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Home » May 2014 Game CommentsMay 2014 » Priceless


The Red Sox beat the Rays in runs scored (3-2) and people ejected (4-0). So why is it that the Rays came out ahead in batters hit by pitch (3-0)?

Rule 8.02(d) entitled “Intentionally Pitch at the Batter” states:

If, in the umpire’s judgment, such a violation occurs, the umpire may elect either to:

1. Expel the pitcher, or the manager and the pitcher, from the game, or

2. may warn the pitcher and the manager of both teams that another such pitch will result in the immediate expulsion of that pitcher (or a replacement) and the manager.

If, in the umpire’s judgment, circumstances warrant, both teams may be officially “warned” prior to the game or at any time during the game.

(League Presidents may take additional action under authority provided in Rule 9.05)

Rule 8.02(d) Comment: Team personnel may not come onto the playing surface to argue or dispute a warning issued under Rule 8.02(d). If a manager, coach or player leaves the dugout or his position to dispute a warning, he should be warned to stop. If he continues, he is subject to ejection.

To pitch at a batter’s head is unsportsmanlike and highly dangerous. It should be—and is— condemned by everybody. Umpires should act without hesitation in enforcement of this rule.

Really, Rays? All this fuss over the Fenway booth playing the Barney theme song and other children’s tunes during your batting practice?

By the letter of the law, home plate umpire Dan Bellino was in his rights when he ejected John Farrell in the first inning. But I would question why crew chief Jeff Kellogg didn’t warn both teams prior to the game. Circumstances certainly warranted such a precautionary measure. Had they done so, David Price’s plunking of David Ortiz in the first inning would have resulted in an ejection. According to the rules, the umpires didn’t even need to an issue a warning to expel Price from the game in the bottom of the first. Farrell seemed to come out to argue that Price’s pitch at Ortiz was clearly intentional.

That Price stayed in the game to be able to hit Mike Carp with a pitch in the bottom of the fourth rankled acting manager Torey Lovullo and the team. The benches cleared and Ortiz was particularly livid. When it became clear that Price was going to remain on the mound even after hitting his second batter in the game (note that prior to this contest Price had hit two batters the entire season), Lovullo ripped off his cap and hurled it to the ground. Brian Butterfield took Lovullo’s place as acting manager and Greg Colbrunn took Butterfield’s place as third base coach.

Brandon Workman threw behind Evan Longoria in the sixth inning and was immediately tossed. By rule 8.02(d)2 above Butterfield was dismissed as well. Ever the antagonist, A.J. Pierzynski jawed at Longoria after the pitch.

The Red Sox seemed to break their slump after a brawl in Tampa Bay. Not coincidentally Xander Bogaerts’s bat came back to life. The rookie shortstop plated his fellow newcomer Jackie Bradley, Jr. in the seventh inning with a double that clanged halfway up the left field wall. The score was knotted 2-2 until the game went into extra innings.

Pierzynski not only contributed to Boston’s mind games over Tampa Bay but also launched a triple to the triangle in the tenth inning to plate Jonny Gomes for the winning run. Desmond Jennings and Wil Myers collided in center field chasing down the ball. It seems like Jennings got some fielding advice from B.J. Upton during their time together on the Rays.

Game 54: May 30, 2014 ∙ 10 innings
Tampa Bay Rays
2 L: Juan Carlos Oviedo (1-2)
2B: David DeJesus (11), Yunel Escobar (8)
WinBoston Red Sox
3 W: Andrew Miller (2-4)
2B: A.J. Pierzynski (7), Xander Bogaerts (14)
3B: Pierzynski (1)

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