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Another Stupid Baseball Injury

What happened to Giants closer Hunter Strickland cannot happen.

June 20, 2018 - 10:53 am
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It’s the middle of June, which means it’s time for another stupid baseball injury. And before I get into it, I know all the reasons why this only seems to happen in baseball – it’s a long season, there are a lot of players, and guys will go knucklehead from time to time. It happens. 

But what happened to Giants closer Hunter Strickland cannot happen. The team announced that Strickland had surgery on his right hand after…wait for it…punching a door Monday night following a blown save. And yes, in case you were wondering and couldn’t already guess, Strickland’s right hand is his pitching hand.

For the life of me, I will never understand why guys punch solid, inanimate objects after blowing a save. And I will definitely never understand why they do it with their pitching hand. Punching a door is stupid. Punching it with your money-maker is moronic. 

Punching a door after you've blown a game doesn't show how badly you want it. It shows how stupid you are. Nobody ever looked at a pitcher who punched a door and said, that guy is a competitor. They look at a pitcher who punched a door and said, that guy is a moron.

Then again, Strickland runs a little hot. Actually, saying that he runs a little hot is like saying Cruz Pedregon is a quick driver. Strickland runs red hot. The reddest of redasses.

This is the same guy who appeared to throw at Miami Marlin Lewis Brinson because Miami Marlin Lewis Brinson had the audacity to celebrate the fact that he had a game-tying hit against the Giants when they faced each other last week. 

Hunter Strickland didn’t like that, so he gave Miami Marlin Lewis Brinson a little chin music on Monday and then Miami Marlin Lewis Brinson got a hit off him. When Strickland was removed from the game in the process of blowing the save, he walked off the field, jawing at Miami Marlin Lewis Brinson.

And you may be asking yourself, why does Rome keep referring to Miami Marlin Lewis Brinson as Miami Marlin Lewis Brinson? Because nobody knows who Lewis Brinson is. Lewis Brinson is hitting .180 for the Miami Marlins. One-freaking-eighty. And yet Hunter Strickland is going up and in on him, barking at him, and then punching a door when he blows a save.  

Then again, the fact that Strickland is losing his bleep about a guy hitting sub 200 isn’t exactly shocking. Nor is it surprising that he punched a door. 

This is the same guy who threw at Bryce Harper last year for homering off him. Not a home run the day before. But home runs three years earlier. And Strickland hit him with a 98-mile per hour fastball in the hip. That’s the level of redass that we’re dealing with.

Oh, and in the ensuing fight, Strickland’s teammate, Michael Morse suffered a concussion that ended his career. So that was cool. Nice work, Hunter. Really nice work. A teammate has his career ended because of a fight that you started and nobody else thought you needed to start. 

That can’t happen. Just like breaking your hand on a door can’t happen. You’re angry because you blew a save? Fine. Toss a chair in the clubhouse. Shout a little. Don’t punch something made of wood or metal. Be smarter than that, if you can.

Because what you can’t do is what you did. Your team is 4 ½ games out of first. You can’t be taking yourself off the team for a 6-8 weeks because you were an idiot. And what you proved again is that you don’t have what it takes to be a closer. You might have the physical stuff, but do you have the mental and emotional stuff that it takes? Right now, it doesn’t look like it.

As Bruce Bochy said of Strickland: "The closer has got to have emotional control. We all get frustrated and that's a tough loss and a gut-wrenching loss. I'm sure he felt full responsibility. He didn't think before it happened. I'm thoroughly disappointed, trust me. I'm crushed, because this guy has grown as a pitcher and a person. I know Hunter cares deeply."

Oh, nobody doubts how much he cares.

Strickland took to Instagram with a long comment that it just too long to get into. But the key part is the image that he chose - large white words on a black background that read: Sometimes the hardest battle we fight is the battle within. 

Right, that or the hardest battle we fight is the battle with a door. Because that door ain’t losing. Look, clearly he has some issues that he needs to address. And maybe he’s working really hard to address them and maybe he really has come a long way since that moronic fight with Bryce Harper last year. Maybe during this time off, my man can crack open the Headspace app, get into gardening, or do something to get control of this. 

But I’m not holding my breath. After fighting Harper and seeing the impact that had on his own clubhouse, he didn’t really seem to alter his approach. And the only thing dumber than fighting Bryce Harper over a home run three years before is fighting a door over being a door.