Bill Plaschke moralizes over Kevin Towers, forgets that he called for beanball wars himself


Most seem to hate it when Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times gets up on his perch to crow about something or other, partially because it’s so smug and holier-than-thou in execution, but also partially because he’s wildly inconsistent and regularly hypocritical. The latter reason is something that was especially noticeable today, as he riffed on Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers‘ comments about beanballs and the Dodgers.

It’s not that I disagreed with his article regarding the D-Backs acting like idiots, but Plaschke picks and chooses what he’s outraged about in the moment instead of making sense throughout.

Here’s what he says about Towers:

These comments should eventually result in a fat suspension and hefty fine from a league office that shouldn’t look kindly on a team official advocating the use of a baseball thrown in excess of 90 mph to inflict bodily harm and possibly endanger lives.

But for now, one can only look at Towers’ classless, playground-bully words with pity.

Now on Chad Billingsley back in 2009:

This quiet determination seemed to be missing at the end of last season, when his pitches were bombed and his reputation was hammered.

It happened in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, when Billingsley hit several Phillies bats and broke one major clubhouse law.

Throughout the night, Phillies pitchers chased Dodgers hitters off the plate while Billingsley — who should have been more confidently aggressive with his 16 regular-season wins and 3.14 ERA — let Phillies hitters comfortably stand.

Dodgers hitters ducked while Phillies hitters swatted. Dodgers hitters dived while Phillies hitters soared. The Phillies took an 8-5 victory while Billingsley gave up eight runs (seven earned) without even making it out of the third inning.

Towers is endangering lives, but Billingsley is a wuss.

Note that Plaschke is calling for basically the same thing that Towers is.

Got it, Bill.

On Towers:

What Towers said, however, is far worse, because lives are involved here. Somebody could get hurt. That somebody, of course, would not be Towers, because he won’t have to walk to home plate with a bat. Here’s hoping major-league baseball knocks him on his butt, and the Diamondbacks regain their pride in just being the Diamondbacks without continually attacking the Dodgers.

On Billingsley:

Everyone forgot his 200 2/3 innings pitched, his 201 strikeouts, his Cy Young potential, and his ripe old age of 24. Everyone remembered how, earlier in the season, San Francisco’s Matt Cain hit Ramirez in the head and Billingsley didn’t retaliate then, either.

“I thought to myself, this is a kid who needs to send his next Christmas card from the beach,” Colletti says. “Next year, he needs to have blue water behind him.”

Filled, perhaps, with a couple of splashing guys he knocked in there with his fastball.

So while Plaschke concern trolls about beanballs and how they endanger lives today, four years ago he did EXACTLY what Towers did, which was call for Billingsley to randomly drill players or else he’ll go down as soft. Worse yet, the tone of his article about the Dodgers and Phillies in 2009 sounded exactly like what he just accused the D-Backs of being towards the Dodgers: insecure and petty about being inferior.

So just to be clear, if a Dodgers pitcher does not retaliate for brushback pitches, he’s a coward, loses the clubhouse, and it invalidates his entire year. But if another team wants to hit the Dodgers, they’re endangering lives and it’s a childish practice.

Which one is it, Bill?

All of this is just to point out that the next time Plaschke decides to do a hit piece (or writes anything, really) on a Dodger player for whatever asinine reason, please just ignore him. It’s what he deserves.

Update 1

A follower on Twitter pointed out to me that this wasn’t even the only article Plaschke wrote that was along these lines.

Nine pitches, three messages, and the Philadelphia Phillies couldn’t have been more clear if they had painted it across Joe Torre’s brow.

We don’t fear you. We won’t bend for you. What are you going to do about it?

After nearly four hours Friday, with their hitters waiting and their coaches wondering, Dodgers pitchers meekly submitted an answer.


They would do nothing about the missiles that nearly decapitated their veteran leader and their young cornerstone.

Somebody needs to pitch inside. Somebody needs to get tight.It could be chilly, it could be windy, but somebody needs to make a Phillies hitter sweat.

This is not about headhunting, it’s about win hunting.

This is not only about earning the respect of the Phillies hitters, it’s about earning respect in your own room.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. In early August, Ramirez was hit in the head in the first inning by Matt Cain in San Francisco.

Once again, Billingsley was the Dodgers pitcher. Once again, there was no sort of retaliation. Once again, the Dodgers lost.

Ah, now it’s about winning. Sweet.

Amusing, all things considered.

Update 2

As a commenter pointed out below, Plaschke did it again regarding the Clayton Kershaw/Gerardo Parra dust-up in 2011:

Although Kershaw will never admit it, his pitch that plunked the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Gerardo Parra in the elbow in the sixth inning of the Dodgers’ eventual 3-2 victory appeared to be a retaliation for Parra’s crotch-grabbing, home-run posing insult of the Dodgers on Tuesday night.

Kershaw was immediately ejected, and some might think his Cy Young bid was derailed, but I propose that it was cemented. At a moment where he would have been excused the greatest of selfishness, he threw one for the team. By hitting Parra, he had everything to lose but his teammates’ respect, yet clearly decided he would rather have that respect.

Kershaw could have played it safe and finished the game and nobody would have blamed him. But Kershaw obviously couldn’t forget the previous night, when Parra was angered by an inside pitch from Hong-Chih Kuo in the seventh inning, and then taunted the Dodgers with gestures both before and after his ensuing home run.

The Dodgers found this particularly insulting because Kuo has spent this season suffering from an unexplainable wildness known as “Steve Blass disease.” It’s difficult to throw at a batter when you have no idea where the ball is going. It is no secret that Kuo has sought psychological help for his condition. It should have been no secret to Parra that Kuo was clearly not throwing at him.

It didn’t matter. Parra acted like a punk. The players on both benches barked at each other. Nobody barked louder than Kershaw, who could be seen yelling, “We’ll find out … we’ll find out … let’s go!”

On Wednesday night, we found out. The kid has toughness to go with his greatness, leadership to match his skill.

I understood why Kershaw did it, because Parra wasn’t celebrating as much as screaming at Hong Chih Kuo and begging for a fight if Kuo gave a single fuck about him. But still, if Plaschke is advocating for retaliation against other teams, why not regarding retaliation against the Dodgers?

Just be consistent and stop trolling for views or whatever.

About Chad Moriyama