Well, it was certainly an eventful day for the Brewers as they started their spring training schedule on Thursday, wasn’t it? Yovani Gallardo was the last player on the 40-man roster to have his contract renewed, Mat Gamel was a late scratch, but should be fine. Ryan Braun and Alcides Escobar were also absent from the lineup, but we knew about that going in — Braun was slated for a day off, and Escobar was out getting a root canal. Prince got plunked, and after the game let us know that he’s had preliminary talks about an extension with the Brewers.
It seems unlikely that Friday will be as eventful, but Ben Sheets will be making his first appearance on a mound since 2008, and it’ll be against the Brewers. Sure, we’ll only get to see him for an inning or two, but it’ll be interesting to check out his velocity and see if he has any rust. Seeing him in green and gold won’t get any easier, I imagine.
On the topic of Fielder, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that he did end up getting plunked. The Giants were apparently still crying about the walkoff celebration this winter when Ken Macha talked to Bruce Bochy, and Macha felt like he needed to apologize. It looks like it wasn’t enough, as Barry Zito plunked Fielder. To Prince’s credit, he seemed to know it was coming and didn’t proceed to go Izzy Alcantara on everyone.
Was the initial home run celebration over the line? Probably. Does getting your payback in a Cactus League game make you look petty? You bet. Like I said a few days ago, I have no problem with an opponent giving the Brewers a free baserunner in the regular season. But when you’re talking about Milwaukee’s first spring training game, it crosses a line — instead of the game being about getting rust off and working on things for the regular season, it becomes about things like retaliation.
It’s in the past now, and hopefully we’re done with it. There are few “traditions” I dislike more than beanball wars. I didn’t like it when Seth McClung was brought in by Ned Yost for the sole purpose of hitting Albert Pujols, and I don’t like it when our guys are getting hit for pretty stupid reasons.