About Me

My photo

Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Even David Ortiz, biggest dog in baseball, should not be hit by pitch. Hypocracy by Red Sox and their fans?

David Ortiz dogs it more than any baseball player I have seen.  Ortiz doesn't even pretend that he is hustling.  At least Robinson Cano did that.  It's amazing that Red Sox fans embrace him.

But even Ortiz should not be intentionally hit by a pitch.  I've heard many Yankee fans say that Ortiz should be thrown at/near/inside, etc. - the usual euphemisms for intentionally hitting a batter.  I never endorsed that.  I find Ortiz thoroughly revolting but he should not be hit intentionally.

The 35,820 Red Sox fans in Fenway Park last night saw the Red Sox and Tampa Rays engaged in another series of such HBP incidents with Boston having four people serve as manager because of ejections.  It actually would have been cool if they had gone to a player-manager for a day.

In the bottom of the first inning Tampa lefty David Price struck out the first two batters, walked Dustin Pedroia, then hit Ortiz on the hip (not beaned, which means hit in the head), then struck out Jonny Gomes.  After the game Ortiz attributed his being hit by pitch to his having hit two home runs off Price in last season's tournament, won by Boston for the third time in ten years.

In the 4th inning Price retired Ortiz and Gomes, then allowed a double to A.J. Pierzynski, then hit Mike Carp with a pitch, which precipitated the obligatory bench clearing confrontation, complete with Ortiz trying to get at Price.  The umpires determined that Carp's HBP was not intentional and so Price was not ejected even though both teams had been warned emphatically by the plate umpire after Ortiz had been hit.  Understandable outrage by the Red Sox but the umps seemed to have been correct.

In the 6th inning Red Sox starting pitcher Brandon Workman threw a high pitch that sailed behind the head of Evan Longoria, Tampa's best hitter as Ortiz is for Boston. Longoria acted upset and was immediately confronted by Pierzynski, the Boston catcher, who put on his best tough guy act.  Throwing behind a batter's head is completely uncivilized.  The only excuse for Workman is that he threw so far behind Longoria, it was a message, not a threat.

Ironically, Jonny Gomes scored the winning run after he was hit by a pitch thrown by Juan Oviedo in the bottom of the tenth inning and then driven home on a triple by Pierzynski.

Ryan Dempster June 14, 2013
by Keith Allison
via Wikimedia Commons
This week we have these events:

1. Manny Ramirez, twice suspended and forced into retirement for violating the Major Baseball League (MBL) policy on the use of performance enhancing drugs (PED), including steroids, being cheered when he was introduced with teammates from the 2004 championship team.

3. Red Sox fans angered by Ortiz being HBP last night.  Ortiz has also been implicated in violating PED policy.

3. The Yankees reaching 50 games played, the number for which their third baseman Alex Rodriguez should have been suspended for violating PED policy and not the full 2014 season.

Thursday, May 29, 2014
Red Ruffing in the Red Sox Hall of Fame? Worse than Keith Hernandez as all an time Met. And Manny Ramirez honored in Boston?

MLB Network Press Release
4/22/2014 10:18 A.M. ET
Ryan Dempster joins MLB Network as studio analyst

Monday, August 19, 2013
Coward Ryan Dempster should be suspended 211 games for deliberately hitting Alex Rodriguez.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Coward Ryan Dempster suspended: too little, too late.

by Kirk Minihane  Fri, 05/30/2014 - 5:41am

So we arrive at this Manny Ramirez thing from Wednesday night, and I'll do my best to not be a total fraud on this one.

First, I'm on the anti-Manny side of this. A serial steroid abuser, a guy who quit on his team, skipping Jimmy Fund after Jimmy Fund event, blowing off Walter Reed, beating up old guys and his own wife -- we all know the greatest hits. He's personified everything that's been wrong with baseball the last 15 years, and the Red Sox decide to give him above-the-title billing for the 10th anniversary celebration of the 2004 World Series champions Wednesday? A stunningly tone-deaf move by the Red Sox, basically endorsing all the many transgressions of Ramirez. 

I wasn't surprised the Red Sox elected to have Ramirez announced last and throw out the first pitch -- this is an ownership group that hungers to be liked by players, turning into 12-year-olds around these guys. That's OK, I guess, it's their money and they've been extraordinarily successful. No, what surprised me was this idea that there was ever a chance the fans would react negatively toward Ramirez. That was never going to happen. 

Again, cheer or boo -- it's your buck -- but can we all get together and drop the notion that Boston is a tough town? That's over, it's been over for years. Who, exactly, is having a tough time in Boston these days? What athlete? Ramirez treated fans, media and his own organization like a six-pound turd for the better part of a decade and all is forgiven ... why? Because he's been gone for a while? Because he's using the ultimate mulligan, the Jesus card, to kick off an image rehabilitation tour? 

Nope and nope.

Here's the truth: You don't care if Ramirez is a different person or not. Down deep, you're thinking what I'm thinking -- once a jerk, always a jerk. That doesn't change. But he helped you win two World Series and was a great (though juiced off the charts) hitter. And that's what matters. He could get arrested six times over the next 10 years and tear Boston to shreds in interviews, and guess what would happen in 2024? He'd get a standing ovation at the 20th reunion.

No comments: