The Dodgers must hurt Carlos Quentin.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly must exact vengeance — justice? — on Quentin for charging the mound Thursday night and breaking pitcher Zack Greinke's collarbone. Greinke will be out two months and Quentin has been suspended eight games.
The revenge can come on the base paths — a throw that hits Quentin hard in a vulnerable body part or a spike to the soft tissue of the leg. Or the revenge can come at the plate — a heater to Quentin's rib cage, and if he breaks a rib, too bad. An eye for an eye, a rib for a collarbone.
I will return to vengeance in a moment. And if you think the theme of vengeance is unseemly, then you don't know baseball.
First, the background:
On Thursday night, Greinke hit Quentin with a pitch. Quentin objected to being hit, although the pitch didn't go near his head. It hit his shoulder and did not appear to hurt Quentin.
Quentin moved toward the mound, a snarl on his face. Greinke yelled something to Quentin. Quentin went bananas and charged Greinke. They crashed into each other like offensive linemen hitting tackling dummies — the dummies analogy is appropriate — and Quentin snapped Greinke's collarbone. This injury hurts the Dodgers more than it hurts the Padres. Quentin is no big deal, certainly not in the Greinke's echelon.
Let's examine the scene from three points of view.
Carlos Quentin's point of view: He believes he and Greinke have a history because Greinke hit him three times. He believes Greinke hit him on purpose on Thursday, and that ticked him off. So he sought vengeance.
Even if he's correct, even if there is a history, he's a knucklehead for numerous reasons. Greinke was protecting a one-run lead in the sixth. By hitting Quentin with a full count he put the tying run on base. No one does that and Quentin, who went to Stanford, should be able to reason that out.