Carlos Quentin said he never charged the mound on any of the first 115 times he was hit by a pitch as a major-leaguer.
That all changed Thursday night in an ugly incident that could have repercussions for both the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers, and perhaps could cause continuing animosity.
Dodgers ace Zack Greinke, who received a $147 million, six-year contract as a free agent last winter, suffered a broken left collarbone when rammed by Quentin in the first of two bench-clearing brawls in the sixth inning at Petco Park.
Greinke could miss six to eight weeks due to the injury. Quentin likely faces sanctions and a probable suspension from Major League Baseball stemming from the ugliest incident in the history of Petco Park.
Quentin rushed Greinke after the pitcher hit the slugger on the left shoulder with a full-count pitch leading off the sixth. The Padres left fielder stepped to the front of the plate and paused briefly, then charged the mound.
Quentin said he charged Greinke after the pitcher said something.
"That was the final straw," Quentin said.
Greinke denied he said anything after hitting Quentin.
As the batter approached the pitcher at top speed, Quentin, a former football player, lowered his shoulder and knocked Greinke backward with a shoulder-high block as Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis was tackling the Padre from behind. Greinke, Quentin and Ellis then went to the ground to the first base side of the mound as the Dodgers on the field and players from both dugouts and bullpens charged the scene.
However, Thursday night's incident didn't start at Petco Park.
"Myself and Greinke have a history," said Quentin, referring to incidents when Greinke hit Quentin with pitches in 2008 and 2009 when Greinke pitched for the Kansas City Royals and Quentin played for the Chicago White Sox.
"It is documented. I've been hit many times in my career, and I've never responded in that fashion. It could have been avoided. What he said was the final straw. If he doesn't say anything, I don't charge."
In 2009, Quentin reportedly had to restrained by plate umpire Paul Hohn after being hit by a Greinke pitch.
"I feel like he's just trying to intimidate people," Greinke said of Quentin. "I don't know anyone who has hit him on purpose. I know I haven't."
Quentin called the injury to Greinke "unfortunate."
"It could have avoided," Quentin said. "It wasn't avoided. Our history has been documented. You can look it up."
Quentin came into Thursday night's game with a career 6-for-24 mark against Greinke with three homers. Quentin missed Wednesday night's game after being hit on the right forearm by a pitch from Ronald Belisario in Tuesday afternoon's home opener against the Dodgers.