Furious Fielder charges LA clubhouse
Brewers slugger tries to confront Mota after plunking
LOS ANGELES -- A screaming-mad Prince Fielder was stopped at the door of the Dodgers clubhouse by security officials before a large group of Brewers teammates caught up and prevented the slugger from confronting Dodgers reliever Guillermo Mota following a tense finish to Milwaukee's blowout loss on Tuesday.Tempers flared after Mota hit Fielder in the leg with a pitch with two outs in the ninth inning of the Dodgers' 17-4 rout. It was apparent retaliation for the two Dodgers hitters -- including Manny Ramirez in the seventh inning -- who were plunked earlier in the game. Mota was immediately ejected by home plate umpire Lance Barksdale. Fielder stood at home plate for a few moments before reluctantly taking his base, but after Dodgers left fielder Juan Pierre made a leaping catch to end the game, Fielder charged down the dugout steps, and he didn't stop there. He knew the location of the Dodgers clubhouse because it's near a weight room used by visitors, so Fielder hustled past fans and reporters toward the door, yelling obscenities. A number of his teammates caught up with Fielder in time to usher him back to the visitor's side. "I don't remember that," Fielder said before a Brewers official cut off a brief question-and-answer session. Fielder and Mota got along fine last season, when Mota pitched for Milwaukee. All Fielder would say about his former teammate on Tuesday was, "He tried to come inside. It just got away from him. It happens." Brewers manager Ken Macha was much more direct. "It's a part of the game I don't like," Macha said. "We're just trying to get out of the game. We're kind of getting our butts kicked pretty good, and I thought it was obvious because the guy hits Prince and then walks straight off the mound. Prince was standing at home plate looking at him. [Fielder] was pretty upset after the game. "We're not trying to hit anybody, OK? We're losing by 13 runs. We're trying to get 24 outs. We're not trying to hit anybody. That kind of mentality, I think should be taken care of. We'll see what happens. As far as I'm concerned, the guy just hit him on purpose and then walked straight off the mound into the dugout." Macha called for Mota to be disciplined by Major League Baseball. "This kind of mentality puts everybody in jeopardy," Macha said. "Giving [Mota] a $500 fine and a two-day suspension, that's not enough. This kind of thing should be cleaned up." According to reporters who watched the bizarre scene unfold, it was Casey McGehee and Bill Hall who restrained Fielder from actually taking his case inside the home clubhouse. McGehee wouldn't comment, and Hall chalked it up to, "That's baseball." "We're teammates, and we're going to back him with any decision he makes," Hall said. "We were all just being teammates. I don't think anybody has a problem with that." Inside the Dodgers clubhouse, many players were unaware of the scene that had unfolded outside. Catcher Russell Martin asked reporters, "Security had to hold him back?" "That's all right," Martin added. "I mean, it's 25 against one." Dodgers manager Joe Torre wouldn't comment. Neither would center fielder Matt Kemp, who matched career highs with four hits and five RBIs in the Dodgers' best night at home since they scored 17 runs on May 25, 1979, against the Reds. "Normally you want stuff to be taken care of on the field, but it's just part of the game," Martin said. "Our premier hitter gets hit and he's been hit quite a bit this year and it's just kind of protection. That's all it is, it's part of the game. It's been a part of it since I first started playing. ... "I understand [Fielder] is frustrated. I understand that. But I don't think that you should take care of it after the game." Tuesday's showdown sets up an interesting series finale on Wednesday night. It's the final scheduled game between the Brewers and Dodgers this season. "We'll deal with it when we cross paths again," Brewers center fielder Mike Cameron said. "Everything is good. We just want to play a good baseball game." Fielder, who has played every inning of every Brewers game this season, will be back in the lineup for Wednesday's series finale, Macha said. "He's been in every game. Why wouldn't he play?" Macha said.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Associate reporter David Ely contributed. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.