MLB brawls always misunderstood

It's easy for fans to miss why these fights break out in the first place

Updated: April 12, 2013, 9:21 PM ET
By C.J. Nitkowski | ESPN Insider

You know the story: On Thursday night, Zack Greinke hit Carlos Quentin with a pitch. If you didn't hear about it, the details are here, here and here.

Hit by pitches, brawls, unwritten rules. Everyone has an opinion and everyone is a critic, but so few, by no fault of their own, actually get it.

One of my favorite all-time mound charges took place in 2000. Gerald Williams charged Pedro Martinez after getting hit on the forearm. Gerald looked stunned and did not charge the mound immediately. He took a few steps toward first while looking at his arm. He stopped and looked at Pedro, then back at his arm, but still didn't charge. He looked at Pedro a second time, and it was at that point he bolted for the three-time Cy Young Award winner.

[+] EnlargeGerald Williams and Pedro Martinez
PETER MUHLY/Getty ImagesWilliams was angry that Martinez showed no remorse for plunking him.

I played with Gerald a couple of years later and asked him about the incident. I told him I was interested as to why he didn't charge at first and what made him decide later that it was time to go. His answer was revealing.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

MORE MLB HEADLINES

MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM