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Essential Empy

Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “basebrawl”


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...


This batboy had a mischievous air about him. Oh wait, that’s Dustin Pedroia. He finally shaved his scrubby facial hair in an effort to reverse his and his team’s fortunes. The second baseman went 1-for-5 with four men left on base. Perhaps the manscaping rubbed off on Jonny Gomes. The platoon player tied the game 3-3 in the top of the seventh with a two-run homer into the left field seats. Craig Breslow couldn’t rein in the Rays in the bottom of the seventh. Sean Rodriguez slammed a three-run shot into the stands off the southpaw and the scoring didn’t stop there. James Loney and Brandon Guyer scored on Yunel Escobar’s line drive double to Gomes. Escobar advanced to third on defensive indifference, a terrible breach of baseball etiquette in a sport where scratching one’s scrotum and excessive expectoration is commonplace. “Five runs up,” A.J. Pierzynski scornfully commented to Jose Molina. David Ross chirped from the Red Sox dugout and Escobar took exception. Gomes charged from left field to take Escobar out and the brawl was on. Gomes and Escobar were ejected for their parts in the melee. It wasn’t quite the fracas that Coco Crisp and James Shields sparked...

A Pitch of Orioles

With the score tied 2-2 in the seventh and Mike Carp at first base on a base on balls David Ross stepped into the box. Ross took issue with Bud Norris throwing up high. A guy who has had multiple concussions might be sensitive about such things. Ross was so concerned about injuring his brain further he experimented with an old-fashioned mask with shock absorbers and has worn an UNCAP, made of military-grade composite, underneath his gear. So it’s not surprising that Ross jawed at Norris to make an adjustment in his throwing. Matt Wieters did his job as a catcher and interceded. As the situation escalated the benches cleared, but unlike prior dustups against the Orioles this fracas didn’t come to blows or suspensions. I thought that “a quarrel of orioles” would be an outstanding collective noun, but apparently sparrows have plucked that word as their own. This site suggests “a pitch,” but I think “a riffraff of orioles” has a ring to it. Mike Napoli missed just one game due to his dislocated finger. This glove should come with an embroidered reminder: “DO NOT SLIDE HEADFIRST.” When Brock Holt isn’t busy helping old ladies across the street he’s...


Donnybrook, ruckus, fracas — call it what it will, but it’s not actual fighting. One can’t call a brawl in baseball a fight, particularly when the hockey playoffs are happening. This hubbub happened in the sixth when John Lackey plunked Matt Joyce with two out and nobody on with the Red Sox leading 6-4. Joyce had hit a home run to leadoff the home half of the first. Joyce didn’t take his base but mouthed off instead. Jarrod Saltalamacchia protected his pitcher and the mutual shoving cleared the benches. I agree with Joe Maddon that Joyce was hit on purpose but I don’t agree that it was bush league. It’s baseball. What does Raymond think of frays and fourteen-inning forays? The Red Sox pulled out a victory despite blown saves by Junichi Tazawa and Andrew Bailey. Pivotal to the win was Saltalamacchia’s play on both sides of the plate. He turned a key 5-2-3 double play in the tenth to hold the score at 8-8. The backstop also drove in an insurance run in the 14th. This is exactly the type of game the Red Sox from 2012 would have lost. The 2013 edition Red Sox prevailed despite running on...

Bowties and Brouhahas

Joe Maddon took a cue from grade school teachers and motivational speakers the world over and has his team dress according to a theme for every road trip. For the current journey the accessory of choice is the bow tie. There are a number of bow tie devotees that make me an admirer of the accent: Bill Nye, Charlie Chaplin, John Paul Stevens, Les Nessman, Mr. Hooper, and several Doctors Who (the second, third, and eleventh embodiments). Other wearers make it less appealing to me, notably Tucker Carlson, George Will, Sigmund Freud, Louis Farrakhan, and Murray Rothbard. I think Maddon had his team dress like persecuted nerds to give them a physical manifestation of their paranoia. In the recent series in St. Petersburg Adrian Gonzalez was frustrated by Hunter Wendelstedt’s strike zone and as part of his rant “guaranteed” that he would hit a home run. When Gonzalez said, “I’ll start hitting home runs. I’ll hit a home run tomorrow,” he obviously meant this as a general statement about how droughts can be turned around quickly. Maddon twisted the quote into a smear against his pitching staff. Matt Moore hit Gonzalez with a pitch in the next game in his...

Of Routs and Rhubarbs

When asked about his part in last night’s melee, Kevin Gregg said, “We’re not backing down. We’re not scared of them. Them and their $180 million payroll, we don’t care. We’re here to play the game and we have just as much right to play the game, and we’re going to do everything we can to win.” Failing to hit David Ortiz on three pitches Gregg resorted to the old standby excuse that he was trying to pitch the designated hitter inside because that is the way to get him out. Nick Markakis’s comments were even more idiotic than Gregg’s, quite a difficult accomplishment. “It’s a 3-0 pitch, two outs and you have a guy tagging up and a guy swinging at a 3-0 pitch in a [seven-run] game. It doesn’t make sense. [Ortiz] knows the game better than that. Put them on our side and us on their side. It’s a little bush league. Like I said, I’m sure he’s going to look back and realize that he made a mistake, especially charging our pitcher, regardless of what was said.” The Orioles’ philosophy seems to be that one must back down when the pitcher attempts to plunk you when...

Hollywood Lowell

This team is like the sad-eyed puppy at the shelter that you just can’t turn your back on. No matter how pathetic the circumstances, the team musters that irresistible tail-wag, that cloying big-eyed gaze, that spunky growl as it plays tug-of-war with a shredded remnant of fabric. That tattered cloth may have well been Boston’s playoff hopes, ragged and threadbare. Mike Lowell, activated to replaced the injured Kevin Youkilis, played the tailor in the second inning. Since June 22 Lowell has not faced major league pitching, yet the first pitch he saw he knocked over the Green Monster to give his team a two-run lead. The Fenway faithful didn’t even have time to sit down from their “welcome back” standing ovation; they continued to stand as they cheered Lowell around the bases. The only runs that scored in this game were by way of the longball. Indians backstop Lou Marson, who took the spot of Carlos Santana, homered in the third to shave Boston’s lead to a single run. Bill Hall responded in the bottom of the fourth with a no-doubter over the left field wall. Homers weren’t the only fireworks the 37,714 fans enjoyed. As retaliation for Josh Beckett...


Game 112: August 11, 2009 Tigers5L: Chris Lambert (0-1)59-53, 2 game losing streak Red Sox7W: Junichi Tazawa (1-1)H: Fernando Cabrera (1)H: Takashi Saito (2)64-48, 2 game winning streak Highlights: Tazawa made his Fenway debut and after a rough first inning settled into a solid five-inning outing with 1 earned run, 2 base on balls, and 6 strike outs. Despite his skillful start Tazawa wasn’t the headlining act of last night’s show. When Miguel Cabrera got hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out I thought the damage would have been worse if the Tigers first baseman got the chance to swing the bat.Then Nick Green failed to turn the double play on Carlos Guillen’s grounder with the ducks on the pond. A high throw pulled Dustin Pedroia off the second base bag and allowed Placido Polanco to cross the plate. The inning continued with Magglio Ordonez driving in a run on a fielder’s choice, a walk by Alex Avila, and Cabrera scoring on Brandon Inge’s liner to left.Hit by pitch or three-run home run, by the middle of the inning the results were the same.After Pedroia grounded into a double play in the bottom of the second...


Game 6: April 12, 2009 Red Sox4L: Josh Beckett (1-1)2-4, 1 game losing streak Angels5W: Dustin Moseley (1-0)H: Jose Arredondo (4)H: Scot Shields (3)S: Brian Fuentes (2)3-3, 1 game winning streak Highlights: Moseley was one of the Angels who gave a press conference to talk about Nick Adenhart. They were friends and minor league teammates. Even though Adenhart replaced Moseley on the major league roster last year there was not a trace of animosity. It may sound like a cliché, but they were more like family than friends. I don’t begrudge Dustin Moseley and the Angels their victory in this game or their series win. It must have been some small consolation given the events of the past week.It was apparent their nerves were raw. They overreacted to Josh Beckett’s plunking of Bobby Abreu in the bottom of the first, clearing the benches to stand behind their new right fielder. Perhaps Beckett’s throw was meant to hit Abreu, but it should be noted that pulling up in mid-delivery is potentially dangerous to the pitcher. There is a reason for the extreme annoyance you see on hurlers’ faces when batters call for last second timeouts.Torii Hunter flew off the handle and...

Little Girls Take Offense to Crisp’s Comments

Young girls across throughout Massachusetts were appalled by being compared to Tampa Bay Rays last night by Red Sox center fielder Coco Crisp. Crisp was involved in a dust-up with the Rays in which he was tackled by Dioner Navarro. Akinori Iwamura, Carl Crawford, and Jonny Gomes then proceeded to claw and flail away at the subdued Crisp, who was pinned under Navarro. In his post-game interview Crisp compared his fellow combatants to “little girls,” saying the Rays were “trying to scratch out my eyes” and “trying to pull my hair like little girls... [i]nstead of throwing some real punches or something like that�” Elspeth Roeniger, a 13-year old student at Matthews Martial Arts in Medford, Massachusetts bristled at the comparison. “I’ve been taking classes for three years here and I can hold my own. I would never do anything as unsporting as scratch or pull hair.” Fourteen-year old Sachiko Moreno of Roshankish Tae Kwan Do School of Martial Arts, also in Medford, echoed Roeniger’s displeasure. “Lots of people think girls can’t defend themselves or resort to underhanded measures in hand-to-hand combat. I can tell you most of the girls I spar with here have better form than that pitcher...


Game 63: June 5, 2008 Rays 1 L: James Shields (4-4) 35-25, 3 game losing streak Red Sox 7 W: Jon Lester (4-3) 38-25, 3 game winning streak Highlights: Tampa Bay Rays: first place talent, last place class. Only a team like the Rays could trade away Elijah Dukes (who allegedly threatened to kill his wife and children and allegedly impregnated a 17-year old foster child who was living with his relatives) and actually decrease the team character quotient. Lester kept his cool throughout his six and third innings, and evenly slyly got in a smattering of plunks as well as pitches inside and behind the knees while he was at it. To be sure some were off-speed stuff, but there may have been a measure of subtle reciprocity propelling his pitches. The saga of Coco Crisp’s animus towards the Rays continued. The Rays stupidly retaliated in the second inning with the score 3-1 and one of their better pitchers on the mound. Whether it was Joe Maddon’s fiat or James Shields’s initiative, as a whole Tampa Bay obviously doesn’t think of the bigger picture, or at all.The upstart team’s need to avenge themselves because of the chirpy center...


Game 142: September 7, 2007 Red Sox 4 W: Jon Lester (4-0) 86-56, 2 game winning streak29-12-5 series recordMagic number: 15 Orioles 0 L: Daniel Cabrera (9-15) 60-80, 3 game losing streak 17-26-2 series record Highlights: The Red Sox are 12-6 in shutouts this season. Lester matched his season high for innings pitched in a game with seven sharp turns on the mound. Javier Lopez and Manny Delcarmen picked up the last two innings flawlessly. Don’t mess with people whose lot in life is worse than yours. They have less to lose than you and will go farther as a consequence. They will take greater risks. They will take their lack of success out on you. Witness the Baltimore Orioles. They haven’t had a winning record in 10 years. All levels of management are in disarray. After Dave Trembley was inked to a contract extension his team responded with a nine-game losing streak. The only member of the organization who has his act together is Ernie Tyler, and even he finally asked for a few days off after 3,769 straight games working at Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards. He begged off to see Cal Ripken, Jr.’s induction. An old-timer’s...


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