The Diamondbacks chief baseball officer, Tony La Russa came out to defend his club against the recent criticism that they are the “dirtiest team in baseball.”
After the apparent retaliation against the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen last weekend, La Russa said, “I don’t see where the Diamondbacks should catch all this [expletive] they’re catching,” according to azcentral.com.
The recent drama started after Arizona Diamondbacks’ Randall Delgado threw a pitch that ultimately ended up hitting McCutchen in the back. Delgado said that the pitch simply got away from him, but the Pirates organization firmly suspects that it was done in attempt to get payback for Dbacks’ Paul Goldschmitt suffering a season-ending broken left hand, the night before. The injury occured after being hit with a pitch from Pirates’ reliever, Ernesto Frieri.
McCutchen hit a sacrifice fly and grabbed his left side as he jogged to first base Sunday. He said he couldn’t be sure if getting hit caused the injury but that he has “taken a million swings and have never felt anything in my side until Sunday.”
Andrew McCutchen has since been diagnosed with “avulsion fracture involving the costochondral cartilage of the left 11th rib.”
“I was just sick to my stomach when I saw Paul got hit,” Tony La Russa said, according to MLB.com. “I was bothered when McCutchen got hit. I was bothered by it because I dislike that part of the game.”
La Russa has a history of telling his pitchers to retaliate. Tony said Tuesday that it’s unfair the Dbacks have been widely criticized for the McCutchen incident, but Goldschmidt’s injury, as a result of a pitched ball, has largely been ignored.
“I’ve heard a lot about McCutchen getting hit, but I haven’t seen nearly as much about Goldschmidt, who isn’t going to play the rest of the season,” Tony La Russa said, according to MLB.com.
“I think, wait a minute, five runs down in the ninth and this guy’s lost and he’s every bit the player that McCutchen is. They’re in contention, but that makes no difference. There’s a big difference between getting hit here [in the hands] and getting hit here [in the back]. That’s why I think it’s unfair. I think it will continue to be unfair because I don’t think this message will get out. It’s not a popular response, so they’ll just dismiss it.”
Finally, to round out his argument, Tony La Russa pointed out that the Diamondbacks have only hit 32 batters this season, while the Pittsburgh Pirates, whose philosophy is to pitch up and in, have hit 61. This is the most in the majors.
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