Welcome to spring. Ahem… (Plays the William Tell Overture on a record player). That’s more like it. Welcome to Spring, where the sun is shining bright. The birds are chirping. The temperature is warm. The baseball field is active and full of people. The vendor is selling beer and Cracker Jack™. The pitchers switch teams and bean their opponents. The dugouts clear. And…. What? (scratching record to silence). Is that right?
So Sunday, the Rockies host the Cleveland Indians at Salt River Fields. It was a a normal Spring Training game. I didn’t care who was pitching because it is Spring Training. But I was glad that baseball was on the air. It was Guthrie vs. Jimenez. Yes, Ubaldo, the pitcher we traded to Cleveland for Pomeranz (among others). As we get to the bottom of the first inning, Troy Tulowitzki comes to bat. I can remember Jack Corrigan’s call: “And here’s the pitch. That hit Tulo on the back. And that was intentional.” And immediately, the dugouts clear. Fortunately, players and umpires got in the middle so there wasn’t a fight. But Tulo left the field and had his elbow x-rayed (fortunately turning up negative). Warnings issued and the game game would be wild on the scoreboard. It didn’t matter much that Cleveland won 12-10. This one incident dominated Twitter for hours (and would trend again today.)
Denver has a way of constantly talking about their star sports figures. Bronco country (the dominant team) has John Elway, Tim Tebow, and Payton Manning, much to my chagrin. Nuggets tend to talk about Chauncey Billups (even if he’s gone). Avalanche fans love Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, or Matt Duchene. For us Rox fans, we could talk about the Blake Street Bombers*, or in recent years Helton, Tulo, CarGo, and yes, Jimenez. Yes, even when Ubaldo was traded, he continued to hold sympathy. But two factors changed this: the first was the media interviews this spring (Ringolsby, Kiszla, et al.) showing his betrayal, and I’ve . Ubaldo nailed the coffin of doubt shut with yesterday’s game. As Ubaldo left the game, he encountered enough boo’s to rival Phillip Rivers or Carmelo Anthony, despite a spring training game.
Was it really an accident? Ubaldo claims it was. Then again, he was allowed to talk after some hesitation from Indians staff, and was on a very short leash. But ask any Rockies fan, Jack Corrigan or Jerry Schemmel (@jschemmel6):
And trust me, it was intentional. No matter what ubaldo says.
Jim Tracy, with his “horseshit” talk that he’s been known for in 2009, was really . And as the videos start to surface, it was giving a bigger picture of the matter of the intent. Here’s @Buster_ESPN’s tweet:
For those interested, here’s the ESPN.com video link to the Tulo/Jimenez incident. espn.go.com/video/clip?id=…
But even before this, I was thinking this: Troy was batting in his first plate appearance, and you hit him on the first pitch. This does not make sense for it being ‘accidental’. And then the hostility rises almost immediately. I’m not buying it. I don’t care what happens off the field either. And Ubaldo would naturally say it was an accident to the media, if you want hope of avoiding or minimizing a suspension and/or fine. Unfortunately for Ubaldo, he chose a game where Bud Selig was in attendance.
For Rockies fans, I think @Townie813 says it right:
New Post: The day Ubaldo Jimenez lost my respect http://t.co/iRYVXBS6 #rockies #mlb
Also read his blog, as he has some great things to say. Yeah, I’ve lost respect for him as well. I sure hope that he gets 5 games, as this is precedented by Jeff Francis in 2007. (Breaking news, @TroyRenck is reporting this is the case.)
One errant pitch costs Ubaldo five games. #Indians starter suspended and fined. No Rockies disciplined. http://t.co/9sdGSz07
. A 5 game suspension means 1 starting game for a starting pitcher. I disagreed in 2007 about this, but at least this is precedent. As for Ubaldo, I now associate him as #douchebag for his actions. I had respect for him, but he proves that as a fan, you don’t know a player unless you know them personally. And he has proven he is full of deceit, which obliterated all respect I had for him. I was hoping he could salvage his career by getting his high heat back. But now, I’m sorry. I have nothing bad to say about the Indians, since they are doing what they have to in a defensive manner. I don’t agree that someone could hold such a grudge, and by letting it interfere with the current job on hand, which is to get people out and winning a game. I’m glad we got rid of Ubaldo when we did, and good luck to him. If he wants to stay a pro in the MLB, let him prove it by his actions. But I will close with this quote from @ProSportsColo:
Bud had to do it – you plunk a guy in front of the commish, yer gonna get suspended. Ubaldo suspended for 5… http://t.co/VsRL1TRX
Too many people to quote and some of your tweets were not used. But I’ll contribute these people anyways for the conversation: @Ms_APayne @Townie813 @TroyRenck @TracyRingolsby @knitster @bertjanb @PoseidonsFist @RockiesReview @Buster_ESPN @mtromero @harding_at_mlb @danluceroshow @jschemmel6 @paundersdp @dondingee @ProSportsColo
Around the diamond
Troy Tulowitzki says he’s not going to miss opening day because of the hit. So that’s good news. But I’ll link David Martin’s blog post because he has a good insight that he admits 140 characters is not enough.
Also Rockies related, but not Ubaldo related: Jamie Moyer makes the rotation. That’s always great to hear, and not just because of his age. He is a legitimate pitcher. I’ll link it to @RockiesReview Rockies Review blog. Also, Buster Olney has some good news to report on Jason Giambi.
Since this is the Ubaldo edition, I love what @sillychurro2 has to say about it:
@druidlove because he is. I prefer Ubaldouche
And here’s a bonus from @PoseidonsFist:
Most #Rockies fans seem to be feeling like this: http://t.co/mmsZdAIF via @rockiesmagicnum)