Tuesday’s lopsided Diamondbacks-Pirates game had drama. Arizona’s Jean Segura and Nick Ahmed and Pittsburgh’s David Freese were plunked within three frames, and the Diamondbacks’ chief baseball officer, Tony La Russa, invaded the Pirates’ TV broadcast booth to argue with the commentators about it.
With an eight-run lead in the top of the seventh, Pirates reliever Arquimedes Caminero hit Segura in the helmet on a full count. Diamondbacks reliever Evan Marshall’s first pitch to Freese caught him in the arm in bottom of that inning, and both benches were warned. Caminero came back for the eighth, recorded two outs, and got ejected after hitting Ahmed in the face on a 1-2 count.
It doesn’t make sense that Caminero would hit Segura on a full count, and it would make even less sense for him to hit Ahmed on purpose. Even Diamondbacks skipper Chip Hale didn’t believe that Caminero had intent. Via azcentral:
“I don’t think the kid meant to do it,” Hale said. “When you put a guy out there that doesn’t have control in that area and you’re trying to pitch in, it’s not something that we can have here. The guy doesn’t have the ability to pitch in certain quadrants of the zone, we don’t do it. It’s almost the fault more of the coaching and the managing than it is the player at that point.”
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who was ejected with Caminero, said it wasn’t intentional but understood Hale’s anger.
La Russa’s grievance was independent from this dispute. After Freese was hit, Root Sports showed a package of the history between the two teams, and play-by-play announcer Greg Brown said that La Russa, who was at the game, was a big proponent of issuing payback for HBPs:
The Diamondbacks-Pirates situation goes back to the Goldschmidt-McCutchen [situation] of a couple years ago, and of course, we always point out the fact that this baseball team is run by Tony La Russa, chief baseball officer.
The manager of the Cardinals, A’s, and White Sox, always believed that you had to essentially retaliate, even though you know that Caminero wasn’t trying to hit Segura.
Those appear to be the comments that prompted La Russa to walk into the booth and argue with Brown.
La Russa confirmed the squabble to azcentral, saying he felt compelled to go argue with the broadcasters he thought Brown’s comments were untrue:
“I never have stood for inaccuracies,” La Russa said, “so I corrected the inaccuracies.
“It’s about taking responsibility. If you’re going to speak untruths then you’re going to get challenged and you should be responsible for what you say. I am. I reacted.”