BEANBALL WARS AND ACCIDENTS. There was another episode in baseball’s beanball wars. A pitch by a Pittsburgh pitcher hit and injured the Arizona Diamondbacks’ best player, who is now expected to be out for the year. The Diamondback pitcher then hit the Pirates best player with a pitch in the middle of the back. This article by Craig Calcaterra illustrates one common perspective on pitchers hitting batters. Calcaterra thinks that if intent by the Pirate pitcher can’t be shown that the Diamondbacks should not retaliate (many baseball people think retaliation is required in these circumstances). He takes issue with Tony La Russa, now a Hall of Fame manager, who, it has been reported, “believes the Pirates were still responsible regardless of intent”. Calcaterra calls this position “idiotic baloney”.

A question Calcaterra asks is at the heart of the argument: “Since when are there consequences for accidents?”

The answer, of course, is “almost everywhere”. LaRussa is a lawyer and knows that drivers are routinely held liable for accidents and that people who engage in dangerous activities are sometime held liable without negligence.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Outside the baseball field and, now, states like Florida, the consequences for even negligent conduct are supposed to be provided through government procedures. The position of baseball officials, and of the players and managers, is a muddle.

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