Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



The worst thing about the Pirates’ abject cowardice in the aftermath of Anthony Rizzo’s controversial slide yesterday is all the “blah, blah, blah.”

David Freese and third-base coach Joey Cora had to be separated in the dugout. Why didn’t Freese go on the field and after Rizzo instead?

Sean Rodriguez said, “We need to have each other’s backs.” Why didn’t Rodriguez go after Rizzo? He wasn’t chained to the bench. (The way Rodriguez is hitting, that wouldn’t be a bad idea. He’s batting .184. If Rodriguez had tried to punch Rizzo, he likely would not have made solid contact.)

After the game, the Pirates had a closed-door meeting. They did that to convince themselves they’re not yellow. “We’re all in this together. We won’t let this happen again.”

Like I said, “blah, blah, blah.”

Andrew McCutchen used to get hit all the time. Retaliation was rare, and hardly regular. It’s the same thing after Josh Harrison gets hit.

Kyle Crick could have hit a Cub. Rich Rodriguez had a chance to drill Rizzo. In the eighth and ninth, after Rizzo’s slide, five Pirates hit the ball and ran toward first base, Rizzo’s position. Rizzo could have been clattered, or at least confronted. (Elias Diaz, the victim of Rizzo’s slide, was among those five.) Heck, anybody could have charged from the Pirate dugout immediately after that slide.

Getting even isn’t rocket science. To quote Jackie Moon in “Semi-Pro,” “Somebody hit somebody!”

Baseball has a silly culture. But it is the culture. You’ve got to abide. The Pirates don’t. They look soft, not noble.

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