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Home » May 2012 Game CommentsMay 2012 » Angry Aviles

Angry Aviles

Mike Aviles was ejected for the first time in his major league career in last night’s game. The shortstop argued with home plate umpire Dan Bellino’s strike that ended Aviles’s at bat and the top half of the seventh inning. I found myself agreeing with Aviles: the pitch seemed to be a shade too far outside. According to the strikezone plot at Brooks Baseball, however, Aviles did let a strike go by; it seems he was fooled because the balls he took were very close to the final strike. Nothing like a painstakingly accurate chart to cool one’s righteous indignation.

I don’t think I was the only one who got a little misty when Don Orsillo recounted an anecdote featuring former manager Terry Francona. The Tropicana clubhouse is known for a wall of headshots of major league managers that would be updated with frightening efficiency. Francona said he would check if he still had a job by checking out the photos to see if his shiny pate was still present. That prompted Jerry Remy to recall how he told Francona that his meetings were boring. From that point forward Francona had a magazine waiting for Remy.

Orsillo and Remy didn’t have a story about Bobby Valentine, but perhaps there hasn’t been enough time for a rapport to be established. Valentine backed his team unequivocally. “A lot of guys had complaints tonight, and I was with them,” he said. “We have to fight through it, that’s for sure.” Before NESN cut away for commercial Orsillo asked exasperatedly “Is this the World Series?” I think it might have been directed at Valentine’s hair-trigger switching of pitchers. If keeping on players’ good sides and swapping relievers as if he were still in the senior circuit support job security then Valentine’s picture will hang amongst the other managers’ headshots in the Tropicana clubhouse for a bit longer. Valentine stated that he “was going after this game” and he managed it as if it were the postseason, but the larger question is does he and his team have the mettle to even make it there.

Game 38: May 17, 2012
WinBoston Red Sox
W: Felix Doubront (4-1)
H: Rich Hill (1), Scott Atchison (1), Andrew Miller (3), Vicente Padilla (6)
S: Alfredo Aceves (8)
HR: Marlon Byrd (1), Cody Ross (7)
Tampa Bay Rays
L: Matt Moore (1-4)
2B: B.J. Upton (5), Matt Joyce (4)

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