We all remember the infamous fight a few seasons ago between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Dodger pitcher, Zack Greinke, beams Padres batter, Carlos Quentin. Quentin gives Greinke the stink eye. Greinke talks back. Quentin takes offense and charges. Dugouts empty, punches thrown and unkind words are exchange.
Baseball brawls happen every season, but what made this one in particular memorable were the reports and images of then Dodger, Matt Kemp, confronting Quentin in the parking lot after game, with only Clayton Richard between them.
At the time, Padres fans thought Kemp was in the wrong there, I know I did. We would have thought anything Kemp did was in the wrong, being a Dodger after all; I’m biased but I’m honest about it.
Now that Kemp is a Padre, we can look back at him going nose to nose with Quentin and see a lot of value in a guy who stands up for his teammates like that. Especially now that Kemp is our shiny new toy and Quentin has worn out his welcome and we all hope gets traded soon.
After the Padres traded for Kemp, everyone started wondering how Kemp and Quentin would coexist in the same locker room? Would their animosity spread to the other players and infect the club house?
Both Quentin and Kemp reported to Peoria today along with the other position players and you better believe they and the rest of the team were asked about it. Manager, Buddy Black told the media the two had buried that hatchet in predictably political manner. Which is good, we don’t really want there to be bad blood on our team and I didn’t really anticipate that there would be.
These guys are professionals after all and players that once had animosity between them have it squashed when they start wearing the same laundry.
Unexpectedly, the biggest news event of the day regarding Carlos Quentin was the news the Padres this Spring Training were going to give Carlos a look as a possible first base option.
Both Quentin and GM, A.J. Preller, spoke to the media today about trying Quentin out at first base:
"“I just think right now it’s an option. … ‘Hey, pack a first-baseman’s glove’ is where that started and then when he gets here, we’re going sit down and talk about it,” Preller said. “How he’s swinging the bat and how he’s playing and as spring progresses if we start trying him over there, we’ll go from there. But I think he’s at least open to bringing a first-baseman’s glove and seeing how it plays out.”– A.J. Preller"
I’ve loved Quentin’s aggressiveness at the plate, but I think his time in the outfield is over given his injury history. If the Padres can keep him health and off the DL, I don’t really care where you put him.
If they can make it work at first base, that would be great. He would be another dangerous bat in out new lineup. If they can’t, then I think the Padres really need to move him to an AL team where he can DH.
Even Quentin knows it:
"“I understand that my health record has not been good and it’s been hard for the Padres to count on it,” Quentin said. “I feel good now. You can’t count on your health through this long season. Everyone knows the AL has the DH, which will allow me to get at-bats without putting wear and tear on my body.”– Carlos Quentin"
The Padres might have enough players who can play first already like Yonder Alonso, Tommy Medica, and Will Middlebrooks; but neither of those have Quentin’s bat power, at least not that we’ve seen from them so far.
What do you guys think, do you see the beef between Kemp and Quentin is really over? How do you feel about the Padres giving Quentin a stab at first base?