There’s no question Ian Kennedy has it coming. He’ll get handed a massive suspension for his role in Tuesday night’s melee and he’s clearly earned it.
I don’t think he meant to hit Yasiel Puig period, but he did. I don’t think he meant to hit Zack Greinke in the head but that’s clearly where that pitch was screaming towards. What he meant to do is irrelevant, what he did is at hand and throwing at Greinke’s head in that circumstance after everything had happened is worthy of the a lengthy punishment.
What I’m trying to come to terms with — and frankly I don’t know the answer to the question yet — is what this says about Kennedy. He led the National League in hit batters last year and leads that category this year. Does that make him the ultimate teammate? Dirty? Or both? Or neither; maybe that stat is just indicative of a lack of control.
Perhaps he’s the baseball equivalent of what Danny Ainge used to be; the guy you love when he’s on your side and the one you hate when he’s anywhere else.
To speak with Kennedy personally you’d never believe he’s “that” guy. Given the fact this is now three straight seasons where Kennedy has been involved in extra-curricular activity with the Dodgers makes you wonder. Is it reality or reputation?
The other issue stemming from Tuesday night is the role of the coach. Whether it’s Mark McGwire or Don Mattingly. Alan Trammell, Matt Williams or Kirk Gibson, the role of the coach here is to take a situation that is a DEFCON 3 and scale it back to a 4, not amplify it to a 2.
Kennedy deserves to have the hammer fall but so do McGwire, and to a lesser extent Mattingly, for taking a bad situation and making it worse.