The Carlos Quentin Situation

It has been a few days since all of the Padres vs. Dodgers drama has cleared. For one thing, it actually got people talking about Padres baseball, albeit, due to the fact that Carlos Quentin broke the collarbone of Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke.

The dust has settled and Carlos Quentin will be sitting out the next eight games, including the three-game series in Los Angeles that starts Monday. It’s too bad, as the series would be must-watch television, mainly to see if the bad blood between the two organizations would spill over. It still might, but it definitely loses some of the appeal without Quentin’s presence.

Carlos QuentinThere have been a myriad of opinions about the whole situation. Many have viewed Carlos Quentin as a coward and a thug. I disagree with those opinions. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reports that “Carlos Quentin should not be able to play until Greinke can pitch.” That view is laughable as well. Let’s paint the situation.

Carlos Quentin is a very good player. When he was healthy last year, he, along with Chase Headley and YasmaniGrandal gave the Padres a solid middle-of-the-order. He slugged over .500 and the Padres were significantly better when he played. 

Quentin has also had issues with Greinke, dating back to their days in the AL Central. Grienke has hit Quentin three times, in addition to throwing a 95 MPH around Quentin’s dome. The bad blood could be attributed to Quentin’s dominance of Grienke(3 HR’s in 31 plate appearances) and the fact that Greinke has also plunked Quentin three times. 

The tensions boiled over Tuesday night in a brawl that took the baseball world by storm. I have been looking at the facts and reading everything that I can on the situation.

Personally, I don’t think Greinke was trying to hit Quentin in this particular situation. The Dodgers were nursing a one-run lead in the middle innings and Quentin was hit on a 3-2 count. If Greinke really wanted to drill Quentin, there were better opportunities to do so.

Also, I am a Greinke fan and I know a great deal about him. Greinke is a personal hero, as he has battled many of the same demons with anxiety and depression that I have. I also know that he is extremely honest in interviews. Greinke was given the forum to tell the world that he drilled him on purpose and he chose not to do so. I believe him.

I also see things from Quentin’s perspective. Anytime a pitcher throws around your head, it is intensely scary. A high-90’s fastball to the dome could potentially end a career. It is also apparent that the two men just do not like each other.

Is Quentin’s 8-game suspension fair? Absolutely. Quentin simply needs to keep his cool in this situation. The Padres desperately need his bat in the lineup. He simply needs to walk down to first and keep playing. Conversely, there is an unwritten rule in baseball — where a player simply cannot allow an opponent to “show them up.” Greinke ran his mouth and Quentin reacted.

It is also absurd to think that Quentin intentionally injured Greinke. Quentin charged the mound and rushed Greinke like a pass rusher in the NFL. The end result was a broken collarbone by Greinke. Quentin should not be blamed for a freak injury — he simply cannot control the fact that Greinke is made of glass. It is an unfortunate, albeit entertaining incident.

I think that there should be some form of discipline for Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp. He confronted Quentin in the parking lot and the two had words. It was entertaining to see Kemp cower in fear when Padres pitcher Clayton Richard got in his face. Kemp’s actions were much less impulse and much more premeditated. He should have been suspended for a game or two and fined.

Quentin will miss this series in Los Angeles that starts on Monday, but future matchups between the two squads will be very entertaining.

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