First of all, who knew Superman batted from the left side? And is he gripping the bat correctly? And what's the deal with the catcher, who appears to have green hair? We can't answer any of these pressing questions, but we can shed some light on the recent beanball war between the Mets and Nationals, which just may go nuclear when the teams meet for a three-game series beginning tomorrow. Things got ugly in their previous series last week, in which seven players got plunked; six of them on the Nationals. This has prompted Major League Baseball, which always jumps in immediately to nip controversy in the bud, to tell both teams to cool it, by order of baseball's Director of Discipline, Bob Watson. Last week Jose Guillen was drilled three times, including twice by Mets hurler Pedro Martinez. Guillen made a half-hearted attempt to charge to the mound on Thursday after the second beaning, but was caught by plate umpire Ted Barrett; a fate more embarrassing than actually making it out there and getting pummeled by Martinez, which is probably what would have happened if history is an indicator. After the game, Guillen said: "Now I want (Martinez) more than ever."
Nationals reliever Felix Rodriguez was ejected after hitting Paul Lo Duca with first base open in the eighth inning on Thursday, and Washington manager Frank Robinson was also tossed; an interesting delightful concept, being that Robinson is MLB's former Director of Discipline, preceding Watson. All of this makes us long for the good old days, when players were getting plunked all over the place and no one thought much of it. The Giants' Ron Hunt was the modern-day king, getting hit 50 times in 1971, and never charging the mound once. That was in the midst of an incredible six-season stretch in which he was hit 24 or more times; finishing his career with 243 beanings. Don Baylor was hit 35 times in 1986, and finished with 267 plunkings. The modern-day record is held by Craig Biggio (273). No. 7 on the all-time list? Wait for it ... Frank Robinson, 198.
Guillen, by the way, was hit 19 times last season, making us think that perhaps he's not the innocent victim he claims to be. And of course they can all take lessons from Roger Clemens, who did it old school, all the way.