Picture it. Cincinnati. Last night. Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Derek Lowe comes up to bat against Reds starter Mat Latos. He gets brushed back with an inside fastball in the velocity neighbourhood of the mid-90s. Prior to this pitch, no one on either team had been hit by a pitch, no one had pimped a home run and no ill words were exchanged.
There was no obvious explanation for something that appeared as though it had a lot of intent behind it.
Derek Lowe has a pretty good idea what was going on. According to MLB.com‘s Jordan Bastian (aka The Hardest Working Man In The Show Business), who asked Lowe about the brush back, the pitcher referenced a grudge that dates back to Lowe’s final year with the Dodgers in 2008 and suggested that Baker has been instructing his pitchers to throw at him for the past five seasons.
Lowe went on to say:
Dusty will deny it. I have zero respect for the guy — not that it matters. I imagine he’d say the same about me.
Unfortunately for the beat reporters at the game, by the time they had collected the Lowe quotes, Baker had already left the stadium. Not to be outdone, the Reds manager spoke with John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer this morning.
I’m not denying nothing. I didn’t order anyone to hit him. I told (Mat Latos) to buzz him and make him uncomfortable. That’s what happened. Nobody hit him. Then he hit our guy.
What he was talking about was something that he said and did a few years. You got to ask him what that was. You got a lot people involved in the situation that didn’t need to be involved in the situation. It didn’t come from there.
Go ask him since he made it public. Understand what I’m saying. I’ll let it rest at that since he’s such a big man running his mouth talking about himself.
The word was whatever he did and said probably there was a good chance he was drinking at the ballpark and he don’t remember what he said or what he did. OK.
When he said I shook my finger at him to say I didn’t have nothing to do with it. It wasn’t to say I didn’t have anything to do with it. It was to say: Don’t mess with me or my team. That’s what that means. He better learn sign language. OK.
That’s a pretty good rant, but by far the best quote from this tête-à-tête belongs to the forgotten party, Red pitcher and pigeonholed douche bag due to arm tattoos Mat Latos who couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about.
We can whine about it, if he wants to whine. If I wanted to hit him, I would have hit him.
And then, for emphasis, Latos added:
Um, awesome much? Unfortunately, this most likely spells the end of the verbal dispute as both Baker and Lowe have said that they have no more grievances to air in public. That’s unfortunately for fans of chirping because this was just getting good. Flat out.