No winners in Easter brawl
PITTSBURGH – There’s nothing like a brawl to liven things up on Easter Sunday at the ballpark.
The only problem is there are consequences, and some of that got sorted out when MLB handed out suspensions and fines on Tuesday.
The guy who started the whole thing got away without any punishment. Pirates starter Gerrit Cole was out of line when he said something to Carlos Gomez about standing at the plate to admire the ball he’d just hit.
Cole didn’t need to say anything. He’s a pitcher. He has the baseball. If he wants to express his displeasure, he only has to wait for the next time Gomez is in the batters’ box. That’s how it should have been handled.
Once Cole provoked him, Gomez was wrong to charge in Cole’s direction, removing his helmet and brandishing it like a weapon. Cole may have started things, but Gomez escalated the situation. His wild reaction prompted the benches to empty.
The Pirates’ Travis Snider was wrong for aggressively joining the pack. If he’d left the bench to act as a peacemaker, fine. But he also turned up the temperature, and that was wrong.
The guy who was completely out of line was the Brewers’ Martin Maldonado, who threw a blindside punch at Snider’s face while Snider was being held by Milwaukee’s Rickie Weeks.
It was a cowardly act, and the Pirates shouldn’t forget it. Snider came away from the incident OK, but it could have been worse. He was wearing sunglasses, which were broken by the punch. He was just an inch away from sustaining serious damage because of Maldonado’s senseless attack.
MLB has issued its final word, but bet that the teams won’t forget about this.
The Pirates and Brewers have a four-game series coming up in Milwaukee in a few weeks, and it won’t be a surprise if the hostilities are revived.
First baseman Ike Davis is a solid pickup for the Pirates, the long-sought left-handed complement to Gaby Sanchez.
Davis had a bad half season, which caused the Mets to seriously downgrade their opinion of him. He revived his career in the second half of last season, but that wasn’t enough to get him back in the Mets’ plans.
Davis will be a better version of Garrett Jones, who was allowed to leave after last season.
With Sanchez and Davis, the Pirates should at least be average at first base, which they weren’t at the start of the season.
The Pittsburgh Penguins should be thankful their first-round opponent is Columbus.
If they’d played this inconsistently against any of the other Eastern Conference teams, they’d probably be facing elimination at this point.
Still waiting for Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to produce at a level commensurate with their talent.
For that matter, still waiting for coach Dan Bylsma to find a way to get the most out of his superstars.
Yes, Davis does bear a resemblance to former Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche.
If that makes you cringe, relax and look up the numbers. LaRoche posted some decent seasons for the Pirates despite habitually slow starts.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.