It's hard to believe that the Texas Rangers were involved in another bean ball incident. Especially when you consider that Texas pitchers are typically so off the mark, it’s surprising they can actually hit somebody. Even a little guy like Adam Kennedy who isn't exactly Richie Sexson.
The Rangers were involved in a bean ball war with the Chicago White Sox (and who can forget manager Ozzie Guillen berating a former UCI pitcher Sean Tracey for not being able to retaliate) earlier this season. Now it's the Angels and Rangers who have, to use a wrestling expression, legit heat.
It all started 10 days ago when the Rangers Adam Eaton threw behind Juan Rivera, either pissed at Garret Anderson's home run or because Rivera crushed a home run against the Rangers the night before.
Vincente Padilla hit Vladimir Guerrero on Tuesday night because Big Daddy Vlady tends to treat Rangers pitching like it is, well, Rangers pitching. Vlade had his 40-someodd game hitting streak end recently against Texas when the female dogs walked him three times in one game. Padilla buzzed the tower on Guerrero one more time on Tuesday before he hit Rivera.
The Angels Kevin Gregg and Brendan Donnelly finally protected their top two hitters by going after a few Rangers to settle things on Wednesday night—which should have ended it. But Texas just couldn’t leave well enough alone. Six-foot-six Scott Feldman went after one of the smallest Angels, Kennedy, after refusing to hit Rivera who led off the inning. Come on Feldman, if you want to be a big man and bean players, why not make it Rivera? (Kitty cat.)
Angels manager Mike Scioscia does not believe in bean balls and reportedly kicked over a couple of trash cans during a 25-minute team-only meeting following the game. But it's about (deity) damn time somebody on the Angels pitching staff did something like this. Sliding hard into second base and things like that are a good way to send a message (something Scioscia would prefer), but the Angels should be doing that anyway without being prompted by bean balls. The Angels, especially in the absence of Darin Erstad, play a little soft. They don't bean hitters and they don't light up catchers at plays at the plate. Hopefully this latest incident will give the Angels a little toughness down the stretch.
Wikipedia Fun Fact: Scioscia spent his first six major league seasons with the Rangers before joining the Dodgers. Scioscia is still the Rangers all-time club leader in home runs.