I am certain that many of you have seen coverage of the brawl yesterday in the first inning of the Reds and Cardinals game. Some would ask if it was justified...and it is hard to say "yes" to such a question. Yet, Brandon Phillips, the Reds second baseman, had ridiculed the Cardinals team using expletives after the first game of the series Monday night, and said that he hated them on a number of occasions in a rant to reporters. All of this brought an already tense interdivision rivalry to a boiling point for game two. Perhaps the second game could have been played without incident, if not for the fact that Phillips went up for his first at bat and tapped the shin guards of Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, concerning which Molina took exception...he saw it as Phillips showing him up. So, it quickly became a stare down, jawing match and escalated into the brawl. It didn't help that managers Tony LaRussa of the Cardinals and Dusty Baker of the Reds plain don't like each other. Some would say that they escalated the affair. Who really knows...it was ugly, but then again -- that's baseball, in so many ways. So, to come back to the question, "is it justified"...there are just some things you do not do -- ridicule a family member of a rival, spit on a rival or...tap on the rival catcher's shin guard after going off on a tirade about said catcher's team. Here's to hoping that these two teams figuratively fight it out right down to the last week of the season...it will be good for baseball and better than actually fighting it out.
One quick comment about Nationals rookie Stephen Strasburg. He is a very good young pitcher, but he has no chance! Every little thing that he does is getting scrutinized to the nth degree. He is going to have to Hercules, physically and mentally, in order to deal with this constant scrutiny...especially regarding every mistake that he makes. I feel bad for the kid...and I really hope he succeeds and becomes a solid major league pitcher. Back off media...and let this young man develop. I am pulling for him.