There’s only one question that Pirates fans want answered as the Bucs try and grab game two of their series in Cincinnati, is if the Bucs will retaliate for Aroldis Chapman hitting Andrew McCutchen high with a 101 MPH heater.
That answer better be yes.
James McDonald needs to put one right on Jay Bruce or another Reds hitter.
Period. End of story.
If the Pirates want respect from the Reds, they need to take their respect. It’s clear that the Reds don’t respect them as a team right now. While winning the game is a huge priority for the Bucs, sending a message that they won’t be pushed around is just as important.
Chapman sent the message and the ball is now in the Pirates’ court.
They don’t want to turn this into a sideshow, but they need to send a message back in the first inning and let things play out from there.
I’m always torn on this issue as I don’t promote bean ball wars. A lot of bad can happen, including McDonald getting ejected or possibly suspended or a real ugly war break out where these two teams are throwing at each other regularly.
But you simply cannot allow other teams to throw 100 MPH fastballs at your superstar’s head. That’s the end of the story.
The worst thing that can happen here is the umpires issue warning to both teams before the game begins. That takes the decision away from the Pirates.
But baseball has always had a way of allowing its players to police itself. You hit our superstar and we hit yours. Then it’s over.
That’s what should happen here.
The Pirates need to win, but they also must show they can’t be pushed around. You allow someone to push you around once; they will continue to do it time and time again.
Two years ago, the Milwaukee Brewers threw at Andrew McCutchen and John Russell did nothing, which didn’t make Cutch happy.
It’s time for the Pirates to man up.
This time it should be different as Clint Hurdle should have McDonald send a message of his own (of course the way his control has been as of late, he may accidently accomplish this anyway).
After 19 years of losing, division rivals like the Reds aren’t going to respect the Pirates just because they’ve won some games over the course of four months. You have to make a team like the Reds respect you.
Evening up the odds is certainly taking a step in that direction.
The only sad part is that Chapman won’t be grabbing a bat in the first inning.