A bad season just got worse. Elvis Andrus breaks his elbow after being hit by a pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning of a worthless game.
And just like that the best hitter in a lineup desperate for offense is lost for a significant amount of time.
This is the part of baseball I absolutely hate. The immature part. The retaliation.
You hit one of my guys, I am going to hit one of your guys.
Of course, everyone is going to look with feigned surprise that someone would even suggest those kinds of things happen.
“The pitch just got away from me.”
“It wasn’t intentional.”
Right. And it cost the Rangers their most productive hitter.
When asked to speculate if the pitch thrown at Elvis Andrus was intentional, Rangers manager Jeff Banister put on his innocent face and replied, “It’s a fair question but I am not going to speculate on anything about that.”
Yep, best to sweep the whole thing under the rug so your indiscretions are hidden too.
You can’t just blame this on Mike Scioscia. Jeff Banister had a part in this as well.
Four batters were hit in this game.
When you have that many, it’s on purpose.
First rookie starter Jaime Barria hit Robinson Chirinos with a pitch. It was probably an accident. He was pretty wild and, this being his first major league start, was filled with adrenaline.
But, just in case, you have to retaliate. So, “coincidentally” Matt Bush hit the Angels catcher Rene Rivera with a pitch. The last time Matt Bush “accidentally” hit someone with a pitch was Jose Bautista, as retaliation for the Bat Flip. And that led to The Punch.
What led to the pitch that eventually sidelined Elvis Andrus happened in the seventh inning.
Attempting to break up a double play, Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons slid hard into Jurickson Profar at second, knocking him to the ground.
Well, how dare he?
That kind of action demands a reaction. Every baseball man knows that. And there are no more quintessential baseball men than the managers in both dugouts last night.
You cannot do that to my guy without expecting us to do something to your guy. It’s the Baseball Code.
The Rangers made sure the retaliation was aimed at the Angels’ best guy.
In the top of the ninth inning, Tony Barnett “accidentally” hit Mike Trout with a pitch.
In the mafia-want-to-be world of Major League Baseball, that needed to be paid back.
The payback happened in the bottom of the ninth when Angels closer Keynan Middleton hit Elvis Andrus in the arm with a fastball.
And just like that this Sesame-Street-level tit for tat ended up sending Elvis Andrus to the disabled list.
There are a lot of things to love about baseball. There are a lot of things to hate.
Grown men throwing tantrums and executing grudges with baseballs thrown at 90-plus miles an hour is certainly a dark part of the game.
And it’s always the same. The next day, everyone is shocked that the other team had the audacity to do that to our team. How dare they?
And the other team will be offended that anyone even suggested they do such a thing to besmirch their honor. How dare they?
And the next time they meet, the stupidity will resume.