Yesterday’s game started off with a bang when Cleveland Indians pitcher Jimenez threw out the first pitch and hit the Rockies shortstop in the elbow, sparking a heated argument laced with profanities on the field. Teammates held both athletes back in order to keep things from getting physical.
“From my take, as soon as he hit me it just seemed like he wanted a little more,” Tulowitzki said. “That’s when the confrontation started. I definitely wasn’t happy about being hit. I don’t think you ever are … so it was back and forth. Not saying it was just him or me.”
While preliminary x-rays don’t show damage to the elbow, the real reason for the upset is that rumors immediately began to fly that the hit was purposeful, a vengeful act by a spurned man. Jimenez, who played with Tulowitzki for the Rockies, was notably angry that the team gave Tulowitzki a contract extension over him and traded him to Cleveland last summer.
“Of course I was mad. I mean, I’m a human being,” Jimenez said earlier this month.
Mad enough to hurt a former teammate? Rockies manager Jim Tracy seems to think so.
“It’s the most gutless act I have seen in 35 years of professional baseball,” Tracy told the Denver Post. “I have lost all respect for him. He should be suspended. I am going to be very disappointed if he doesn’t get suspended. Are you kidding me? Five days before Opening Day and you are going to take a potshot like that? I have lost all respect for him.”
The MLB will likely launch an investigation into the incident to determine whether or not a suspension is necessary.
Jimenez says there was no bitterness behind the pitch and was “surprised” when Tulowitzki made a move for him when they began exchanging words, saying he’d never had a problem with him. He engaged in the argument to defend himself, he says.
“I don’t look for trouble, but if you call me out, I’ll be there.”
Twitter blew up with the news:
HEARD THIS: TO DECIDE WHO STARTED IT, TROY TULOWITZKI AND UBALDO JIMENEZ WILL APPEAL TO THEIR KINDERGARTEN TEACHER.