You just cannot throw a ball BEHIND someone when you are trying to throw a strike, or even a ball in. A stray breaking ball sure, but that’s even rare to impossible. A ball sailing behind a hitter, one that’s hit 2 bombs, is a ball being thrown at a guy.
The rule in place now gives umpires authority to eject a pitcher if for any reason he suspects a hitter is intentionally thrown at. How that didn’t happen with a veteran guy like Larry Vanover is beyond me.
The problem today is that the rule is so ambiguous, and you really have no idea what is going to happen from umpire to umpire (being that I have seen umpires eject pitchers for hitting batters with curve balls) that it’s almost a case where hitting a player in retaliation is almost more selfish and irresponsible than not. It used to be a very clear cut process, no matter how infantile, you purposely throw at our guy, we get one of yours, game over. Now it seems that you need to be the FIRST to do it, to avoid ejections and suspensions, and that’s with the hope that the umpire won’t just eject anyone and everyone he thinks is involved.
I understand the leagues desire to curb all the bench clearing crap being the motivator to give the umpires the ability to head problems off before they start, but tonight was a clear cut scenario that the rule was specifically created for, absolutely no doubt.
When you see the hitters the next inning acting very skittish and tentative on the 1st pitches of ABs you know that they know what’s going on.
At the end of the day, we win, so it’s all good, and there’s still 140 some games to play…….