bean ryan roberts. hard.

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  • September 28, 2011

In gen­eral, I think it’s stu­pid when pitch­ers throw at oppos­ing hit­ters to “send a mes­sage” about some­thing that hap­pened ear­lier in the game or in a pre­vi­ous game. If a guy shows you up by admir­ing his home run, you should be more embar­rassed by the fact that you served up the pitch than you should be by the way the guy watches it leave the park. (I think it’s worse when umpires and announc­ers make a big deal about it. If no one says any­thing, then it’s just a bit of pri­vate com­mu­ni­ca­tion between ballplay­ers. Why make a big deal, cause a brawl, and force MLB to issue fines and suspensions?)

But this in exception.

Ted Lily is pitch­ing for the Dodgers tonight in a mean­ing­less game against the Diamondbacks, the divi­sion champs who are play­ing for play­off seed­ing. And tonight, I hope Lily sends a mes­sage to Ryan Roberts.

Last night, Roberts hit a walk-off grand slam to cap a dis­as­trous (for the Dodgers) bottom-of-the-tenth. With two outs, pitcher Blake Hawksworth for­got to cover the bag on a rou­tine ground ball that should have ended the game. That led to the homer, which was painful but was hardly the worst thing that’s hap­pened in a sea­son that’s been over for weeks now.

Here’s the prob­lem: Roberts didn’t just trot around the bases, and he didn’t even joy­ously skip around them. He did Gibby’s trot.

I don’t care if Gibson is his man­ager, or that the man him­self approved. That trot is holy, and that moment belongs to the Dodgers. With an owner who’s doing every­thing he can to flush decades of tra­di­tion down the toi­let, we can­not abide some uppity, overly-tattooed mid­dle infielder claim­ing such a sacred moment for his own after win­ning a mostly mean­ing­less game on a lucky swing against an over­worked rookie only clos­ing games because every­one else is injured.

I should also note: In con­trast to some of our other NL West com­pe­ti­tion, I don’t par­tic­u­larly hate the DBacks. Their fans are too fair-weather to be obnox­ious, they beat up on the Giants this year, and this year they’re actu­ally a group of scrappy, like­able play­ers man­aged by a base­ball hero. So I don’t begrudge Ryan the right to cel­e­brate, and I wouldn’t care if he’d sim­ply “shown up” the Dodgers… they cer­tainly deserved a bit of sham­ing after that. But this was over the line. This aggres­sion will not stand.

Stand up for your team, Ted Lily. Teach Ryan Roberts a les­son he won’t forget.