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Brad vibes

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff February 18, 2009 08:22 AM

I admit I’ve always had a sort of love-hate relationship with Brad Penny. For instance, while I’d love to check out Eliza Dushku’s spread in next month’s Maxim, I hate the fact that he doesn’t have to. It sort of ends there.

But it seems the new Red Sox hurler is leaving his former club in Los Angeles with nothing but hate. Penny let loose to Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown over the weekend about how he felt his career with the Dodgers ended last season:

“A lot of stuff went on last year,” Penny said. “There were a few people I didn’t get along with on the coaching staff that don’t respect people. I mean, me and 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. And that’s just not a good situation to be in.”


“Your boy Larry Bowa.”

Anyone else?

“You know what, injuries are out of my control,” said Penny, who did take a cortisone injection in September. “I was hurt. Obviously they didn’t believe me, because of what they were saying. But, they’ll learn. You’ve got to listen to your arm. It’s not all about giving someone a shot. I was hurt. I’m not going to make that up.”

The season before, Penny won 16 games and finished third in the National League Cy Young voting. In 2008, his record was 6-9 and his ERA was 6.27. He pitched only nine innings after mid-June.

“I was trying to protect my career,” he said. “Obviously I don’t throw 88 miles an hour. If they’re too blind to see that, that’s out of my control. It’s funny, man, I don’t know. … They should look at it like I tried to do more than I should have. From the start. They knew I was hurt in spring training. I wouldn’t have been of any help. Yeah, I could pitch. I wouldn’t have done any good.”

Bowa’s response, as told to Inside the Dodgers:

"You mean the same guy who was never on time, out of shape and has one complete game? He has more stuff to worry about in the A.L. East than me. He has to worry about getting people out. He was never on time, was out of shape and never helped the kids out. Put that on the (expletive) dot-com. Put it in the headline.

"He never watched the game (when he was on the DL). Jason Schmidt watched the games. Nomar Garciaparra watched the games. Mark Sweeney watched the games. You go right down the line, everybody who was on the DL watched the games. But not him. He was out of there.''

Boy, Tom Brady and Bowa really wouldn’t get along.

Much ado about nothing? Perhaps. The LA Times’ TJ Simers says, “Bowa's wrong on this one. Bowa didn't think Penny was tough enough, and almost everyone in baseball isn't as tough as Bowa.”

Or as ornery. Here, we present, what Seamheads.com dubs an “incomplete” sampling of Bowa tantrums. Get comfortable.

May 8, 1971 – As a Phillie, Bowa was ejected in the fifth inning after a close play at first base on a bunt. He threw his sunglasses on the field from the dugout after the ejection. The ejection cost him a chance to extend a nine-game hitting streak.

June 27, 1972 – Bowa smashed three light bulbs in the dugout runway after going 0-for-4 against the Cubs.

April 28, 1976 – Bowa disagreed with a called strike by umpire Jim Quick. On the next pitch, Bowa grounded out. On his way to the dugout, he shouted at Quick and was ejected. He exploded from the dugout to further the argument and bumped Quick. Bowa was suspended for 3 games and fined $350.

May 13, 1980 – Bowa became the first Phillie ejected in the 1980 season after an argument with home plate umpire Steve Fields over a strike call.

August 24, 1981 – Manager Dallas Green and Bowa were ejected by third base umpire Steve Fields after both player and manager bumped him during an argument. Green was fined $1000 and suspended for 5 games while Bowa was fined $500.

June 5, 1982 – In his first season with the Cubs, Bowa destroyed a Wrigley dugout toilet and smashed several light bulbs in the dugout runway after grounding into a double play.

July 31, 1983 – Bowa ripped an official scorer after a game in Philadelphia after he failed to credit him with a stolen base when the catcher made no throw to second on his steal attempt. The former Phillie accused the scorer of “trying to be cute” because he used to play there.

May 1987 – During his first season as a major league manager, Bowa’s Padres struggled. Tony Gwynn was asked his thoughts. Gwynn said, “I don’t know. I just stand in the clubhouse, back into my locker stall and watch the manager scream.”

March 15, 1988 – During a spring training game with Seattle, Bowa was ejected for disputing a balk. Bowa later commented that he didn’t like the changes made to the balk rule in the off-season.

July 28, 1989 – Bowa, now a third base coach with the Phillies, was ejected by Steve Rippley after poking him in the mouth during an argument.

May 2001 – In his first season as Phillies manager, Bowa was asked to comment on the new zero tolerance rule on knockdown pitches. “People know when you’re throwing at somebody, believe me. We don’t need an umpire to say that it was intentional.” His solution? If a guy on his team was hit on purpose, “you took care of it.”

July 14, 2001 – Bowa was ejected by umpire Dan Iassogna after arguing balls and strikes. Iassogna said Bowa bumped him but Bowa denied it.

May 7, 2002 – Bowa was ejected for disputing a call at home plate. Bob Watson handed down a fine and a three game suspension. The punishment was for “arguing excessively and making inappropriate comments.” Bowa ripped Watson after the suspension. “I think it’s a joke. Bob Watson is a former player, too. I’d be embarrassed if I were him. He has a vendetta against me and I don’t know why. I could care less about Bob Watson.”

March 26, 2003 – During a spring training game, Bowa was ejected after yelling at Blue Jays starter Roy Halladay which led to both benches emptying. Bowa was upset after both teams were warned when Rheal Cormier threw two inside pitches to Halladay after Halladay hit Jim Thome with a pitch in the third inning. Bowa had to be restrained by several people.

June 19, 2003 – In the ninth inning of a one-run game, Bowa was tossed after he felt Jose Mesa’s 1-2 pitch was a strike. Bowa threw his hat down several times, kicked dirt on the plate and had to be physically removed from the field by bench coach Gary Varsho and first base umpire Charlie Reliford. After the game, Bowa accused the umpires of calling strikes for the Braves that were not strikes for the Phillies.

July 7, 2003 – Bowa was ejected for the second time in four days after benches cleared when Brandon Duckworth hit opposing pitcher Livan Hernandez against the Expos. Bowa was upset with umpire Bill Welke’s decision not to eject Hernandez when he screamed at Duckworth and began walking toward the mound.

August 2003 – After being designated for assignment, Tyler Houston commented about Bowa, “Everybody feels the same way about (Bowa). He doesn’t give a crap about anybody in there. He doesn’t give a crap about his players. He only cares about himself. You see it in the negativity and disrespect that he has for his players, the way he speaks to his players. He’s the first one to slam you, embarrass you, throw stuff in the dugout, throw his hands up in the air. I’ve read that the team is winning because of (Bowa’s) meeting. It’s not winning because of (his) meeting, it’s winning because of the player’s meeting.” Bowa responded a few days later by calling Houston a “loser.” He suggested reporters ask Jim Thome if the player’s like their manager but Thome refused to comment.

April 1, 2004 – During another spring training game with the Blue Jays, Bowa was ejected after Ryan Madson threw behind Frank Catalanatto in retaliation for an earlier incident where Phillies’ catcher Shawn Wooten was plunked by Miguel Batista. He was suspended for one game.

July 9, 2004 – Bowa was ejected after disputing a home run call in a game against the Braves. Bowa initially argued the call and returned to the dugout but continued to badger umpire Bruce Dreckman who tossed him after the next batter lined out. After being ejected, he got nose-to-nose with Dreckman, threw his hat down and gestured several times. It was Bowa’s fourth ejection of the season and #21 of his four seasons with the Phillies. Bowa would be ejected one more time before being fired at the end of the season.

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14 comments so far...
  1. Actually, Bowa is right on this one. I live in LA and sometimes work events with a fire inspector who has both Dodger Stadium and Playboy Mansion under his jurisdiction. This guy is a big baseball fan but a bigger Dodger fan. He commented to me several times last year that a player on the Dodgers wasn't worth a damn, that even though the player was on the DL, he would frequently see him at the Playboy mansion instead of rehabbing or going to games. After some coaxing he ID'd the player as Penny. Bowa can be a jerk, but everything he said matches exactly what the fire marshal said. Let's hope Lowell and Beckett can turn their ex-teammate around. There is no doubt in my mind that Penny shirked his duties last year.

    Posted by Steve L February 18, 09 04:08 PM
  1. So does A-Rod saying that he 'wasn't taking tic-tacs' imply to us the he was taking an oral steroid too? Who would use that analogy for injecting steroids you know? I think that analogy would only be used by someone taking oral steriods, so I think he's lying.

    Posted by Curt February 18, 09 04:23 PM
  1. Well it sounds like Bowa is a jerk so his opinion on Penny can't be taken for much. On the other hand it sounds like Penny was a jerk last year so the fact that it's the jerk Bowa criticizing him doesn't mean it wasn't warranted.

    Bottom line, I'm sure the Sox are aware of every bit of this and more. And the main thing they're concerned about is his arm. If that comes back, the attitude stuff can easily be dealt with.

    Posted by Bob McNeil February 18, 09 06:28 PM


    Posted by MYRON SUCHANICK February 18, 09 08:00 PM
  1. Brad Penny is a hard worker, gives to charity and sets a good example to kids. Cheers that he is now a member of the Red Sox. Something tells me LA will be regretting their position.

    Posted by ColonnadeBoston February 18, 09 09:20 PM
  1. Irrelevant.

    I could care less what Penny did on the DL for the Dodgers last year or what his bench coach thought of him.

    Typical Boston media ploy. Already writing tabloid and gossip stories. Worry about the between the foul lines stuff and leave the other nonsense out of the sports pages.

    Posted by Hoss February 18, 09 10:35 PM
  1. the yankees deserve a-rod. they thought they were cute outbidding the red sox.no one wins with that loser. what are they thinking now. who wants him just think 9 more years----alex[mr. tic tac] you are the man

    Posted by jimc February 19, 09 12:38 AM
  1. Larry Bowa always was and always will be a horse's ass. He is one of the most disreputable people in MLB and has been going back to his playing days. I wonder if this guy is a cover boy for Roid Rage! Hey Larry, maybe we should have you wizz in a bottle.

    Regardless of what Brad Penny did or didn't do in the land of fruits and veggies, Bowa is just a horrible person. He makes Dick Cheney look warm and fuzzy. And I have to question anyone who would hire this perpetual whiner. Just what redeeming qualities does this cretin bring to ANY team? To hear Tony Gwynn recount Bowa's time in SD is just amazing. What a miserable piece of crap Bowa is.

    Posted by Petey G., aka Sofachi February 19, 09 10:20 AM
  1. Wow, Bowa speaks the truth and he is attacked with a run down of every ejection in his career? Lame attempt at journalism. Let Penny prove him wrong, its not up to the local media to dump on an out of town opinion to protect the new boy in town.

    Posted by Soup February 19, 09 02:59 PM
  1. God, I hate Boston...not the team..

    Posted by D Fox February 20, 09 01:43 PM
  1. all that said, if my choices are Larry Bowa or Brad Penney? I'll take Penney.

    Posted by john panzer February 23, 09 02:56 PM
  1. Good thing there's no Playboy mansion in Boston for Brad to hang out in. Wait a sec... what am I saying? Of course I wish there was a Playboy mansion in Boston. Sorry, I wasn't thinking.

    Posted by Spike February 23, 09 03:43 PM
  1. i gotta admit that i'm more than a bit concerned that No-maaahhh is cited as a better team player than penney. but on the other hand, we need someone to make this team a bit more interesting, and penney can easily move into that BY Kim mode.

    Posted by Jamie February 23, 09 04:04 PM
  1. There's nothing better than picking up a stud pitcher who has something to prove to someone (meaning Bowa). Theo isn't stupid. All the peices fit. Talent + something to prove = a potential 20 win season!

    Posted by Rob Cluett February 24, 09 12:20 AM
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