Zack Greinke was back in the Dodgers clubhouse on Wednesday, four days after surgery to repair his broken left collarbone. His left arm was in a sling, which isn't a requirement but something Greinke prefers to do, especially around a crowd of people.
Greinke addressed his reaction when charged by Carlos Quentin last Thursday. Greinke turned his left shoulder toward Quentin, and the resulting collision broke his collarbone.
"You think about who would react when the time comes, but you're not really thinking straight and just reacting. I never would have planned on doing it that way. I wish I didn't. Everything I did my natural reaction is to avoid my right arm. I guess I was smart enough to that. But that wasn't the best way to do it.
Greinke said he thought Quentin getting suspended eight games was fair, even though he is out eight weeks while recovering from his injury.
"A lot of times I feel other sports are too tough with their fines and suspensions. I don't know which sport does it properly, but that's just how it's always been done," Greinke said. "I think it's the most anyone has every been suspended (for charging the mound), so to expect anything more than that would be pretty crazy, I would think."
What Greinke wouldn't address is exactly what he said to Quentin just after he hit him with a pitch.
"I'm just not going to get involved in that conversation at all. I know you guys have to do your jobs and get information, but I just don't think it's right to bring everything through," Greinke said. "I made a mistake one time talking about Carpenter, but I felt bad about that afterwards. It's just not anyone else's business."
Greinke can be hard to read and sometimes it may seem like asking him how is day is will result in him deferring to the team trainers. But relative silence is definitely his right, and preferred to the idiotic comments by Padres president and CEO Tom Garfinkel.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports uncovered audio of Garfinkel talking to Padres season ticket holders about the brawl and, among other things, Garfinkel called Greinke, who has social anxiety disorder, 'Rain Man.'
Mike Bates of SB Nation and Chad Moriyama at his own website do a fine job of eviscerating Garfinkel, but the part that struck me was the talk of just what Greinke said to Quentin just after he hit him.
This was Quentin on Apr. 11, the night of the brawl, after the game. Per the Chicago Tribune:
"It is documented. I've been hit many times in my career, and I've never responded in that fashion. It could have been avoided. What he said was the final straw. If he doesn't say anything, I don't charge."
From Passan, transcribing the audio from Garfinkel:
"We don't know what he said," Garfinkel said. "I asked Carlos. He doesn't know what he said. I do know that, I mean, everybody saw the tape. Everybody saw what happened. He didn't say, 'I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hit you.' He threw his glove down, stuck his chest out."
Sometimes 'no comment' is the best path to take.