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Those weren't kisses Dodger Vicente Padilla was throwing to Marlon Byrd

Nothing like a little baseball love to send you into the break.

Or did you miss that I-love-you-too pitch that Vicente Padilla introduced to Marlon Byrd’s back in the seventh inning?

Or the response from rookie Andrew Cashner, currently the most popular Cubbie in the Chicago clubhouse, who hit Blake DeWitt in the thigh in the eighth?

Old-school, hard-nosed baseball, served with a touch of personal history.

Padilla was picked up by the Dodgers last season after being released by the Rangers, who among other things, were fed up with his head-hunting. Which as DeWitt can tell you, usually leads to retaliation.

When Padilla was released, several Rangers did not conceal their joy. And Byrd, then his Texas teammate, wasn’t shy about it.

"About time," said Byrd. "It's absolutely a positive for this team. We have to get rid of the negatives to make a positive, and I believe this is a huge positive for this team."

Added Byrd: "You have to be a good teammate. You have to help teach younger guys the right things. He wasn't a positive influence on the young guys. You started questioning his character and about how much he cared."

All a prelude to Sunday in the seventh inning. The Dodgers were leading 7-0, when Ryan Theriot doubled for only the Cubs’ second hit.

Which brought up Byrd, Padilla’s old buddy. Byrd,  who happened to be seven for nine against the Dodgers in the first two games of the series. Byrd, who was promptly hit in the back.

Byrd walked slowly to first, eying Padilla.

"When a guy is throwing a two-hit shutout and he’s pinpoint all day long, and you get hit with a four-seamer, you have to question it sometimes," Byrd said. "That’s why I looked at him and smiled."

Cubs reliever Bob Howry did not hit a Dodger in the bottom of the seventh, but when Cashner started the eighth, he hit the Dodgers’ first batter, DeWitt.

No one doubted that Cashner, who was later high-fived in the Cubs dugout, had intentionally nailed DeWitt in retaliation for Byrd.

Not plate umpire Jerry Layne, who immediately warned Cashner and both dugouts. Not Dodgers manager Joe Torre or DeWitt. And apparently not Byrd.

Cashner’s "a great teammate," Byrd said. "You’ve got to love him. A rookie throwing hard, and he has pinpoint accuracy too."

DeWitt simply walked to first.

"It’s part of the game," he said. "You accept it as player and go on."

Torre was also certain the pitch was intentional.

"Yeah, I think so because a guy who doesn’t throw as hard was warming up in the bullpen, and they changed to a guy who throws hard," he said. "That’s a pretty good indication."

As for Padilla, he claimed he was unaware of Byrd’s previous disparaging remarks.

"I don’t really read the papers," Padilla said.

Padilla is also unaware there is an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

For now, there were just a lot of knowing smiles in the Dodgers clubhouse. Padilla has mostly been on good behavior as a Dodger. He’s hit six batters this season, one more than Clayton Kershaw.

Padilla, however, was on the disabled list and has started half as many games as Kershaw.

The Dodgers have to make sure Padilla doesn’t lapse into any old, bad habits. That can prove tough love.

-- Steve Dilbeck
Comments () | Archives (10)

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Padilla put his signature on that game.He pitched and has been pitching like the ace and wasn't afraid to take care of personal matters.After all,it's part of baseball....It wasn't long ago when Billingsley didn't take care of business against the Phillies and it wasn't long ago when we saw Broxton wimp out against Matt Stairs....Although,these were different situations,Padilla would have took care of business....Young pitchers on the staff (and the Dodgers are full of them) can learn a lot from him.....Learn fast because unfortunately, he'll be a free agent next season.

Good ole fashioned baseball, somewhere Don Drysdale is smiling.

Padilla somehow seems even more perfect for L.A. now ...
and his many new fans in the left field Pavillion must be so proud.

Frank should quickly capitalize on this with a Bobble Head night before Padillia shoots himself again!

(or someone else)

I have no problem with Padilla's style. That's old school baseball... a pitcher commanding the plate and respect from batters the way Gibson and Drysdale did. Some of these hitters in the game today think they own the place and need to be knocked on their butt a few times. Frankly, I think Byrd had it coming - you don't bad mouth a teammate in the media. And if the Cubs want to retaliate then they have the right as long as it stops there. That's the way baseball has been played for decades.

Intentionally throwing a baseball at another player, at any time, for any reason, is stupid. I categorically reject the stupid sentiment that preserves it as "...part of the game..."

"Retaliation" "Protecting your teammates" -- more poppycock


By all evidence to date this guy likes to dish it out but alas has a real aversion to 'manning up' when it's his suspect cojones on the line. Wasn't too long ago this same pitcher employed a similar tack, hitting an opposing batter for the Yankees - then, when he was met with the same fate courtesy 6'7 290 lb. CC Sabathia, a flighty Vicente de la "ol' yeller" Cruz Padilla tucked tail & headed for 1st base - he walked softly alright, even with a big stick (bat) in his hand... in the parlance, that's called being a punk.

VP seemed downright unhappy having been hit, but then that's his modus operandi - he can dish it out but can't take it same. Flash forward Sunday: he hits a batter with a 7-0 7th inning lead knowing that his Guardian Angel was going to come to his rescue/take him out of the game before he had to answer for his cowardly act. Be easy to see why "ol' yeller" was run out of Texas - their gain is our loss.

Padilla is as ugly on the inside as he is on the outside. A man truly lacking in character. What? He suddenly turned over a new leaf when he came to the Dodgers? He was getting his teammates in Texas beaned with his little "taking care of business" attitude. How many of you will be thrilled with him the next time he beans a batter and the opposing pitcher hits Ethier in the hands and breaks a bone? Or Kemp? Just wait. It will happen.


Apparently you never played this game...or at least not at a competitive level.

You gotta realize that Cashner intended to hit Padilla when he came up. They didn't throw at anyone in the seventh because they were waiting for Padilla. And they put their 100mph guy out there in the eighth for that very purpose. When the pinch hitter stepped into the on-deck circle, they knew they weren't gonna get him (Joe bailed him out). So they hit the guy in the batter's box.

I actually have no problem with that. They took care of it in the right way. Sucks that DeWitt gets hit, but he's a baseball guy. He gets it.


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