Daniel Hudson had a message for anyone who deliberately hits Justin Upton with a pitch this season.
"If it's a starting pitcher, remember, he's got to hit," Hudson told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo Monday. "They either have to hit their spots, or they better expect something in return."
Hitting spots was an interesting choice of words, because Tuesday, on the same show, Diamondbacks Special Assistant to the President and CEO Luis Gonzalez said Hudson needed to be a bit more careful with his when discussing hitting opposing players.
"You know what I do now, I go in the locker room and I pull him to the side and I say ‘shut your mouth, don't say that, and you just do it on the field because you earn more respect,'" Gonzalez told Burns and Gambo. "Because now, if that happens in a game and he doesn't do it, you've got it on tape…and fans are listening to this and they're going ‘well why the heck would he say that if he's not going to back it up?'"
Gonzalez said that even if Hudson does what he said he would, the words could come back to haunt him when Major League Baseball decides whether or not to hand out suspensions.
It's not that Gonzalez, who was an All-Star for the D- backs and fan favorite, is against a pitcher having a hitter's back. In fact, he said the pitchers he played with would retaliate for him if needed.
"[Miguel] Batista would do this: he'd call you down in the tunnel and say ‘which guy do you want,'" Gonzalez said. "And if was a 3-2 game we would say ‘not right now, not right now,' and he'd say ‘no, no, no -- right now.'
"And I'd say, ‘no, let's win this game, we'll get them somewhere down the road,' and that's how it worked."
Because, while nobody likes getting hit with a pitch, the most important thing on any given day is to get a win. And, as Hudson noted Monday, one of the reasons Upton wasn't avenged as often as some would have liked was because the team was consistently in close games.
So, even when a star like Upton gets plunked, the first order of business is winning, not retaliating. Besides, Gonzalez said, payback would certainly come, even if it wasn't immediate.
"They did it at the right situation, and if it didn't happen during the season it would happen in Spring Training," he said. "Players, they have good memories… they'll remember that stuff down the road."
If that's the case the rest of the NL better watch their backs. Literally.