Zack Greinke’s comments did not go over well in Australia

Zack-Greinke-DodgersWith under a month until the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks open the 2014 Major League Baseball season in Australia, all isn’t well in advance of the two games down under.

A series that is designed to showcase MLB’s top talent may fall a bit short of the mark if Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw doesn’t make the trip. This would allow him to start the Dodgers’ first game in the U.S. as well as their home opener. Then, there were the comments made by teammate Zack Greinke, which were bound to not go over well with the host country.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, those working to make the event happen are reacting about the way you would expect after catching wind of what Greinke said.

Organisers in Sydney are far from thrilled with Greinke’s outburst but are holding off on making comment until they’ve spoken to relevant parties in America.

The opening series at the SCG has been planned in close consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association and the Dodgers and Diamondbacks clubs, and Australian baseball representatives have now asked for a please explain.

Arizona pitchers Brandon McCarthy and Patrick Corbin have spoken of their desire to be a part of history in Sydney, but it seems big brothers the Dodgers may feel the venture is beneath them.

It’s understandable that there would be some in Australia who take exception to Greinke’s comments. They certainly didn’t come across as pleasant or endearing.

For a series largely intended to be a goodwill event, things are off to a bit of a rocky start. Then again, when the Dodgers and Diamondbacks are involved someone’s feathers always seem to end up ruffled.

H/T HardballTalk

Zack Greinke not excited about playing games in Australia

Zack-Greinke-DodgersZack Greinke is one of the better pitchers in Major League Baseball. He represents one-half of perhaps the best 1-2 starting pitching punch you’ll find, although Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer would likely have something to say about that.

Greinke is also generally not shy when it comes to letting us know how he feels on certain matters. When asked if the size of the contract offered by the Los Angeles Dodgers was a factor in his decision to sign with the team the former All-Star was brutally honest. Some didn’t like the response, others did. In a nutshell, it was Zack Greinke being Zack Greinke.

One month from today the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks will get their 2014 seasons underway when they meet for a two-game series in Australia. It’s expected Greinke will start one of the games, which will give those in attendance a chance to see the 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear the 30-year-old is too excited about the experience, although he does understand its importance.

“I would say there is absolutely zero excitement for it,” Greinke told ESPNLosAngeles.com. “There just isn’t any excitement to it. I can’t think of one reason to be excited for it.”

“It’s a baseball thing. It’s an ownership thing, spreading stuff around,” Greinke said. “That’s what it’s for and it’s for the greater good of baseball.”

As fans we often want players from our favorite teams to say what they really feel and not always give guarded, politically correct responses to questions. Then there are times when they do say what’s on their mind and we wish they didn’t.

The six-year deal Greinke signed with the Dodgers will have him in blue and white through 2018, unless he utilizes the ability to opt-out after the 2015 season. Between now and whichever comes first Dodger fans should get used to an unfiltered Zack Greinke.

Zack Greinke disappointed in Ryan Braun

Zack GreinkeZack Greinke finally expressed his feelings about Ryan Braun’s admission of guilt and suspension, and he said he is disappointed with his former Milwaukee Brewers teammate.

Greinke was teammates with Braun on the Brewers in 2011, the year Braun won MVP and tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone during the team’s playoff run. Greinke was also with the Brewers for the first half of last season when Braun denied doing anything wrong in his now infamous spring training speech. Greinke wanted a few days before sharing his feelings about Braun’s admission of guilt and season-long suspension, and he finally opened up on Friday.

“The main thing is, yeah, he lied to us,” Greinke said via the LA Times’ Dylan Hernandez. “He forced us to lie for him, threw people under the bus in order to help himself out and didn’t care, blamed others for his mistakes and it’s just a lot of things you don’t expect from people.”

Greinke saying Braun “blamed others for his mistakes” was a reference to the MVP suggesting the sample collector tampered with his sample to lead to the positive test. Greinke also said he believed Braun when the outfielder said he was clean.

“Oh, yeah, 100% believed him,” Greinke said. “Everything was so convincing. He had people to blame. He seemed like a really good guy. He was a good teammate at the time. You don’t know the guys that he was pinning it on. I’m not positive, but I think everyone 100% believed him at the time. Especially the next year, he looked just as good as the year before. His numbers his whole career, Hall of Fame numbers. How could you not believe him? He was so convincing.”

Greinke says he’s thought about it a lot and it’s “upsetting” that Braun still has not really apologized for using and lying about it. He explained in detail some of what made him so disappointed

“Just the fact that he was willing to use anyone that got in his path. The closer you were to him, the more he would use you. It’s just disappointing that a human being could be like that.”

Greinke clearly gave a lot of thought to the matter and is extremely disappointed with Braun. But he’s not alone. Both Aaron Rodgers and Matt Kemp shared similar feelings and said they didn’t like being lied to.

Braun may be able to rebuild his reputation over the rest of his career, but it seems like he has done some serious damage among his teammates and colleagues.

Padres CEO Tom Garfinkel: Zack Greinke hit Carlos Quentin on purpose

Zack Greinke Carlos QuentinZack Greinke has a history of hitting Carlos Quentin. Whether he has done so intentionally or not, it is that history that sparked a bench-clearing brawl between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres last week.

Quentin was hit by more pitches than any player in the league last season, but that hasn’t affected Padres president and CEO Tom Garfinkel’s opinion on what went down last Thursday. Garfinkel believes Greinke hit Quentin on purpose, and he took a shot at Greinke for his social anxiety disorder when discussing it on Friday night.

“He threw at him on purpose, OK?” Garfinkel told fans at a Petco Park event, via Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. “That’s what happened. They can say 3-and-2 count, 2-1 game, no one does that. Zack Greinke is a different kind of guy. Anyone seen ‘Rain Man’? He’s a very smart guy.”

On Wednesday, Garfinkel told Yahoo! Sports that he regretted making the “Rain Man” comment and apologized to both Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten and Greinke. The Dodgers ace suffered a broken collarbone by standing up to Quentin when the slugger charged the mound.

“I was emotional the day after the game and regrettably, while defending our player, I said some things I shouldn’t have, especially as it relates to Zack Greinke,” Garfinkel said. “I was out of line and I apologize.

“Obviously, I don’t condone fighting and I wish it wouldn’t have happened. You never want to see any player get hurt.”

Garfinkel also told the season ticket holders on Friday that one thing he would not do is lower his shoulder if someone of Quentin’s stature was charging at him. He did not reiterate that stance to Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday, but he did make sure to mention that Greinke never apologized after hitting Quentin for the third time in his career and that he still feels it was intentional.

“We don’t know what he said,” said Garfinkel. “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.

“This is my opinion, and I can’t say it publicly, but I guess this is public, so please don’t tweet it out. We’re in the trust tree here, in the nest. He hit him on purpose. That’s what I believe.”

Consider it tweeted.

Zack Greinke suffers broken collarbone in fight with Carlos Quentin

Zack Greinke shoulderZack Greinke paid a severe price for standing up to Carlos Quentin on Thursday.

The Dodgers revealed after their 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres that Greinke suffered a broken left collarbone during his fight with Quentin that led to a bench-clearing brawl.

Greinke hit Quentin with a pitch in the sixth inning and the Padres outfielder charged the mound. Greinke dipped his shoulder down to brace for contact, which might have been when he got injured. The two ended up on the ground and a pile formed on top of them.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was fuming about the situation after the game and thinks just punishment would be for Quentin to be kept out until Greinke returns.

“I don’t understand it either,” said Mattingly. “We’re in a 2-1 game, and a 3-2 pitch, a guy that set a record for the Padres for getting hit, a guy that basically dives into the plate. In a 2-1 game we’re trying to hit him 3-2? It’s just stupid is what it is.

“He should not play a game until Greinke can pitch,” Mattingly said. “If he plays a game before Greinke pitches, something’s wrong.”

Mattingly continued to blame Quentin for the incident.

“He caused the whole thing,” the Dodgers manager said. “Nothing happens if he goes to first base like baseball you know you do. Because you know he’s not throwing at you 3-2 in a 2-1 game. That’s zero understanding of the game of baseball. He shouldn’t play a game until Greinke can pitch.”

Greinke said after the game he did not hit Quentin on purpose.

“He always seems to think that I’m hitting him on purpose, but that’s really not the case.”

Greinke sure looked macho dipping his shoulder on Quentin, but I was thinking at the time that as badass of a move as that was, it was probably dangerous because it could result in an injury. Sure enough, it likely did.

As for Mattingly’s assertion that Quentin shouldn’t play until Greinke can, I disagree with that. I do think Greinke played a role in the brawl by saying something to Quentin after the outfielder took a step toward the mound, and I think his tough guy display backfired on him.

Carlos Quentin charges Zack Greinke to incite bench-clearing brawl (Video)

Zack Greinke Carlos QuentinCarlos Quentin charged the mound after being hit by a pitch from Zack Greinke, inciting a bench-clearing brawl between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres on Thursday night.

Greinke had a full count on Quentin with the bases empty and the Dodgers leading 2-1 in the sixth when he plunked the Padres outfielder in the left arm. Quentin stared out at Greinke, took a few steps towards the mound, and then decided to charge. Greinke dropped his glove, braced for the contact, and dropped his left shoulder into the charging outfielder. Catcher A.J. Ellis rushed out and tackled Quentin to the ground, and then it was “every man for himself” after that, as announcer Vin Scully said.

Greinke was replaced by pitcher Chris Capuano after suffering an injury, which was later revealed to be a broken collarbone. Center fielder Matt Kemp was ejected for going crazy during the brawl, and he was replaced by Skip Schumaker.

Kemp was likely fuming because he felt the Padres had thrown at him earlier in the game:

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Zack Greinke: ‘I could play for the worst team if they paid the most’

Zack-Greinke-DodgersMore often than not, professional athletes who sign lucrative contracts try to convince us that their decision was not strictly about money. That can be true in some situations, but money is usually the driving force. Dollars and cents were what motivated Zack Greinke to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the right-hander isn’t afraid to admit it.

“It’s obviously the No. 1 thing,” Greinke told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. “I could play for the worst team if they paid the most. … If the last-place team offers $200 million and the first-place team offers $10, I’m going to go for the $200-million no matter what team it was.”

He also told Heyman that he wasn’t going to lie about it because he’s a bad liar and forgets the lies he told even if he tries. Greinke, who signed a six-year, $147 million deal with the Dodgers, said his decision came down to LA and the Texas Rangers. While the Rangers reportedly offered over $100 million as well, they weren’t willing to include an opt-out clause after three years. Ideally, that opt out clause will allow Greinke to earn even more money.

“The worst comment in the world has got to be when a guy who’s getting $100 million says he wants to ‘take care of my family,’” Greinke added.

His point was that people should be able to take care of their families just as well with a $50 million contract as they would with $100 million. They just want more money if they’re capable of earning it, but who doesn’t?

Does that mean Greinke doesn’t care about winning? Not exactly. It’s easy for him to look back and say he would have signed with a terrible team if they offered more money, because it’s all relative for the most part. Terrible teams tend to not have as much money, which is why they aren’t as good in the first place. LA and Texas are both places that offer the potential to win. Personally, I admire Greinke’s honesty. Whether it has to do with a contract or exploring pompous ways to get to the stadium, it’s nice to hear a professional athlete who is willing to be a straight shooter.

Fist pound to Big League Stew