Originally created 07/30/01

Lopes threatens Rickey Henderson



MILWAUKEE -- Rickey Henderson's chase of baseball's career runs record nearly led to severe retribution from the angry Milwaukee Brewers.

In the seventh inning of San Diego's 12-5 victory over Milwaukee, Henderson took off for second base. Milwaukee manager Davey Lopes was so upset that he threatened to have Henderson hit by a pitch if the Padres outfielder batted again.

Because the Padres lead was so big, the Brewers did not expect Henderson to take the base. An infuriated Lopes came out of the dugout to tell Henderson during a heated exchange that his next at-bat would be an adventurous one.

"I didn't appreciate what he did," Lopes said. "I know he's trying to obtain the record for the most runs scored, but do it the right way. I just told him to stay in the game, because he was going (down). We were going to drill him."

Henderson, who trails Ty Cobb's mark of 2,246 runs by 22, was not given a stolen base on the attempt as the official scorer ruled defensive indifference as Ryan Klesko batted.

The Padres had already scored once in the inning to take a 12-5 lead.

Lopes felt that the attempted steal by Henderson, who has stolen a record 1,385 bases, breached baseball etiquette that says a player will not try to show up another club when his team is way ahead.

"There's a right way to play this game and a wrong way to play this game," Lopes said. "That was very unprofessional. He's a good friend of mine but I ain't got no friends on the field. Not when they try to do that. Absolutely not. It's uncalled for."

Henderson said he only ran because he was ordered to go to second, and understood why the Brewers were angry.

"He came down, he's upset with his team down and frustrated that we were winning by six or seven runs. He said he was going to knock me down or something," Henderson said. "My team wanted me to go down to second base but he didn't like it.

"He wanted to protect his team and to show that wasn't appreciated. I told him I know the game. If I would steal it on my own I wouldn't go down there and take the base. But that time I was sent. I'm not trying to show anybody up in that situation."

Henderson didn't mind Lopes jawing at him, but didn't care for remarks made by reliever Ray King, who was pitching at the time.

"I respect (Lopes) and he knows the game. But the pitcher was yakking and he had no good reason for what he was yakking about," Henderson said. "He's just a rookie, he doesn't know what he's talking about."

King, who retired both batters he faced, was just as upset as Lopes.

"That's the last thing in your mind, that a guy is going to run in that situation. To me, if you have to break the run record that way I don't think you deserve it," King said.

"I think that's sorry for baseball," he added. "I had a lot of respect for him, but in that situation I lost a lot of respect for a guy whose possibly going in the Hall of Fame."

Lopes might be in line for discipline as managers are not allowed to order pitchers to hit opposing players. Henderson left the game after that inning before he could bat again.

"They took him out of the game because they knew we were going to get him," Lopes said. "He (Padres manager Bruce Bochy) was protecting his player. Even though a player does a stupid thing at times, a manager has to protect him."

Lopes issued another warning after the game.

"Next time somebody might not be as lenient as I was, and drill the hitter that's next to him (in the lineup)," Lopes said, "and he'll have to answer to one of his teammates."



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