You might have seen, or at least heard, about a bunch of crazy crap went down yesterday in the Rockies/Indians Spring Training game. Ubaldo Jimenez hit Troy Tulowitzki with a pitch, spurring a confrontation between the former Rockies' Ace and the Rockies' current Star. The benches cleared, the umpire got a handle on things, and Tulowitzki was removed from the game - injured, not ejected.
Tulo's elbow seems to be "OK", that is, not broken, and he insists that he WILL be ready for Opening Day on Friday, so that's a bit of a relief.
As of this writing, there has not been any words on repercussions to Ubaldo Jimenez, but it's very likely they're coming.
Thing is, I'm having trouble seeing both sides of this issue. Mark Kiszla, through Twitter, made a point to mention Baseball Justice (TM): "A pitcher threw at a player out of retaliation. Why is everybody so surprised?". Sort of fair, but this really seems like a business/media decision and ensuing frustration being taken out on the playing field. Had Tulo taken Ubaldo yard and showed up Ubaldo in some fashion, sure, Baseball Justice dictates that the player should be watching for a fastball WAY inside. But Tulowitzki didn't do that. The Rockies' FO traded Ubaldo, not Tulowitzki.
Tulowitzki DID sound off on Ubaldo, but anything of weight came after the quotes from Jimenez saying that the organization had mistreated him. I'm choosing to look at Tulowitzki's quotes as defending the organization and basically saying "Look, your career is your business, and I'm not going to stand here and let you rip on my team."
What's killing me about this situation is that Ubaldo is really, really hurting himself with this ordeal. His stories haven't been straight between English and Latin speaking media outlets. Now that he's causing trouble for Colorado, the Rockies are a bit more free with what dirty laundry from 2011 they've been holding back.
This ongoing situation has been an absolute pain to cover. The Rockies, for better or for worse, are an organization very hesitant about bringing in controversial talent that's a risk to have these kinds of outbursts. Last time we saw something even remotely like this, Jeff Francis was suspended for 5 games back in 2007 for throwing behind Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Clint Hurdle one game as well - and that was strictly baseball. Doug Brocail was plunking Rockies, Jeff Francis threw behind Kouz. Done.
But this isn't a blame game, as far as I'm concerned. It's a sad story about a guy whose career has fallen apart and he wants to blame somebody for it. We could try and unearth reasons for WHY things aren't going great for Ubal since the trade, but that's really not the focus right now. The point is that Ubaldo's struggling in Cleveland, and he's mad at the Rockies for not securing his future in baseball for the foreseeable future.
Nobody's hands are clean in this story (except for Manny Acta, who apparently didn't even realize the backstory to the plunking). The Rockies can be blamed for Ubaldo's final inning in Purple. Tulo can be blamed for spouting off a bit too much in the papers. Ubaldo can be blamed for not pitching well and then trying to blame the entire Rockies' organization for it. And that's the worst part of it: grievances are being aired about the team I Love, our "Best in Baseball" Shortstop, and the pitcher who led us to believe that Colorado pitchers could, in fact, be elite. We get to see it all.
As I said before, this has been awful to cover. I sincerely hope that it's over.
Maybe this was missed in all of the hubbub, but our #1 starter had a really poor start - which is disturbing this close to Opening Day. I don't know if I'm supposed to be worried or not, but... well, he got hit pretty hard.
In more positive news, Tyler Colvin did some serious damage to Indians' pitching on Sunday, so I'll take that as a major positive.
Things Wilin Rosario has done this Spring Training:
- Bat .391 (1.099 OPS)
- Lead the team in HR (well, up until Sunday when Colvin tied him)
- Improve defensively - at least according to manager Jim Tracy.
Things Wilin Rosario has earned:
- A MLB roster spot on Opening Day.
Major kudos to Rosario.
I don't know about you folks, but I'm absolutely spent after Sunday's excitement. Talk amongst yourselves.