Mon May 11 12:33pm EDT
Between the Aubrey Huff-Joba Chamberlain dustup, Ryan Braun's cocky homer trot after a near beaning by the Cubs and Bobby Jenks throwing behind Ian Kinsler, it was a busy weekend for baseball teams being steamed by the actions of their opponents.
But none of the above run-ins brought out more emotion or have as much potential for future retribution than what happened between Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake and Giants reliever Brian Wilson on Sunday afternoon.
The Cliff Notes version: After hitting a homer off Wilson in the 12th inning of the Giants' 7-5 13-inning victory, Blake was seen on television making the same well known gesture that Wilson makes after every save in tribute to both his Christian faith and his late father.
By the time Wilson returned to the clubhouse after securing the win in the 13th, some friends had sent images of Blake to his cell phone, sending him into an agitated state that his teammates instantly had to calm him down from.
(Blake, meanwhile, had left Dodger Stadium before reporters could get a comment.)
We'll see if Blake issues any clarifying statements today; the Dodgers don't play until Tuesday and I'm saying it's 50/50 we get an explanation. Until we do, consider these two previous stories (for whatever they're worth):
• The meaning of Wilson's gesture was pretty well-guarded secret until last season, when the All-Star reliever finally told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that he adapted a slogan for an ultimate fighting clothing company to reflect his own personal beliefs and that he has never intended to offend any opponents with it.
"It shows no disrespect toward anybody. It's all positive praise. It's not for showboating. It's not to start an epidemic. It's just me getting a quick message out to the world and to Christ and that's it. I just thought, `What more perfect time to display my faith than at the end of a game?'"
• Since he's considered one of baseball's good guys (a fact I think I can attest to), it doesn't seem in Blake's DNA to get that personal with an opponent. Then again, just last season he expressed his distaste for showboaters, as Diamond Leung so excellently recalled from a rivalry game with the Giants last season, so who knows?:
After Giants reliever Billy Sadler(notes) struck out Casey Blake(notes) to end the eighth, the rookie made a demonstrative celebratory gesture similar to the one he did after getting Manny Ramirez(notes) last month. This time, Blake and Matt Kemp(notes) exchanged words with Sadler, causing both dugouts to empty.
"Apparently, that's his gig," Blake said. "It's dumb. If I hit a home run off him, I'm not going to pump my fist and yell, especially if I'm not in the race."
Personally, I'm willing to bet that Blake wouldn't have done what he did if he knew of the move's significance, especially the part about the tribute to Wilson's dad. I mean, haven't we all laughed at the guy in the distance who trips over the curb, only to feel monumentally bad once we draw near and find out he's blind and handicapped?
I'm thinking that's what happened here.
A big BLS head nod to Sons of Steve Garvey for the screen cap and for pointing out that the Dodgers and Giants won't meet again until Aug. 10.