It's a heated rivalry no matter what the records or rankings are. When the Sox and Cubs meet for interleague play there's always a buzz. Sometimes it's on field play and other times its the sideline stories. Today was a little of both as Kerry Wood pitched his final pitch as a Cub in a Sox 3-2 victory. The bigger event for Sox fans was the ball Paul Konerko took off his face on a 2-2 count.
In the 3rd inning, Jeff Samardzija said he lost control of a split finger fast ball that got Konerko right in the face. "Paulie's a great guy. That ball got away and unfortunately it hit him up high. If I could take it back, I would. The only thing that's making me OK about it is that he's a tough guy. I hope he'll be all right," said Samardzija.
Konerko, exited the game, and is said to have a laceration under the eye. Konerko also has a lot of swelling, so the Sox will re-evaluate tomorrow after some of the swelling has subsided. Konerko is the White Sox captain and MVP. He is currently hitting .367 and hit his 8th HR of the season in his first at bat of Samardzija.
"His eye was pretty swelled up, but he was cognizant and didn't say he was dizzy or anything," Pierzynski said. "I've seen him get hit before and get up and go to first. It was a little scary when he didn't get right up. He seemed fine and we'll see how he feels tomorrow."
The game of baseball is played best when it's policed by the players. Not the managers, or umpires, or MLB itself. It's up to the players to respond how they see fit. Philip Humber decided not to throw at Samardzija in the 3rd inning when he lead off, but instead threw behind Brian LaHair in the 4th to deliver a message. In my opinion the message was clear. You hit our star player and now we are letting you know we didn't take kindly to it. My issue is with the response by Samardzija himself and later by members of the Chicago media (Yes, David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth, I'm speaking about you). Samardzija started screaming from the dugout at Humber on the mound. Shut up Jeff, you knew it was coming.
Every man on the field knows that when their pitcher hits a opposing player they could be the victim of retaliation. Konerko suffered a injury that we do not knew the severity of. Humber threw behind LaHair and never came close to hitting him. Rumor also is Jake Peavy became irate in the dugout over Konerko being hit and tried to escalate the retaliation. Is anyone really surprised a guy who talks to himself on the mound and barks like a bulldog would have a opinion? On Chicago Tribune Live tonight, Kaplan and Hollandsworth said the pitch by Humber was unnecessary and doesn't belong in the game. Your wrong. Humber delivered his message loud and clear. The players police the game gentlemen, and they chose the course of action. Live with it!!!
Now I'm not condoning in any way for this to linger into tomorrow's game or even Sundays, but to do nothing would have been unacceptable. Humber did what needed to be done. Just be glad Cub fans that Jake Peavy wasn't on the mound. I don't know if the Sox brought a collar and chain big enough to hold him back on the team bus. Stand up for your teammates and stand up for what you believe in. That is what Philip Humber did today and I'm proud of him. Maybe someday certain individuals will see that too.
Get well soon PK!!!
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