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Home » Gallery & June 2005 Game CommentsJune 2005 » Avast


Game 67: June 18, 2005
Pirates (31-35), 2
Red Sox (37-30), 0
W: Rick White (3-3)
S: Jose Mesa (18)
L: Alan Embree (2-3)

I jinxed it. Don’t look to place blame on the field manager, the bullpen, or the men left on base, because it’s all on my head. I alluded to the 5-game win streak in the title of my last game comments post, and it doomed the Red Sox’s chances for this game.

Tim Wakefield played against his former team for the first time. Despite pitching seven scoreless innings with 7 hits, 3 walks, and 5 strikeouts, the offense behind him failed to get the well-timed hit and left 11 on base. NESN showed clips of him as a rookie, and he looked eerily like Tom Cruise. He refrained from jumping onto the dugout roof and declaring his unabiding love for Katie Holmes at the middle of each inning, thankfully. The Wakefield retrospective included a clip of slim Barry Bonds putting Wakefield in the same category as Roger Clemens, calling him “great.”

Incredibly, the home plate umpire, Jerry Crawford, did not permit Ryan Doumit to get a base after he was “hit” by a pitch in the 2nd inning. According to 6.08(b), a batter is entitled to first base when:

“[h]e is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting to hit unless (1) The ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, or (2) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball; If the ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a strike, whether or not the batter tries to avoid the ball. If the ball is outside the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a ball if he makes no attempt to avoid being touched. APPROVED RULING: When the batter is touched by a pitched ball which does not entitle him to first base, the ball is dead and no runner may advance.”

Finally, there was an umpire with enough integrity to make this call, and it was primarily because Doumit looked as bad as a soccer player faking an injury or an NBA player flopping to get the foul call when he stuck his elbow into the path of Wakefield’s pitch. Wakefield in particular should get the benefit of this rule more often because his knuckleballs don’t carry the intimidation of a Mark Prior fastball. Hitters aren’t afraid to get hit by him and have the recourse of blaming the erraticness of the knuckler’s flight. Doumit struck out swinging at the very next pitch.

Manny Ramirez left the game in the 8th from the after effects of getting drilled by Dave Williams in the left calf back in the 5th inning. It’s not something that I noticed until now, but Ramirez goes to bat basically unshielded. Most other sluggers are adorned with an assortment of elbow, ankle, and shin armor, but not Manny. He does seem to be the type to be weighted down and distracted by anything; for him, it’s all about the swing.

Alan Embree entered the game in the 8th inning with the score tied at 0-0; not the most confidence-inspiring sight. Surprisingly, he gave up no earned runs, got an out, and left a runner at second base for Matt Mantei. Mantei gave up the wall-scraping double to Humberto Cota to drive in Doumit, that faker, with the go-ahead run. So, for the first time this season the Red Sox were shut out, and were blanked in a game that barely captured the historical resonance of the teams’ first meeting.

They played in the first “world’s series” in 1903, an eight-game series that the Red Sox (then known as the Americans, the Pilgrims, or Puritans) won 5 games to 3. The Royal Rooters, a rabid group of several hundred fans with their own band, traveled to Pittsburgh to cheer on their team. To unnerve the opposing team, they sang “Tessie,” a popular song from a Broadway play “The Silver Slipper.” The song was remade in 2004 by the Dropkick Murphys and another group of avid fans continue their obsession virtually on the fanboard named after those that came before them.

The caption says: Photo by Staff Photographer.
Standing row, reading from left — Winter, p.; O’Brien, utility; Farrell, c.; Dineen, p.; LaChance, 1b; Dougherty, lf.; Hughes, p.; Freeman, r.f.; Criger, c.
Seated — Stahl, c.f.; Parent, s.s.; Young, p.; Collins, 3b, (Capt.); Ferris, 2b.; Gibson, p.

Tessie, you make me feel so badly; Why don’t you turn around?
Tessie, you know I love you madly; Babe, my heart weighs about a pound.
Don’t blame me if I ever doubt you, You know I wouldn’t live without you.
Tessie, you are the only, only, only.

Although the Royal Rooters were most strongly associated with the 1903 American League team, some members also cheered for the Boston National League team, known by many names, including the Red Caps, the Beaneaters, and the Braves. In his Third Base Saloon, Michael T. McGreevey would settle disputes between the Americans and the Nationals fans by yelling, “Nuff ced!”


I also originally gave Cheese the benefit of the doubt. Until this morning, when my dad said, "Captain Cheese hits that batter, jeez...." Isn't it weird how Cheese is so bad that it's considered good for him to do only one bad thing? Even if that thing leads directly to us losing the game? So I went back and edited my blog about that. Terrible job, Cheese.

I was so happy to see that call. I was up on the Monster Seats for this game. I saw him get hit, and I saw ump immediately start pointing at the plate. Saying something. At first, I was confused as to what was going on. It suddenly dawned on me this guy is actually going to call the rule correctly. I was STUNNED. I then spent the next half inning explaining to people around me what the rule is and what it says. It's amazing how many people don't even know the rule exists.

Sucked they lost the game, but I thoroughly enjoyed the time up on the Monster.

Umpires so rarely make the call that the batter didn't avoid the pitch that a lot of people aren't aware of the rule. It was a refreshing change of pace to see it enforced.

Sorry you didn't get a to see a win, Ed. What section were you in? Was it your first time there? I have third row M9 for an Anaheim game in September.

I was in Section Ten, first row. I was literally the last seat on the Monster. I sat right below the Championship Flag. It was great being up there. It was my first time there. Good times.

The only bad thing about being up there is the speakers are right there, and they are loud. Try the Monster Dog. It's tasty, but it's like the size of three hot dogs. It's worth it though.

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