After Aramis Ramirez hit a big homer, Barrett got plunked by Oswalt. Barrett walked toward the mound, and both benches cleared. Later, a wild Kerry Wood hit his third batter of the game and got ejected.

Had Barrett kept his cool at the plate, Wood woulda gotten an easy victory. He hasn’t had many of them this year. Thirty years ago the batter would have shrugged his shoulders at getting hit and trotted to first. Now it’s a challenge to a guy’s manhood. It didn’t cost the Cubs any games in the standings, but it costs the game in a larger context. The idea that 1) a pitcher can feel it’s his right to plunk a batter after after a homer, and 2) that the hitter can act like the pitcher just raped his dear old grandmother after getting hit by a pitch, is symptomatic of a disease that runs through MLB: guys think they’re bigger than the team. Even an MVP only nets a team five to ten games in the standings, but every Jose Macias thinks he can strut around like Simba after an inside pitch.

The agents that fill Barrett’s head with the idea that he’s so precious a commodity that he oughta think about charging the mound, and the union that supports that representation, serve both to emancipate major league players and alienate them from their fans. The burden is upon the players’ union, and EACH INDIVIDUAL PLAYER, to improve their image, thus raising the game and hiking their salaries, because the MLB owners ain’t gonna help; they don’t seem to realize that tearing down said players HURTS them long-term.

Regardless, Cubs win. Take all the squabbles and hoo-hah away and that’s all that matters.

I might have set a record for the least focused rant in blog history, and for that I apologize.

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