After this week’s rash of beanballs, Brewers manager Ken Macha again called on Major League Baseball to better enforce the spirit of Rule 8.02(d), which instructs umpires to either warn or eject pitchers after intentionally pitching at the batter.
Melvin showed reporters a March 23, 2010 memo from Major League Baseball executive vice president of baseball operations Jimmie Lee Solomon that was sent to general managers, field managers and umpires.
“In exercising their judgement [of whether a pitch was intentional]“, Solomon wrote, “umpires have been instructed to be mindful that, given the skill of most Major League pitchers, a pitch that is thrown at the head of a batter more likely than not was thrown there intentionally.”
In Macha’s view, umpires need to take a harsher stance against pitchers who throw pitches at batter’s heads. The Brewers’ Carlos Gomez was beaned on Monday at Wrigley Field and missed the rest of the series as a precaution. Both the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen and the D-backs’ Mark Reynolds were hit in the head on Tuesday.
“Everybody is getting hit in the head and nobody is getting thrown out,” said Macha, who has had a series of conversations with Major League officials on the topic of hit batsmen this season. The Brewers had been struck 57 times this season entering Wednesday’s finale in Chicago, most in baseball. The White Sox were second with 51.
“It’s only going to change when some hitters go to the Players Association to say, ‘What are you going to do to protect us?’” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said.