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
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
Tulowitzki was later quoted by the Denver Post as basically
saying Jimenez needs to get over his frustration and get on with
”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
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
”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.