Why was Victorino singled out for scuffle?
How is it that Shane Victorino is the only player who got suspended as a result of last Friday's on-field incident between the Giants and Phillies?
I ask because it was blatantly obvious that the Phillies were hitting Giants pitcher Ramon Ramirez hard, and because of that, he intentionally drilled Victorino in the small of his back.
As a former pitcher, I completely agree with the concept of making a hitter move his feet to keep him from becoming too comfortable in the batter's box. But I completely disagree with a pitcher who is making bad pitches and getting hit hard, becoming frustrated and hitting a batter on purpose for the mistakes he is making.
It is supposed to be judgment of the umpire as to whether a pitcher hits someone on purpose. I can tell you for a fact that Victorino was hit on purpose. All you have to do at home to know whether a pitcher hits a batter intentionally is watch -- first of all -- the reaction of the catcher, then the reaction of the pitcher.
In this case, Giants catcher Eli Whiteside did what he is supposed to do and jumped out in front of Victorino to protect his pitcher. Victorino was walking toward the mound, Ramirez took off his glove and advanced farther toward Victorino than Victorino advanced toward him. The first contact made by anyone was when Whiteside tried to tackle Placido Polanco. That was the first physical contact by either team.
The home-plate umpire had Victorino in his grasp; that is another problem I have. Why is it OK for an umpire to put his hands on a player or manager? If players and managers can't put their hands on an umpire, an umpire should not be allowed to touch a player or manager. Players know the rules: If you touch an ump, you will be suspended. The same should apply to the umpires.
Back to my original question: Why was Victorino the only player suspended? Whiteside and Ramirez were fined; Ramirez instigated the entire thing, and Whiteside made the first physical contact -- yet they were fined, not suspended. I don't understand how they weren't both suspended as well or why Victorino simply wasn't fined, as they were.
It sends a bad message -- if you are a pitcher, making bad pitches, and the opposing team is hitting those pitches hard, it is OK to drill a batter and not have to worry about being suspended.
People claim all the time that I dislike the Giants. That couldn't be further from the truth. I really like the Giants, because they play the game the way it is supposed to be played -- hard for 27 outs. That is why they have that ring from last year.
The fact is, I don't care which team or which pitcher is on the mound; you don't hit a batter on purpose, because you are making mistakes. If you do, you should be suspended. The only reason I believe a hitter should ever be hit on purpose is if it is a situation where the pitcher is standing up for his teammates; to protect them.
In this situation, the fact no Phillies pitcher stood up for Victorino is the saddest part of the whole deal.
Mitch Williams is an analyst for MLB Network. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.