Thoughts on Sunday’s Antics

The Brewers suck.

As you all know, the Bucs lost in 14 innings on Sunday.  Gerrit Cole had one of the best starts of his young career, with the only blemish in his 8 innings being a Mark Reynolds solo home run.  But the big story was the brawl that cleared both benches and both bullpens.  In the 3rd inning, Carlos Gomez sent a pitch to deep centerfield.  Cutch just missed making a web gem catch as he climbed the wall, and Gomez got all the way to third base as the ball ricocheted off the wall and back towards the infield.  Gomez flipped his bat, stared as the ball sailed through the air, and totally pimped it until he realized that it didn’t clear the fence.  Cole wasn’t happy with Gomez, and barked at him as he walked towards third.  He got up and the benches cleared.  After taking a swing and a miss, Gomez was knocked down by Travis Snider, both of whom were ejected once things settled down.  Martin Maldonado planted his fist into Snider’s face, which was apparently cut by his sunglasses.  Russell Martin and Rickie Weeks were also right in the action, but both of them remained in the game.

This isn’t the first time Gomez has showboated and got in trouble.  Last weekend, he flipped his bat when he hit a sac-fly against the Bucs.  In September, he incited a brawl between the Brewers and the Braves after he admired a home run (off of Paul Maholm, no less.)  The Braves infielders barked at him as he rounded the bases and Brian McCann met him halfway up the third base line and got right in his face.

Anyone who has followed the Pirates for more than a couple years knows that there has been some sourness towards the Brewers, who used to absolutely own the Bucs.  Ryan Braun‘s situation has made the hatred towards the Brew Crew even stronger (props to those in attendance that let Braun hear it this weekend,) and now this happens.  Milwaukee is a good team.  Much better than last year.  That lineup is very powerful, and the pitching is solid.  But it’s tough to respect a team that plays like a bunch of scumbags.  The Cardinals are good, and we as Pirate fans have plenty of reasons to despise them.  But you at least have to respect the St. Louis organization.  Ryan Braun failed a drug test, won his appeal, called himself a “victim” and acted high and mighty before it was revealed that he was indeed on steroids and got suspended last season.  Carlos Gomez showboats, the other team has something to say about it, and he says that he won’t apologize and claims that Snider started the brawl.  How can you respect a team that does things like that?  Should Cole have even confronted Gomez?  Probably not.  But just because he did doesn’t make it okay for Gomez to start swinging his helmet at people.

As far as the Pirates go, this might be just what they need.  This could be something that unifies them and really brings them together.  They needed something like this to get them going.  Last year, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks had one of the biggest brawls in recent history, and the Dbacks went on to win the game, which was in LA.  The Dodgers soon went on a tear, winning 42 of 50 games.  Maybe Sunday’s scuffle with the Brew Crew can spark the Bucs in a similar way.

Here’s the link to the full fight, from the ROOT broadcast.

Snider dropping Gomez in gif form:


And here’s a still image:


(photo via Christopher Horner of Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)



Go Bucs, screw the Brewers

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Sunday’s Antics”

  1. Whoa, wait just a minute. Let’s get some facts straight here.

    First of all, both Carlos Gomez and Gerrit Cole could have acted like professionals, and this would have never escalated to a brawl. Cole was wrong to say something to Gomez. It’s not the first time a guy has flipped a bat after hitting a deep ball, and it won’t be the last. Cole could have struck him out. Instead, he gave up a rocket over the center fielder’s head.

    Could Carlos have just kept his mouth shut? Yes. Was he showboating by flipping his bat? No. He flips his bat all the time. On home runs. On doubles. On balls that are caught. Search the net. There are multiple videos on Youtube of him doing just that. And after the game, Gomez said he thought the ball was going to be caught. Gomez is a high energy guy. He flips bats. He sprints around the bases at full speed when he hits a home run. Both should be held accountable, but the commissioner will only suspend Gomez. Cole deserves to miss a start, too, but he won’t.

    And this line: “there has been some sourness towards the Brewers, who used to absolutely own the Bucs.”

    We’ve played you seven times this season, and won six of them. You were 12-7 against us last year, a season when Ryan Braun basically only played 40 games healthy, and Aramis Ramirez, who managed to play in 92 games, wasn’t healthy at all. Oh, and Corey Hart, our first baseman who hit 30 home runs in 2012, missed the entire season. The trio of Braun, Ramirez and Hart hit 98 home runs between them in 2012. In 2013, they combined for 21 home runs. Our team was absolutely decimated by injuries. It was the first good season you’ve had in two decades (and I give Pittsburgh all the credit for a great season!), but you weren’t facing the real Brewers. Beating up on them was no great accomplishment. Now, we are healthy again, and look what’s happened. The Brewers are back to beating Pittsburgh like they normally do.

    And regarding Braun. Yes, he failed a drug test. He didn’t take a performance enhancing drug. He took a steroid to help accelerate healing of the calf injury that had been nagging him all of the 2011 regular season. That’s why his testosterone level was incredibly high. That’s why he’s continued playing at an MVP level since 2011, when he tested positive. He’s been under intense scrutiny since then, and I’m sure he’s being tested much more often. What’s happened since the positive test? He was the MVP runner up in 2012 (and should have won it. His numbers put Posey’s to shame). Last year, he was putting up MVP numbers again before he hurt his thumb (37 games into the 2013 season, Braun was batting .330 with 8 home runs, 28 RBI and a .955 OPS. And this year, again his thumb is hurting him, but he’s learning to deal with it. 19 games in, he leads the NL in home runs and runs scored, and he’s top ten in slugging and RBI. He’s still the same player he’s been since he broke into the Majors in 2007, and set the all-time rookie SLG percentage mark Does the fact that he took something to heal make it any less wrong? Absolutely not. He broke the rules that Major League Baseball had in place. While I can certainly understand wanting to be at 100% for what he knew would probably be Milwaukee’s only chance at making a run to the World Series (with Prince Fielder leaving after the season), he still used something prohibited by the league. And yes, he did lie about it. As a Brewers fan, I was really disappointed by his actions. I was most disappointed because he was not honest about what he did. It cast a dark shadow over the entire team. It hurt the game I love, too. But you’re taking a lot of creative license here saying he “acted all high and mighty”, and “played the victim”. His suspension was overturned on procedural grounds. When he gave his press conference after the suspension, he laid out how he and his defense team presented their information to the three man arbitration panel. Essentially, he told everybody how he won. The speech was probably written by one of the lawyers, as Braun was still restricted by procedural confidentiality. Of course, Ryan had to approve the content. Ultimately, he was responsible for what he said.

    The sample taken by the collector was not delivered to Fed Ex, as the collective agreement between MLB and the Player’s Union required. The urine sample was provided to Laurenzi Jr at 5 pm. There were five Fed Ex locations within 5 miles of Miller Park open until 9 pm, including one that was 24 hours. The collector instead took his specimen home, put it in a Rubbermaid container, and left it in his basement office for 44 hours.

    What did Braun say in the press conference? (paraphrasing)”why didn’t he (Laurenzi Jr) take the specimen in? On the day he did take it in, the Fed Ex opened at 7am. Why didn’t he take it in until 1:30 pm? Why was there no documentation? We found some things out about the collector, about how the sample was handled, and it raised a lot of questions, and suspicion about what could have happened.

    That’s not accusing the collector of wrongdoing at all. It’s allowing for the possibility that the sample, which still had Braun’s name on it, was accessible for nearly two full days, and the collector, who has been doing this job for years, knew where the drop off locations were, and how late they were open.

    THAT is what Braun is saying when he states “we learned some things about the collector.” Sports media like ESPN and Yahoo are trying to make that out to be something sinister. In fact, they were learning about his work history.Laurenzi had been working as a collector since 2005, so he should have known where the locations were closest to Miller Park, and how late they were open. Laurenzi, in his statement, said that by the time he finished his collections, there wasn’t a Fed Ex location within 50 miles that would have taken the package. That’s 100% false.

    But here’s what people are not grasping. Braun is not accusing Laurenzi of tampering with the package containing his urine sample. Not by a long shot. What he and his defense team DID do was, in essence, create reasonable doubt. Now, arbitration is not a criminal court, obviously. But the three man arbitration panel only have to be convinced that the possibility of tampering existed. Braun’s team exposed a weakness in the collective drug treatment protocol. The package, because it was at the collector’s home for 44 hours, could have been tampered with. And, the sample could have degraded (much like Diane Modhal’s sample). The protocol created risk. In a criminal trial, if evidence is mishandled, or if chain of custody is broken, the evidence or testimony can become inadmissible. It doesn’t matter if Laurenzi held the sample in his home, and he didn’t tamper with it. The possibility existed where he could have. The defense team didn’t have to prove he did something to it, only that he had the opportunity to do so. That meant any testing done on that sample could not be held.

    Finally, I had to laugh when you said we had to respect the Cardinals organization. Really? Their players are some of the biggest hypocrites in baseball. Here’s an article for you to read:

    Also, I love it when Cardinal fans boo Braun, but cheer for their newest acquisition, Jhonny Peralta. Wasn’t he suspended, too, for steroid use? Ah, 50 games, if I recall. By the way, how’s Jhonny doing for the Cards? He’s hitting .172 with a .243 OBP and a .406 SLG. But he has 4 home runs, so clearly he doesn’t need steroids, right? Card fans have had no problem cheering him, but they boo Braun mercilessly because (what’s the meme? Oh yeah. “He destroyed that poor collector’s life!). I didn’t see them boo Mark McGwire when he was hitting his 70 home runs. He lied in front of Congress, didn’t he? Yet they cheer him on at Busch. Of course, he was just the most talented power hitter in the history of the game, breaking Roger Maris’ 37 year old record by NINE home runs! Right? Only Babe Ruth had ever managed 60 before Maris hit 61. Then this guy hits nine more than anybody in the history of the game! There’s more I could get into, about Tony LaRussa and his holier than thou attitude. Hey Tony, you turned your head when McGwire, Canseco, and Terry Steinbach started seeing massive increases in their home run totals while you were in Oakland. No steroids there, right? Hey, look at Steinbach. The second you leave, this guy who in his ten prior seasons never hit more than 16 homers in a year suddenly hits 35 freaking home runs in 1996. Ya, that’s not at all suspicious! Then, he never hits more than 14 again. What in the name of Brady Anderson is going on here? LaRussa rode the PED train to his World Series title. Nine home runs in the 4 game series. Wink wink.

    Cardinal fans, at least the ones on the internet, are some of the most arrogant people you’d ever want to talk to. Their organization is no better than any other in the Majors.

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