Norris takes up for his teammates
Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks was hit in the back by Bud Norris on his first pitch of Tuesday’s game in apparent retaliation for the Brewers’ Mat Gamel flattening Astros catcher Jason Castro at home plate on Monday. Norris said the pitch simply got away from him, but hinted it wasn’t on accident
“It kind of got away from me,” he said. “I’m going to go out there and stand up for my team. I think the umpires handled it professionally, our team handled it professionally and Rickie handled it professionally as well. Nothing personal against him. It is what it is.”
Castro and Gamel were was out of the starting lineup Tuesday, but Astros manager Brad Mills said Castro wasn’t scheduled to play anyway and, other than a sore neck, Castro was feeling fine.
Mills said Gamel would have had a good shot at being safe had he slid and said he didn’t have to bowl over Castro, who was knocked back and hit the back of his head off the ground and held onto the ball for a double play to end the sixth inning. He stayed in the game.
“My first thought was he must have the plate blocked and then I found out he didn’t have the plate blocked and I said, ‘C’mon, man,’” Mills said. “It was a situation he was trying to knock the ball loose, but I thought Jason did a great job.”
Veteran catcher Chris Snyder said it’s important for catchers to expose the plate to the runner to avoid violent collisions that occurred Monday.
“At this level, more times than no you see guys that know what they’re doing and the catcher is going to give them the plate,” Snyder said. “You see what’s happened over the year with guys getting concussions on both sides of it and what happened to [San Francisco’s Buster] Posey last year. It’s a reaction.”
Snyder said collisions are a lot more common in the Minor Leagues, where young players are for the first time able to collide with the catcher in an effort to knock the ball loose.
“I got lit up quite a bit in the Minor Leagues because there you have kids just out of high school and college and there have been rules against it and they’re just excited to be able to finally do it and they don’t know how to do it,” he said.
When asked specifically about Gamel’s leveling of Castro, Snyder thought it was unnecessary.
“I didn’t like it,” he said. “He had the plate. It’s a 6-2 ballgame. I didn’t like it.”