GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There hasn't been much bad blood between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks since 2013, but that didn't stop Monday's spring training game between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks from devolving into a discussion of hit by pitches, strict literal rule enforcement, and managerial hierarchy.
In the top of the first inning Chris Anderson, the Dodgers' first-round draft pick in 2013, hit Mark Trumbo with a pitch. In the bottom of the inning, Diamondbacks starter Daniel Hudson hit Justin Turner with a pitch of his own. Home plate umpire Tom Woodring warned both benches.
"If we were going to go inside on a guy, we definitely wouldn't go in the head area. Chris was a little amped up and had a few balls that got away," manager Don Mattingly said. "We're going to want to protect our hitters like everyone else does, but we wouldn't start that in spring training, and if we were going to start it we wouldn't throw at the head."
Four innings later, old friend Allen Webster hit Turner with another pitch, and was ejected along with manager Chip Hale, with Woodring enforcing MLB rule 8.02(d)
The pitcher shall not intentionally Pitch at the Batter.
If, in the umpires judgment, such a violation occurs, the umpire may elect either to:
1. Expel the pitcher, or the manager and the pitcher, from the game, or
2. may warn the pitcher and the manager of both teams that another such pitch will result in the immediate expulsion of that pitcher (or a replacement) and the manager.
Because the warning was already issued, these ejections were automatic, even though it didn't seem like there was much intent on Webster's part. In fact:
#Dbacks Allen Webster said the umpires told him they knew he didn't hit batter on purpose, but by rule had to eject him. #absentcommonsense— Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB) March 23, 2015
It seems there should be some discretion allowed the umpires in this case, but that is not the case.
In the eighth inning, two automatic ejections happened again when Derek Eitel hit Dillon Moyer with a pitch. That meant the end of the day for both Eitel and bench coach Glenn Sherlock, who was acting manager.
Mattingly wouldn't say whether he thought the three Arizona hit by pitches were intentional.
"They can speak to that," Mattingly said. "I'm not going to get into that in spring training."
That did lead to an interesting question after the game. Mattingly was asked who would manage if both he and bench coach Tim Wallach were ejected. After some discussion, he settled on first base coach Davey Lopes, who managed three years with the Brewers from 2000-2002.
When wondering just who was acting manager for the D-backs after Sherlock was ejected, a clear candidate emerged:
New England #Patriots coach Bill Belichick was Tony LaRussa's guest today at #Dbacks and #Dodgers game— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 23, 2015
LRT: Was Belichick third in line to manage the #Dbacks today?— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) March 23, 2015