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Home » April 2011 Game CommentsApril 2011 » Jenks Jinx

Jenks Jinx

The Red Sox ruined what should have been a celebratory day for two significant reasons: Jackie Robinson Day and the announcement of Adrian Gonzalez’s seven-year, $154 million dollar contract extension.

As Daisuke Matsuzaka had a few days before, Clay Buchholz almost put his team in the hole early in the game. With two men on Adam Lind launched a fly ball to right field that somehow found the top of the wall between Pesky’s Pole and the foul line painted on the right field wall padding. There is a third yellow line below the padding that is painted on to the wall. At first Paul Nauert ruled the shot a home run but after booth review the crew determined it was a foul ball. Lind ended up grounding out to second and Buchholz was spared a three-run roundtripper marring his line.

Nothing in Fenway Park’s ground rules address this specific gap and there is no further guidance from the league’s universal ground rules. John Farrell seemed to be arguing for a ground-rule double, but the umpires considered anything to the right of the pole foul even if it happened to bounce off the top of the wall to the left of the line on the padding.

Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy were amazed that the two lines and the pole were not aligned. I can see their point regarding the lines, but I imagine a survey team was brought in to demarcate the boundaries based on trajectories from home plate. From other vantage points the foul lines seem meandering, but from the dish they should be correct. Given the confusion, however, it might be time to update Fenway’s ground rules, especially since they still reference the screen above the left field wall.

It also might be time for Terry Francona to take an eraser to his lineup. Regulars Carl Crawford, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Jacoby Ellsbury are mired in on-base percentages under .300. These are solvable problems and probably temporary. Francona needs to stop with the tee ball approach to building a lineup and start having some of his players ride pine.

Bobby Jenks had an aberrant outing when his team least needed it. The one time where the starting pitching didn’t give away the game and enough bats were making contact the relief corps failed. Jenks gave up four runs in the seventh when his team was knotted 3-3 with the Blue Jays.

Of course Orsillo was marveling over Jenks’s preceding four innings of hitless ball. Were the thin-striped light and dark blue tie and sky blue shirt a tribute to Jackie Robinson or to Toronto?

Game 12: April 15, 2011
WinToronto Blue Jays
W: Brett Cecil (1-1)
H: Casey Janssen (1)
S: Jon Rauch (3)
2B: Travis Snider (2)
3B: Corey Patterson (1)
Boston Red Sox
BS: Alfredo Aceves (1)
L: Bobby Jenks (0-1)
2B: Marco Scutaro (2)
HR: Dustin Pedroia (2), Kevin Youkilis (1)

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