Blue Jays third baseman and reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson said MLB must do a better job of policing pitchers who intentionally throw at hitters after he was nearly hit by two consecutive pitches from Twins starter Phil Hughes on Sunday, which Donaldson deemed intentional.
“Major League Baseball has to do something about this,” Donaldson said, according to SportsNet. “They say they’re trying to protect players. They make a rule that says you can’t slide hard into second base. They make a rule to protect the catchers on slides into home. But when you throw a ball at somebody, nothing’s done about it.”
Home plate umpire Mark Ripperger did not warn Hughes for the pitches, but he did eject both Donaldson and manager John Gibbons, who argued that the pitches were thrown on purpose.
“My manager comes out to ask what’s going on and he gets ejected for it. That’s what happens,” Donaldson continued. “It makes no sense to me. They’re putting my job in jeopardy. I just don’t get the point. I don’t get what baseball’s trying to prove. If I’m a young kid watching these games, why would I want to play baseball? Why? If I do something well or if somebody doesn’t like something that I do, it’s, ‘Oh, well, I’m gonna throw at you now.’ It doesn’t make sense. It just doesn’t make sense to me.”
MLB’s culture has recently come into question in the wake of a recent brawl between the Jays and Rangers, during which Rougned Odor punched Jose Bautista in the face. The rivalry seems to have originated during last year’s American League Division Series—when Bautista flipped his bat following a three-run homer that gave Toronto a win in Game 5—and escalated when Bautista was hit by a pitch and went in hard to second base on a slide.
– Kenny Ducey