Indians 12, Rockies 10

His left elbow swollen and wrapped, Troy Tulowitzki felt

confident that he’d be ready for opening day.

He wasn’t so certain whether former Colorado teammate Ubaldo

Jimenez deliberately drilled him, putting the All-Star shortstop’s

status in jeopardy.

Jimenez nailed Tulowitzki with the first pitch Sunday, carrying

their festering feud onto the field and causing the Cleveland

Indians and Rockies to clear the benches.

”You guys will have to talk to him and see if it was

intentional or unintentional,” Tulowitzki said. ”I didn’t expect

anything and the emotions took over. A couple of words were

exchanged but nothing more than that.”

Tulowitzki and Jimenez jawed up close, with the plate umpire and

players on both sides holding them back from getting at each other.

Tulowitzki was taken to a hospital for precautionary X-rays on his

elbow, which were negative.

”From my take, as soon as he hit me it just seemed like he

wanted a little more. That’s when the confrontation started,”

Tulowitzki said. ”I definitely wasn’t happy about being hit. I

don’t think you ever are … so it was back and forth. Not saying

it was just him or me.”

Rockies manager Jim Tracy, however, called it ”the most gutless

act I’ve seen in 35 years in the game, that’s what I saw.”

”That’s exactly what I witnessed,” Tracy said. ”He

intentionally threw at him, he should be suspended. I’ll be very

disappointed if he doesn’t get suspended because he deserves to be

suspended.”

Jimenez said it was an accident.

”I don’t want to hurt him at all. Just one pitch that got away

that could happen to anybody,” he said.

Jimenez recently told Foxsports.com that he was upset he didn’t

receive a contract extension from Colorado, while Tulowitzki and

Carlos Gonzalez got new deals. Jimenez was traded to the Indians

last summer.

Tulowitzki was later quoted by the Denver Post as basically

saying Jimenez needs to get over his frustration and get on with

his career.

”I never talked about anyone. The only thing I said was about

how the team treated me. I didn’t mention anyone. I never mentioned

any names,” Jimenez said.

Tulowitzki was hit in the first inning and left the game. The

Indians initially said Jimenez would not be available for comment –

later, he met the media during Cleveland’s 12-10 win.

”Of course I’m going to be sorry, he’s one of the superstar

players in the game,” Jimenez said. ”You don’t want to be in the

position that you’re going to take the guy out of the game. He was

my ex-teammate.”

The episode quickly escalated when they met on the diamond.

Jimenez immediately sprang off the mound after Tulowitzki was

hit. Tulowitzki took a step toward Jimenez and said something to

him, prompting the pitcher to say ”Come on!” and motion the

Colorado star to move forward.

Jimenez and Tulowitzki argued near the plate and the benches

emptied, but there were no punches or ejections.

”It was the first inning and I didn’t have good control of my

fastball. As you guys can see I walked the first guy on four

pitches,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez said he’d never had a problem with Tulowitzki. The

pitcher claimed the verbal confrontation grew after Tulowitzki

called him a name.

”I take everything easy and I never look for any trouble, but

if you call me out I’m going to be there. I’m a man like everybody

else,” Jimenez said.

Indians manager Manny Acta said Jimenez ”was pretty wild all

day” with his pitches.

”I don’t know if there is any history there or not,” he said.

”They were teammates for like, forever.”

”I was thinking it’s kind of late to be doing stuff like that.

You don’t want to see anybody get hurt. You don’t want to see a

player like that get hurt and you sure don’t want to get into a

fight and get players hurt, either,” he said.

Acta added: ”It was a natural reaction by players. Manhood,

man! Nobody wants to back down.”

Tracy put all the blame on Jimenez.

”Five days before opening day, you’re going to take a pot shot

like that? It’s the worst I’ve ever seen. I’ve lost all respect for

him, and that’s a very difficult thing for me to say with all the

players I’ve had to manage over the years,” Tracy said. ”I’ve

lost all respect for him, every bit.”

Tracy referenced last season, when the Rockies held the NL West

lead going into mid-May despite Jimenez going winless in his first

nine starts.

”Knowing what I know, knowing what took place last year, and

where this team was at going into the second month of the season

and doing what we did and he was nowhere to be found at the time

… I’ve lost all respect for him,” Tracy said.

NOTES: Jimenez gave up six runs on four hits and five walks in 4

1-3 innings. … Travis Hafner and Shelley Duncan hit grand slam as

Cleveland ended a 10-game losing streak. Hafner connected in the

first off Colorado opening day starter Jeremy Guthrie and Duncan

homered in the seventh. … Tyler Colvin hit two long homer and

singled twice to drive in six runs. … Indians All-Star SS

Asdrubal Cabrera is near to signing a new contract that will add

two years and be worth $16.5 million.