10/13/08 9:40 PM ET
Four Dodgers fined for Game 3 incident
Kuroda, Manny, Duncan, Bowa disciplined by MLB on Monday
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda -- whose third-inning pitch behind the ducking head of Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino was viewed by plate umpire Mike Everitt as retaliation for earlier brushbacks from the Phillies and drew warnings to both teams -- was fined the largest amount, $7,500.
Manager Joe Torre said he thought the fines were unnecessary.
"We certainly don't encourage fights, but you encourage going out and playing the game and being a good teammate and defending your space," said Torre. "It's tough to do one part and ignore the other part.
"They want you to play with passion but don't want to see it. To me, the passion of the game is what you want people to pay money to show up to see. No blows were exchanged. I'm not sure what kind of message this was."
As for the purpose pitch that Kuroda delivered, however, Torre was confident that message was clear. Both to the Phillies, and inside Kuroda's clubhouse, where veterans had been complaining since they felt Philadelphia's Brett Myers had thrown at Russell Martin and Ramirez in Game 2, but Chad Billingsley did not retaliate.
"I don't think there is any question [Kuroda] was a good teammate," said Torre. "You know the guys certainly rally around a good teammate. He was on a plane [flying home ahead of the team] when everything took place in Game 2. He was able to stay focused with all the distractions going on.
As for Billingsley, scheduled to start Game 5 on Wednesday, Torre said he was not concerned about the 24-year-old's ability to bounce back from allowing eight runs during Game 2 and becoming a focal point after it.
"He's fine," said Torre. "It's a family issue is what it amounts to. You sometimes lose sight of the fact these guys are still growing and still learning. He's beating himself up over making bad choices with the way he pitched the other day.
"I had a conversation with him and told him it's more important that you can't forget what you were successful doing -- using both sides of the plate."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.