Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Giants Escape Brawl Unscathed

While the Philadelphia Phillies backed their play on the scoreboard, winning three of four from the San Francisco Giants last weekend, off the field they took a beating in the post-brawl suspension game. The Flying Hawaiian, Shawn Victorino is going to have enough time to visit the island after getting slapped with a three-game vacation which he is appealing. What is appalling, none of the Giants players will be missing any game time!
Not pitcher Ramon Ramirez, nor catcher Eli Whiteside or infielder Pablo Sandoval. You have to remember this was a punch-less bench clearing encounter so how can one man be the fall guy?

At the scene of the crime, the Giants were again getting their behinds handed to them 8-2 in the 6th inning on Friday night. They had already gotten beat the previous night 3-0, in front of over 42-thousand fans at AT&T Park. After Jimmy Rollins stole second and Placido Polanco reached on an infield hit, San Francisco reliever Ramon Ramirez hit Victorino square in the back. The Philadelphia Centerfielder, who had already homered in the game and singled earlier, took about four steps towards the mound before Whiteside jumped in front of him. As others including home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski stepped into the space between Victorino and Ramirez, Whiteside who’d been jumping around like a prize fighter, tackled Polanco and the benches ended up clearing to the field. In the scrum, no real punches were thrown with the exception of the one Sandoval got away with in the middle of the melee. Victorino did end up eventually in the middle of it all after a second effort to get away from several peace makers but did no harm to the opposition.

9-2 ended up being the final score as the Phillies went on to win three of the four games in the series. But on the brawl scoreboard, Victorino paid the price for just taking a few steps towards the mound. No charge, no pointing, no threats. Apparently he just wanted to know why Ramirez hit him. The three main Giants involved all received undisclosed fines but how they escape without missing game time is a mystery to all expect themselves. “Victorino's aggressive actions prolonged the bench-clearing incident between the Clubs," the commissioner's office said in announcing the penalties. As expected the Giants had no problem with the final decision on the incident. "I thought it was well done," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of MLB's decisions. "And I'm not saying that because we didn't have any suspensions. It was pretty clean out there." Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel had a different point of view. "They were the ones that provoked it." "Vic probably felt like he had to stand up for himself. Usually when you get into things like that on the field, and you get into a little pushing and fighting, whatever you want to call it, somebody gets suspended. And when you get one of your front-line players suspended, it hurts the team of course because of the games they miss. But it's good that it was just one guy."

While the Phillies end up with a four out of seven season series wins, this could just be a warm-up once again for the National League Championship Series. The Giants shocked the world last post-season with their upset in the NLCS. But this time come October, the victory they just won in brawl-gate, might be their last over the Fightin’ Phils.

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