Rivalries are a part of baseball just like they are in any other sport. Just look at the Mets and Phillies over the last few years. The Phils have taken advantage of two straight September swoons by the Mets to get into the playoffs, and even parlayed all that momentum into a World Series title last season. Things are so bitter that Carlos Beltran is talking about killing Cole Hamels, though only metaphorically, which does seem rather lame.
However, did you know that rivalries can sometimes form on the same team? When you put 25 guys on a squad together, odds are not everybody is going to like each other, and when you throw some coaches into the equation as well, there are bound to be some fireworks. Last year in Los Angeles Brad Penny and third-base coach Larry Bowa weren't exactly best friends, and their mutual contempt for one another still lives on today even though Penny is playing for the Boston Red Sox now.
Penny is down in Florida with the Red Sox, and while getting acquainted with his new teammates and the Boston media, he's been asked a bit about his time in Los Angeles. Well, to put it simply, Penny didn't much enjoy his last season in Lala land.
"There were a few people I didn't get along with on the coaching staff that don't respect people," Penny said. "I mean, me and [Manager] Joe [Torre] got along fine. I just feel like nobody had my back there. You're in the clubhouse and you have players coming up to you saying coaches are saying this to them about you."
Of course, Larry Bowa then read Penny's comments, and seeing as how Bowa is the calm and reserved type who generally prefers to keep his thoughts to himself, he responded in kind.
"Is this the same Penny that never went to meetings, that came late, left early, was never in shape, always had an excuse when things didn't go right, didn't help the young kids at all? Coaches get on players when they're lazy and don't work. I think he should worry about getting hitters out in the American League East and not worry about me."
I'm pretty sure that Bowa then challenged Penny to meet him at the monkey bars after school at 3:10PM. There they will discuss the impact of Barack Obama's plan to help the country out of its current economic crisis, and then present their own plans. Whoever's idea is deemed the best by a panel of Florida fourth graders will then be crowned Least Biggest Dumbass of the Day and get a $10 gift certificate to any local Save-A-Lot Food Store.
Don't worry if you can't be in Florida to see the fight yourself, because Dodgers manager Joe Torre said, "I'll write about it in my next book."
Brad Penny and Larry Bowa Don't Seem To Like One Another originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Wed, 18 Feb 2009 01:53:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.