Posted on: September 9, 2008 4:31 pm
Edited on: September 11, 2008 12:40 pm

Worthy of punishment?

If you didn't see the live version of it last night, I would hope you've seen it in highlights today.  I'm talking about the all-out brawl between the Yankees' Ivan Rodriguez and the Angels' Torii Hunter

Who was involved?  I don't really care.  Who started it?  Not a concern either.  What really irks me here is the reaction in the aftermath of the event. 

As it's been said, Pudge and Hunter are supposedly friends off the field and later made amends for the act.  I doubut I'd have the same reaction if I went to pounce on one of my friends.  Who knows, maybe I would if we were REALLY good friends. 

-- "Torii is a nice guy. We apologized to each other," Rodriguez said. "He's a very professional player and so am I. I've been in baseball for 18 years and I've never started a fight. I compete and I compete hard. And sometimes when you compete hard, things like that happen."

HUMMMM, I'm not so sure I buy that either.  I don't recall Michael Phelps fighting the French swimmers after their smack talk in Beijing during the Olympics on his way to a record eight gold metals.  I could be wrong though, but I don't think so. 

And from Hunter -- "It happened so fast...I don't know if Pudge thought I pushed him. He pushed me. It just got frustrating."

To me, that statement sounds like it comes from someone who is trying to prove he didn't do anything rather than truly apologetic for the incident - faulty or not.

The AP reporter descirbed manager Joe Girardi as, "glad to see some feistiness in his team." 

Girardi even said, "It's not something that you want to see happen, but it's emotion...Pudge was showing emotion, and I'm OK with that. Emotion is a good thing. It's baseball. Boys being boys."

This is when I really am in awe.  I didn't realize baseball rules included emotion leading to fights in the rulebook as okay.  And "boys being boys" -- these aren't boys.  They're men.  And, they should set an example for the boys who look up to and admire them. If my son got in a fight at a Little League game I certainly wouldn't tell him, "it's okay - it's just boys being boys."  and I wouldn't expect a coach to condone it either. 

I'm not saying that these things don't happen sometimes.  Like Angels manager Mike Scioscia said,  "It was an unfortunate incident."  -- And it certainly was.  I just think that it should not have been blatenly condoned by coaches or the players.

Update: So Pudge and Hunter were suspended for two games each.  I agree with the judgement, do you?  It all seems fair although but both players were previously scheduled to sit out one of the games anyway.  What about Girardi?  Do you think his original comments were worthy of any ramifications?  I would have to say that's  stretch, but i still don't agree with it. 

Torii said the most respectable thing after the punishment was handed down, "I figured it would be like a game, but two? I didn't expect that... You do the crime, you got to do the time.."  -- Good for you Torii,

Pudge's reaction you ask?  Is he truly sorry or willing to take responsibility for his actions?  You be the judge:

"That was just part of the game," he said. "It was just two players that love to play the game, that play the game hard and it happens. I'll just take it now, so I can be ready Saturday."

Posted on: August 1, 2008 3:24 pm

Midseason trades: What does it all mean?

Here  a few thoughts on the trades that went down:

In the American League . . .

For the moment, the Rays have the lead in the AL East and they need to keep playing how they've been all season.  But with a few monster trades, the Yankees will certainly be breathing down their necks.  I like their additions, but just not sure why they never went full-speed ahead for pitching help in the back-end of the rotation.  And as for Boston, Jason Bay has stats similar to Manny, but comes with less experience.  There's no doubt he's more of a team player so it could be a good mix for Boston.

In the Central, Griffey to the White Sox was an interesting move.  With the Twins closing in on the lead, you’d think they would go with more of a WOW trade, but maybe he can shake up the lineup in Chicago enough. 

As for the West, well, the Angels got themselves a little “October” insurance with the addition of Teixeira.  The Angels have shown some interest in keeping him around so the offseason will be interesting. 

In the National League . . .

I'm surprised there weren't more "big moves" in the NL East.  The Mets, Phillies and Marlins are all within a game or two and nobody really made a make-it (or break-it) trade. 

Despite the Brewers' recent losing streak, I still think the addition of CC Sabathia is a good one for the Brewers and will make the NL Central race a tight one to the very end. 

And, in the West? Will Manny's addition to the Dodgers lineup give them an edge over the Diamondbacks?  We'll soon see.  Although, I'm sure he'll add some drama, somehow.  I think Manny could have really made a difference for the Marlins, but in the end, I think it's better he didn't end up there.  Nobody expected the Marlins to be where they are and perhaps one of the reasons they are playing so well and still in the hunt is because of good chemistry in the clubhouse.  Who knows if it all would've exploded when Manny arrived.

Check out the complete TRADE ANALYSIS for an in-depth look at the trades.  
What do you think was the biggest midseason trade?  Do you think any were a total bust?  Which teams missed the boat?

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com