Photo Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Congratu-fucking-lations, Yordano Ventura, you clown. You’ve somehow made me — and surely a whole host of other Jays fans — sympathize with Manny Machado and the useless trash-bird Orioles.
Few of us could ever accomplish so much with so few brain cells!
Ventura, of course, is the Kansas City Royals twerp with an attitude problem who likes to exploit MLB’s pathetic coddling of pitchers who intentionally throw at hitters by brazenly doing just that — and, according to Jeff Passan’s latest for Yahoo! Sports, openly talking about it with teammates.
Hey, Yordano. The guys who are going to get retaliated on with a pitch in the ribs — because MLB does such a toothless, shitty, complicit job of policing this matter — apparently aren’t quite as cool with you putting them in the line of fire as you think. At least one of them spoke to Passan about it, either some time before or after Ventura’s hardest-thrown pitch of last night hit Machado and sparked a brawl.
Recently, inside the Kansas City Royals’ clubhouse, Yordano Ventura was talking about how he planned on hitting Jose Bautista with a pitch the next time he faced him. The people around Ventura rolled their eyes, tired of the bluster, done with the immaturity, hopeful he was playing fugazi instead of the on-field arsonist they’d seen too many times for their liking. Among his teammates and in the Royals’ front office alike, they’ve long waited for Ventura to grow up, only to end up amazed at how he manages to plumb beneath even his own low standards.
I didn’t take him for a Fugazi fan, but that hardly repairs his image in my mind!
Ventura, you’ll remember, laid into Bautista with a Twitter rant last August, warning (in Spanish, translated in the piece I’ve linked) that “MLB doesn’t get cancelled after this season” and “You need to stop giving signs. You’re going to really get it from me for being fresh.” He later apologized, but — shock of shocks! — it appears that was entirely hollow.
But the thing is, meat clowns like Ventura are going to exist. What doesn’t need to exist — and what I’ve ended up talking about following situations like these for quite a long time now — is MLB’s tolerance of dumb frontier justice, and in particular, their feeble punishments.
Case in point: the mere fine that Matt Bush received for hitting Bautista and setting up the infamous run-in with yet another shithead, Rougned Odor.
Josh Donaldson got straight to the nut of the issue when he ranted about baseball’s culture of beanballs following his own incidents in the Twins series a few weeks back.
“You saw Stanton a couple years ago — he got hit in the face. The ball crushed his face,” said Donaldson in the middle of a truly righteous rant to reporters after Sunday’s game. “It doesn’t take much in order to break these bones in your face. And Phil Hughes didn’t throw the ball at my face. But it only takes an eighth of an inch off your release point in order to for the ball to go somewhere else.”
There is an easy way to lessen the number of these occurrences dramatically, and that’s by actually punishing pitchers in a way that fits the potential seriousness of their crime. Yet, when MLB hands out a piffling fine to Matt Bush, what do you think that says to a moron like Ventura?
Get your shit together, Joe Torre.