I thought of Earl Weaver after Martin's plunking. Weaver in fact never ordered a knock-down (he said he was afraid of permanently injuring someone and didn't want it on his conscience), but he was a master of grabbing hold of a situation and changing the subject from his own team's poor play. If Jim Palmer was tossing a two-hitter or Brooks Robinson was turning doubles into double plays, Weaver would sit in the dugout, arms folded, smoking when he thought he could get away with it. Give him the wrong end of a 12-2 thumping, and he was a whirlwind of animation: screaming, cursing, arms-waving, generally making life miserable for Ron Luciano and Steve Palermo. Get him thrown out, and the local Baltimore TV station (and eventually ESPN) would show a hi-light of his histrionics, and not Dennis Martinez giving up another home run. The Baltimore and Washington papers would write about Weaver; the questions in the clubhouse would be about Weaver's ejection.
So . . . in a game that might have been about CC's (less one pitch) masterpiece or Russell Martin's three home runs or Gardner's awakening, the post-game conversations began with Martin's beaning. Both New York tabloids began their accounts with one otherwise meaningless ninth-inning pitch. Alex Rodriguez's twenty-second career grand slam (one short of the Iron Horse's majesterial 23, one of the last of the old power records) barely warranted mention. The total incompetence of Baltimore's bullpen barely merited a mention. Weaver couldn't have pulled it off better himself.