It was a few days ago, but this Cody Ross – Mike Pelfrey thing really got out of hand, and all because Cody Ross is crazy.
Now that the smoke has cleared, and both players appear to have said their piece, let’s examine the situation from both sides.
From the NY Daily News:
I remember last time in New York I hit him and he did that little fake charge thing and he ended up running to first,” Pelfrey said. “I guess he got upset tonight I hit him again and he started talking. I hit him with two strikes. I actually did him a favor, you know. I guess he was upset. He called me the ‘P’ word. I told him I was right here. He just kept talking.”
Pelfrey’s “did him a favor” comment sparked a response from “bad boy” Ross:
From the Miami Herald:
“If he wants to pop off, I’ll let him,” Ross said Sunday after reading the comments. “I figure you would do that if you were 3-0 against a team and not 0-3.”
Pelfrey (13-8) is 0-3 in four starts against the Marlins. Ross also said he never made a move toward the mound when Pelfrey beaned him in New York.
”I didn’t fake charge,” Ross said. “He hit me on purpose, and I jumped up and ran to first. I didn’t take any steps toward the mound. I never looked at him.”
As for Pelfrey doing Ross a favor by hitting him, Ross responded, ”He better check the stats.” Ross is 3 for 9 with a double, a triple and three RBI against Pelfrey.
Ross also claimed he was angry because Pelfrey hit him in the back three weeks ago.
“I was just tired of getting hit,” Ross said.
Now, Cody Ross is for certain a passionate fellow. In this day and age, one who is listed at 5’9″ (and is probably closer to 5’7″) needs to have some chutzpah to make it to the big leagues. Ross is from that scrappy mold that bore the likes of Wally Backman, Lenny Dykstra, Bud Harrelson, and several other smurfs of yesteryear. He’s a throwback, an old-school, hustling, bang-’em-up ballplayer — just the kind of guy I admire.
However, if he truly thinks that Mike Pelfrey hit him on purpose, he’s out of his gourd.
First of all, I don’t think Big Pelf has it in him to hit people on purpose. That’s not necessarily a knock on Mike — in that way he’s just like 98 percent of MLB pitchers. Secondly, I watched that pitch about two dozen times on my DVR (you know I get obsessive about these things), and it was plain to my eyes that not only did Ross STRIDE INTO THE PITCH, but if it had not hit him, it could have been a borderline strike on the inside corner. Most likely, it would not have been a strike, as the pitch had a lot of “run” moving inside — but it wasn’t more than a few inches off the plate. Finally, if Ross was ticked about getting hit in the back a few weeks ago at Shea, then why didn’t he say something THEN? That pitch was much more likely to be a “purpose pitch” than the one the other day.
If Ross is “tired of getting hit” — he’s been hit six times this year — then he has the following options:
1. Move a few inches off the plate
2. Avoid diving in to the plate with his stride
3. Learn how to get out of the way of pitches coming at you
Number three is the one that is especially disconcerting — no one in MLB knows how to get out of the way of a pitch, mainly because the skill is no longer taught at the elementary levels (meaning, little league). I won’t get on my soapbox again, but if you missed it and are interested in my take, read this post or this one, both from last year.
Meantime, I urge the parents in the Miami area to keep a close watch on your children — there is a madman in a Marlins uniform on the loose!