frankly I think he deserves more. Why the heck would Greinke hit a guy on a 3-2 count, you want him out, not walked, so beaning him is the dumbest thing that he could have done.
There were words exchanged between the two and Quentin claims that maybe if he would not have charged at him then nothing would have been said between the two, but frankly, I doubt that. There is a lot of ego in professional sports and baseball manages to get some of the worst cases of it, so does the NHL, NFL and NBA. Baseball is not a fighting sport, leave that to Boxing, MMA and even the NHL, it has contact between players, but it is still not a full contact sport, again leave that to the NHL and NFL where it is expected.
Baseball does not need that kind of aggression and it is fine without the contact and truthfully the fighting is unbelievably stupid. In my mind Quentin should be out as long a Greinke is injured, that way these moronic ideas of clearing the benches and charging the mound can be eliminated, I know it does not happen often; but when it does it is just plain moronic and should be eliminated in baseball forever. Of course in the end that is up to the league to decide, but when an injury like that happens maybe it is time to place a rule preventing such a thing from happening.
On to the NHL on April 11th 2013 the Montreal Canadiens clinched a playoff spot with a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. The Canadiens have gone a long way from last year when they were dead last in the east and looked like they might be stuck, but luckily Marc Bergevin and Michel Therien came into the fold and the team looks fantastic this season. Iam not going to go into depth about how this season has been, but I will talk about a few players that should be candidates for some of the awards at the end of the season. I know the focus of the players is usually never about the hardware except for the Stanley Cup and the fans should do the same, but it is hard to ignore the kind of season and the kind play this team has had this year.
First off the Masterton Trophey, which is given to the winner who is selected by a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association after each team nominates one player in competition. It is often awarded to a player who has come back from career- or even life-threatening illness or injury. The Canadiens have had a few winners in the passed such as Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Serge Savard, Saku Koivu and last years’ winner Max Pacioretty.
You probably know whom I am talking about, so I will not make an annoying build-up, it is Andrei Markov. The 34-year-old defensemen, who was one of the best Habs Defense-men for years and he has not played a full season in the NHL since the 2008-2009 seasons where he had a career high 64-point season. Markov was hit with injuries in his right and left knees, his left ankle and then his right knee again. This poor guy seems to have the worst luck, but this season has been different. In this lockout-shortened season so far Markov has played all the games and has (goals-points) and along with PK Subban has been a strong force on the power play.
The years Markov was injured were supposed to be a time where he would be considered to be in his “prime” and when you look at his stats before his injury he was getting better every year. The Habs also struggled to win sometimes when he was out of action. If Markov had not been injured he would have probably been nettling for the Noris Trophy with the Detroit Red Wings superstar Niklas Lindstrom. Unfortunately that was not in the stars for Markov, luckily this season has been a great one and hopefully “knock on wood” he has a few more good seasons ahead of him. That is why this season Markov deserves the Masterton award, because he still makes a difference on this team after those awful injuries.
I have a few more awards to mention that relate to the Habs, so check back later this week!
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