Punk Move by Giants' Catcher Eli Whiteside in SF Tonight
Eli Whiteside might have thought that he was going to star in the first coming of Jackass, the Baseball Game tonight in San Francisco. The Giants' journeyman catcher (and that's not a compliment) could have hurt someone tonight -- and badly -- because he acted wrongly, dangerously and stupidly after his pitcher, Ramon Ramirez, started a bench-clearing brawl by hitting Phils' CF Shane Victorino in the back with two on and two out in the top of the sixth with the Phillies leading 8-2.
Ramirez was clearly headhunting -- the pitch was that bad. So what did Whiteside do after Victorino gestured toward Ramirez and took a few steps toward him? He moved in front of the plate -- which would have been okay had he wanted to simply stop something from escalating. But then he started jumping up and down, as if he wanted to start something and as if he wanted to start a fight. You'll see the replays and agree with me on this -- Whiteside was an escalator, not a peacemaker, and then the benches emptied and things got ugly -- lots of pushing and shoving, a few people falling, and someone could have gotten seriously hurt. As it was, Ramirez, Whiteside and Victorino were ejected, and the Phillies lead 8-2 in the top of the seventh. Now 9-2, as Hunter Pence just jacked one to left.
But what was Eli Whiteside thinking? There are ways to fire up your team, and there are ways to get your (very much sliding) team pumped up -- but picking a fight after your team made a dirty play is not one of them. And the Phillies have a lot of big guys on their roster, and they're not going to back down against anyone, especially a team that had their number in the post-season last year and with whom there's been bad blood. Thankfully, no one got hurt.
I am sure that there will be suspensions. My guess is that Whiteside will get the biggest one for his pro wrestling-like hijinx, Perhaps his manager, Bruce Bochy, likes his moxie, but Whiteside has guaranteed one thing -- the next time he comes to Philly, he'll join the roster of players who will get loudly booed -- alongside the Brothers Drew, umpire Joe West and Scott Rolen.
And with good reason.
These organizations are better than this. They should stick to playing baseball and leave the fighting to those who get paid to do it for a living. If the umpiring crew does it's job, it will ensure that the tensions simmer over the course of this and the next two games.