Matthew touched on today’s Cliff Lee incident a little bit earlier today but I wanted to go into more detail. Like Matthew, I think this is awesome and am quite proud of Cliff Lee. With one simple pitch Lee made a number of interesting things happen:
- A spring training ejection. I don’t pay a lot of attention to spring training because frankly, it barely matters but I still read about it. Over my years of loving baseball I can’t recall a spring training ejection. If the games hardly matter than you might as well spice it up, our good guy Cliff did just that.
- A stand-around brawl! While the missed-dunk is one of my favorite parts of basketball games, a stand around brawl is the pinnacle of baseball games. If you’re not familiar with this phenomena it goes a little something like this: something happens that is controversial (The Cliff Lee pitch), the batter takes a few steps towards the pitcher and acts like he’s going to do something, the dugouts then clear (sometimes the bullpen too) and everyone piles onto the field, the players then proceed to stand there for a while (sometimes yelling at each other). After all of this the player’s head back to their previous positions. There is not an ounce of harm done in a stand-around brawl. It is much like a peaceful riot, only on a baseball field. If you haven’t had a chance to see one I feel sorry for you.
- If for some reason Lee chooses to stay here after this year (let me dream), our first real memory of his run with the team is going to be getting thrown out of a spring training game. Awesome.
- You know the scene in “Cool Runnings” where the two guys stand in front of the mirror and say how they won’t take any crap from anybody right before one of them talks to his dad? Well Cliff Lee is the bald guy in “Cool Runnings” who’s showing the team that he doesn’t take crap from anybody.
- No one got ejected until the end of September last year with the Mariners. Cliff Lee wasted no time showing that this group isn’t all smiles and unicorns.
I had a quick conversation with Dan tonight about this pitch being intentional. I’m choosing to believe it was. Naturally, Lee denied throwing at bad guy Chris Snyder (I think that’s our first bad guy) but what do you expect? People would’ve been pretty upset if Lee came out and said, “Yeah I was trying to hit that jerk in the head.”
Speaking as a former pitcher (3rd-11th grade!) you don’t usually throw an inside pitch and then accidently throw one over someones head, especially if you have the command Cliff Lee usually has.
So thank you Cliff Lee for giving us something entertaining while we all wait for the Huskies to play. It might not be worthy of its own post but what’s a guy to do when he can’t sleep?