Yes Jiminez looked like a jerk after he drilled Tulowitski with the first pitch of his first inning at bat. After Tulowitski looked back at him and said something, it was Jiminez who dropped his glove and shouted "Come on!", a sign that he perhaps hit Troy on purpose. If the decision is made to suspend Jiminez, I have no gripes. The person I still blame for this entire situation is Tracy, who still has not established himself as a legitimate big league manager.
Several Denver media outlets say this was a feud between the two players over a contract situation. Jiminez signed his very team friendly extension a couple of years ago and was not happy after Tulowitski and OF Carlos Gonzalez signed very player friendly extensions within the last year or so. While it was a terrible move to mention contracts signed by teammates to the media (it should have been between Jiminez, his agent and the Rockies), Tulowitski was the one who suggested Jiminez was not giving his all due to the bad start he got off to last season. Neither one looked like a leader when calling his teammate out to the media like that.
Jiminez did get off to a terrible start last season. Pitchers get off to bad starts. I think it is funny how there always has to be a reason. If the pitcher is not pitching well he has to be injured, or else, is not trying. How about give a little credit to the hitters? Maybe it becomes time for the pitcher to make some adjustments. It's one thing for a player to make foolish statements like that to the media, even worse for a big league manager to make the statements he did.
Tracy is the one who turned this into the circus he did. He was the one who probably went to team management and incited the trade of Jiminez. In doing so, he may have held the Rockies back in getting even more back than they got. The Rockies got a nice return for Jiminez, including top pitching prospect Drew Pomeranz, but could have landed more. Jiminez was coming off a 2010 season where he was one of the top pitchers in the game. He was, and still is, an ace, whether Jim Tracy likes him or not. If it is true that Tracy was the one who forced this trade, how does he have the clout to make a decision like that about a pitcher who will be more valuable than he will ever be as a manager?
If Jiminez hit Tulowitski on purpose, he should be suspended. But either way, Tracy looks foolish saying "I lost all respect for him." This is a manager who was lucky to get another job as a big league manager, after not doing well leading the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is also a hypocrite, as he is the one who encouraged Guillermo Moto to hit Mike Piazza in a spring training game before the start of the 2003 season. This type of thing happens, as Tracy can attest to being a culprit of Mota hitting Piazza. He left his middle reliever, who was, has been and is still a one inning reliever, in a second inning just to face Piazza. You can't have it both ways. And if you do, you need to keep your mouth shut in this situation.
As far as Jiminez's contract situation, he was the one who signed the contract. He could have held out signing the extension, he was not a free agent. Jose Reyes signed his own contract too, something that has to be thought about before we talk about how a contract is too team friendly or not. Nobody asked to take money away from Jiminez after he struggled last season, where he should have given money back for the way he pitched. But, it is silly to suggest that he was not giving his all because the results were not there. And the manager needs to stay out of this. He can say that Tulowitski was hit on purpose, but he is only throwing sour grapes by going after Jiminez the way he did.
Tracy begins this season on the hot seat as the Rockies have struggled to compete with the likes of the Diamondbacks, Giants and even Dodgers in the NL West. The Rockies have talent, led by Troy and Gonzalez, and it is up to Tracy to lead the team to put up results this season or risk losing his job. He has drawn more attention to himself with his recent comments and could be the first manager let go if the Rockies do not play the way they are capable of.