Baseball Notes for June 17, 2013: MLB and Its Hypocritical Stance on Brawls

MacWilliams

Although a major brawl last week between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks resulted in eight suspensions and a dozen fines, the incident is yet another reminder of what a joke on-field fights and the subsequent reaction of Major League Baseball have become.

Tempers flared after Dodgers’ rookie sensation Yasiel Puig was hit in the face by a pitch, followed by a back-and-forth retaliatory actions by both sides.

Managers Don Mattingly and Kirk Gibson were banned for one game each, while Dodgers’ hitting coach Mark McGwire earned two games because of behavior which resembled an enraged rhinoceros. The punishments are more of a show than punitive in nature. It seems that MLB’s reaction to such incidents is really an unsaid acceptance that brawls are good for business because of the attention they draw. If baseball truly wanted to crack down on on-field fighting, they could do so very easily. Their insistence in staying with the status quo indicates a sanctioning of loosely-controlled violence that spices up games. No matter how egregious brawls are, suspensions and fines are generally light and often reduced upon appeal (although it is rare that an explanation is given in such cases). Continue reading

Random Questions With Former Phillies Catcher Dave Watkins

Watkins

Many baseball players have the singular goal of doing whatever it takes to reach the major leagues. Even after a lot of work and time, it only pays off for a small percentage. While it didn’t last long, Dave Watkins was one of the lucky few who got to reach baseball’s summit.

Watkins, a catcher and outfielder, was signed by the Detroit Tigers as a 19-year-old free agent in 1963. He only lasted one year in the low minors with Detroit, despite hitting .294 with 18 home runs. Following that season he was taken in the first-year draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, the organization with which he would spend the remainder of his professional baseball career.

Life wasn’t all about baseball for Watkins. In 1967, the Reading Eagle reported that the prospect spent his offseason studying biology at Kentucky Wesleyan. Continue reading