Paul Konerko adamantly defends Carlos Quentin in brawl
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com April 12, 2013 4:00PM
Updated: April 12, 2013 9:15PM
CLEVELAND — Paul Konerko staunchly defended his former teammate, Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin, for charging Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke after Quentin was hit by a pitch on Thursday night.
Quentin, who was hit by Greinke twice as a member of the White Sox when Greinke was pitching for the Royals, felt the 3-2 pitch that hit him was intentional.
The Padres’ Jason Marquis had thrown an 0-2 pitch towards Matt Kemp’s head earlier in the game.
“I’m not surprised, no,’’ Konerko said of Quentin’s reaction. “Like he said if you know the history and you know the pieces of the puzzle, it kind of all makes sense. So, hopefully the people out there don’t look at it as an isolated event like it was something that just happened last night.
“I think when you put all the pieces together, you find yourself being on Carlos’ side a little bit more when you start seeing ... I think he was three hit by pitches, but if you watch the games I’ve watched, he’s probably had more than five pitches [from Greinke] that have gone over his head.
“So, you know, at some point, it’s going to be the last straw and that’s what happened.’’
Konerko was told that Quentin, who crowds the plate and has been hit 116 times in his career, had never charged the mound before Thursday night.
“Right. So, what does that tell you? I mean, it tells you he knows the game and he knows he’s on top of the plate,’’ Konerko said. “He knows he doesn’t move a lot. So if I heard that, it would be just more evidence of this is something more than just getting hit on a 3-2 pitch that got away. Yeah, I mean, Greinke has well above average control, I mean. Some would say maybe the best control in the game.’’
Konerko said he has no way of knowing if it was intentional, “but take into account all the other ones, and again when you are talking about someone who has the best control in the game, and just got $160 million bucks [$147 million for his deal signed with the Dodgers], you know and a lot of that is because of his control, there’s got to be more there when balls are getting away that much.
“If he lets one go up in there and it breaks Carlos’ hand, they would just say hey, that got away from him. That’s part of the game. You know, throwing up in there time and time again and having somebody run out there and break your collarbone, that’s part of the game as well because again hitters get hit up in there a lot and that’s just coined as part of the game. At some point you have to put your foot down and that’s what you saw happen there.’’
Konerko had a scary moment last season when Cubs right-hander Jeff Zamardzija hit him in the face with a pitch at Wrigley Field. In Quentin’s case with Greinke, Konerko said people need to know the history.
“The problem is after all the other ones, it’s a cumulative thing and hopefully guys on the Dodgers — I know everything was heated last night — and those guys don’t know anything about the White Sox,’’ Konerko said. “They don’t know anything about the Royals. So hopefully people take time to look at all those and say, ‘wait a minute. Let’s address this, because I have a feeling if their hitters on their team saw all that, they’d say, ‘well this makes a little more sense right now and I’m going to stick up for Carlos.’ I’m going to stick up for the hitter most of the time. And I’m definitely sticking up for Carlos, flat-out, because again, it takes one fastball up in there to break a bone and give you a concussion, whatever. Your season is over. It just gets chalked up as it got away. How many times can you let a ball get away from somebody before you go do something. I guess that many. There it is.”