Jones: Tide and Tigers play bean ball

Sports In Paradise By Dale Jones

Did you hear the one about the Alabama pitcher who intentionally threw a ball at an Auburn batter and was tossed from the game, along with his coach?

…And then the Auburn pitcher intentionally threw a ball at a Bama batter and he and his coach were tossed as well?

…So both head coaches ended up in the clubhouse during the final game of the series?

This is not a joke. It really happened over the weekend as the Tide and Tigers seemed to be going for the record of most ejections in a series.

It all began on Friday when Auburns Hunter Morris was beaned by Tide pitcher Adam Morgan. That brought a warning to both dugouts from umpires.

On Saturday, Tide reliever David Head was tossed, along with head coach Mitch Gaspard when Head hit the Tigers Kevin Patterson with a pitch.

Then on Sunday, Auburn starter Grant Dayton nailed Alabama’s Taylor Dugas with a pitch, sending him and coach John Pawlowski to the showers early. In both instances, the pitchers were given a four-game suspension and the coaches were given a one-game suspension.

It is kind of a crazy rule if you ask me. It states that if the coach has been warned during or before the contest, the coach also shall be ejected and suspended for the next regularly scheduled contest.

I don’t know, maybe it happens. Maybe, somewhere in the college ranks, there is a coach that will give his pitcher the “bean” sign.

In Auburn’s defense, Alabama was up in the series, but Auburn was ahead in the 8th inning of the final game. They were trying to avoid a sweep. So why would the coach allow a pitcher to intentionally hit a batter? There would be no justification in doing such a thing. The fact is, he wouldn’t.

None of the instances over the weekend were followed by bench-clearing brawls. For the most part, both teams and coaches conducted themselves very professionally. Nobody lost control.

Gaspard said that this is part of the game, and I agree.

These are not professional pitchers. These are college kids who often play around with the strike zone, especially on the inside of the plate, and like the Bama coach said “they are going to miss with some pitches.”

My question is what kind of precedent is this going to set for other sports?

In basketball, coaches will often instruct players to intentionally foul an opposing player in the waning moments of a close game. Will those coaches soon be tossed and suspended?

In football, if a player intentionally holds or interferes with a receiver, will the coach and player get tossed and suspended?

I understand that baseball can be a dangerous sport and that serious injury could result from being struck by an 85-mph fastball. I also know that sometimes, especially in sports, an individual will let his emotions get the best of him, but this is a stupid rule.

Toss the player not the coach.

At this level, and with the salaries that are being paid, it is important that the coaches are on the field or on the court, coaching, teaching and instructing.

Now if a coach throws a chair across the floor or head-butts a player, that’s another story.

Oh, by the way, Alabama (19-8, 4-5) won the series over Auburn (18-10, 5-4) even though the Tigers won the final game.

-Hit ‘em straight
—Dale Jones covers sports and news in Baldwin County.


Add Yours
  1. 2

    No, just a cheap shot inflicted shoulder injury to the opposing team’s star player early in the game. How else could Bama have won?

  2. 3

    Yea Julio that was the difference in that game. Never mind the fact it was in the 7th inning and Bama was up 7-2 when the next Frank Thomas was beaned.

  3. 4

    And, yeah Julia, the other hit was not “cheap”, it was a clean hit – even McCoy said so. And, no, it did not make a difference in the game, except maybe to keep Texas in it a little longer when they had to go to a different game plan, and Bama slacked off in the 3rd quarter, kinda like they did in the 1st quarter against the Aubies.

  4. 6

    “pud”?? wow pete, gettin’ kinda salty with that language. You kiss your mother with that mouth?

    Why is it ok for tmc to bring up “chop block” out of the blue but it’s wrong for me bring up anything about the UT game?? Oh yeah, becuase one’s about bama and the other about AU. Now I remember.

  5. 7

    i don’t care about that bean ball tradition – i am a batter and get hit next time up my bat accidentaly slips and goes right at the mound and let the chips fall where they may

  6. 8
    Alex Hamilton

    I leave the site for three months and my comrades are still calling that AU whinebag “Julia” a good six months after I originated the nomenclature.

    I am the Walrus.

  7. 9

    Glad to see they let you out on work release, alex.

    BTW, here’s a post from bamabrando on May 1st of last year: “Julia: If Saban shown up in a pick-up truck, and Auburn shown up in a limo, who would get the most attention? I rest my case.” Funny, I don’t recall ever seeing you post on this site until months after that. Also, brando was far from the first to ever call me that on this site. ITK was doing it nearly two years ago. You really think it takes a lot of intelligence and originality to change the letter at the end of the name to make it sound feminine? You’re dumber than I thought you were (and that’s a bold freakin’ statement.)

    You are not the Walrus, alex. You are the village idiot.

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