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Home » 2008 PostseasonOctober 2008 » Ejection


ALCS Game 2: October 11, 2008 ∙ 11 innings
Red Sox 2 L: Mike Timlin (0-1) 1-1
WinRays 0 H: Chad Bradford (1)
BS: Dan Wheeler (1)
W: David Price (1-0)
Highlights: Sam Holbrook, the home plate umpire in Saturday night’s debacle, would have been better off announcing through the public address system that he was going to hand the game over to the Rays. At least then it wouldn’t seem as if Price was the second coming of Francisco Rodriguez when he struck out Mark Kotsay on a called strike that was half a foot outside of the strike zone in the 11th inning. Timlin, despite his 17 years in the league, was squeezed as if he was as wet behind the ears as Price. Might I suggest to Holbrook that he and his crew stock up on on Red Bull for these extra inning affairs; they are obligated to make the calls according to their best judgment, not according to their convenience.

John Farrell was ejected in the eleventh for arguing balls and strikes. For someone as restrained and dignified as Farrell it would take a lot to get thrown out of the game, and Farrell’s limit was reached when Sam Holbrook strike zone narrowed for Mike Timlin. Holbrook seems to melt on the big stage:

The story isn’t about Timlin’s lack of effectiveness but of the failure of Holbrook to judge the zone. Did visions of cowbells and newly-purchased Rays gear being tossed from the stands dance through Holbrook’s head as he failed to apply to Timlin the same standard he granted to David Price?

The story is also about Terry Francona sticking with an ineffectual Josh Beckett for one more out than he should have, allowing the lead to slip away in the fifth. It’s also about Javier Lopez failing to get an out against Carl Crawford, who singled in an insurance run in the fifth.

It should have been about the Red Sox offense bailing out the beleagured starter Josh Beckett. It should have been about Dustin Pedroia, his two home runs, and him scoring the tying run in the eighth on a wild pitch. It should have been about Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay’s consecutive four-baggers in the fifth.

It should have been about the visiting team coming through in ninth to cash in on Coco Crisp’s two-out ground-rule double over B.J. Upton’s head and then over center field fence. Or how back-to-back fly balls off the bats of David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis to center again evaded Upton in the tenth gave the Red Sox the win. I would even take regular old timely hitting by Mark Kotsay or Crisp at the top of the eleventh with two men on. But who knew Holbrook would give David Price leeway the size of Raymond’s waist?

Craig Sager tried to complement Raymond’s color scheme with his electric blue jacket, light blue striped shirt, and boisterously blue-hued paisley tie.

How far apart are Farrell and Holbrook in their opinions? About as far apart as Price’s strike zone was wide.
Photo courtesy Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

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