Bloodlust?

Hyperbolic as the title of this thread may be, there is an interesting discussion happening downstream at the site regarding the plunkings of the Yankees last night and how best the Yankees might respond. We thought it worthy to split this out, as this is an ages-old baseball debate – what to do when your guy gets hit. Do responses change depending on the circumstances (intentional, not intentional, after a homer, after yelling “ha!” on an infield fly, etc.)? What is the “code”?

In light of a much more violent situation with the Canucks and Bruins, in which a player’s career was threatened by an illegal hit, and amidst some ugly calls for retributional blood in that sport, what is the “right” response, and how should it play out between two arch-rivals?

93 comments… add one

  • I agree with John that the Yanks should–and probably will–hit someone to send a message. It’s part of the game. However, I think this should be done in a solemn, matter-of-fact way. “Hey, you guys hit two yesterday so I have to send a message, no hard feelings all around.”
    What surprises me, and what changes the circumstances in my opinion, is when pitchers make this retaliation (or when fans make the call for retaliation) out of anger. That’s what leads to things getting out of hand. That may be a very minor distinction to most people, but to me it makes all the difference in the world.

    Atheose - SF June 8, 2011, 10:37 am
  • it should go down like this:
    http://tinyurl.com/2brhkl6

    Nick-YF June 8, 2011, 10:40 am
  • Link dead in the USA, Nick.

    SF June 8, 2011, 10:41 am
  • Damn, it was Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” video.

    Nick-YF June 8, 2011, 10:45 am
  • Ath, you are spot on. It’s not an “anger” thing. It’s a hey, we are even now thing. Once it’s done, it’s done. The quicker you do it, the less chance it has to turn into an action filled with anger.

    John - YF June 8, 2011, 10:51 am
  • The problem as I see it with the retributive mentality, and that’s what it is, no matter how somber or professional the retribution is delivered, is that pitchers make mistakes. After all, pitchers have hit guys in the head when they’re not trying to hit them at all, let alone when they’re actually aiming for them. Yes, trying to hit someone in the back or the butt is “part of the game.” So are career- and life-threatening head injuries. It doesn’t mean we need to risk one to perpetuate the other.

    Paul SF June 8, 2011, 11:00 am
  • If you are a major league pitcher and you are aiming for a butt cheek and hit someone in the head it’s time for a new career.

    John - YF June 8, 2011, 11:02 am
  • If you are a major league pitcher and you are aiming for a butt cheek and hit someone in the head it’s time for a new career.
    Isn’t AJ Burnett pitching tonight?

    SF June 8, 2011, 11:10 am
  • I’m moving this from the last thread …
    RE: Ortiz: “who walks the fine line between having fun and disrespecting the game.”
    Disrepecting the game? That’s a little extreme. Disrepect by whose standard?
    That is a dumb comment.
    Look … I understand being a fan and getting emotional and backing your team and being frustrated when you lose to your rival. But we need to be smarter than this. Stop and think for a second. Change the teams and players. Sam Fuld flipped his bat after hitting a homer. Who cares?

    I'mBillMcNeal June 8, 2011, 11:17 am
  • A dumb comment? Really? OK it’s dumb, I know nothing about the history of the game I guess :)
    Like it or not this has nothing to do with allegiances. Manny, Papi, Joba, Bonds, Sosa, etc…all play(ed) the game with an energy and a love for playing the game. With that game a walking of a fine line of what’s disrespectful to the opposing pitcher/team and the game. I never once said Papi crossed the line, what I am saying is the baseball traditionalist could take issue with his antics. Imagine just killing a project at work, walking into your bosses office…you pound your chest with both fists and point to the heavens then toss the file onto his or her desk and the do the “Dougie” back to your office…

    John - YF June 8, 2011, 11:27 am
  • Quick question re: “disrespecting” the game. Is it disrespecting the game to try to throw at someone’s ass but break their wrist instead (say the ass-targeted pitch misses by 16-18″ and hits a hand)?
    I find this topic so murky, I think the idea that a pitcher hit a guy by accident so one of his guys gets thrown at to be nearly infantile in nature. But that’s sports, right? Kids’ games, basically, played by adults.

    SF June 8, 2011, 11:28 am
  • Imagine just killing a project at work, walking into your bosses office…you pound your chest with both fists and point to the heavens then toss the file onto his or her desk and the do the “Dougie” back to your office…
    False equivalency. There is no tradition of celebrating one’s own achievements via dance or fist pump in conventional business culture like there is in sports. Also, moonwalking is the limit at my office, no dougies.
    Also, what makes a “traditionalist”? Someone who liked Ty Cobb? Ruth (he f*cking CALLED A HOME RUN, talk about assholish arrogance!!!)? This idea that “tradition” involves head-down scampering around the bases after hitting a no-doubter is absurd.

    SF June 8, 2011, 11:31 am
  • So while personally I don’t really like showboating (said as such about Papi in the previous thread) tradition, in fact, mandates that showboating occur on occasion. Showboating is, like it or not, part of the tradition of baseball.

    SF June 8, 2011, 11:33 am
  • Aside from Ortiz flipping his bat last night, what other times has he done anything that could be considered disrespectful to the opposing pitcher/team? I honestly cannot think of any examples.

    Atheose - SF June 8, 2011, 11:35 am
  • There is absolutely an infantile and stubborn nature about going by the book and respecting the traditions of the game. I will be the 1st to admit that. How you play the game, how you watch the game, how you coach/manage the game all come from how you were taught. Eventually this part of the game will disappear (much like players ability to bunt, situational hitting and the complete game). The most important coaching figure in my career as a player and coach has been an old school, by the book coach that I’ve known since I was a teenager. So I tend to lean towards “the book”.

    John - YF June 8, 2011, 11:38 am
  • Aside from Ortiz flipping his bat last night, what other times has he done anything that could be considered disrespectful to the opposing pitcher/team?
    Well, he might have, at one point, drank a shake with stuff in it.
    Is A-Rod “disrespecting the game” by cavorting quite flamboyantly with his admitted steroid provider despite requests that he not? Is his action enough to make us wonder if he is still skirting the rules and completely disrespecting the game? Did Colon “disrespect the game” by going to a doctor who still will not provide medical records surrounding his treatment, despite the approvals given and the requests acceded to?
    I am not simply being antagonistic, I personally don’t think they are at this point. But these are real questions tied to the big one: what the heck does “disrespecting the game” mean? Does it mean acting like an ass on the field or does it mean acting such that one might call the integrity of one’s play into doubt? Honestly – the idea that Ortiz did something in violation of baseball’s code of tradition last night is absurd. And I didn’t like what he did, just as a matter of sportsmanship. But that’s a far cry from talking like he made some kind of mockery of baseball.

    SF June 8, 2011, 11:42 am
  • I don’t understand why anyone would advocate for someone to be hit by a pitched ball.
    Tony Conigliaro, folks.
    We have no idea if Marlon Byrd will be OK.
    I don’t think either of these pitches were intentional.
    I go back to the Red Sox-Cubs series. Quade made a big deal out of two HBPs. Neither was intentional, although Byrd was very badly hurt.
    And this is what was comical about it.
    Cubs hit Carl. Carl steals second and immediately scores. Free run for the Red Sox. So a commitment to “The Code” means you put your team in a hole.
    Such a Neanderthal mentality.
    How does retaliating for an unintential HBP settle the score? How is it standing up for a teammate?
    Perhaps I’m a victim of my job here. I work in a prosecutor’s office. I picture this scenario in court …
    Defendant: Well, judge, the other guy didn’t stop in time and rear-ended me. I know he didn’t do it on purpose, but he dinged my bumper really bad. So, you know, the Code of the Road being what it is, I got out my tire iron and smashed all of his windows. I owed it to my family.
    Judge: I sentence you to 30 days in jail, dumbass.
    We need to not confuse our emotions with common sense. It stinks that Tex got hurt and had to leave the game. It stinks for you YFs that you lost the game. I get that. But we have to be smarter than this.
    Same is true for the Bruins-Canucks. i was jacked up and loved the fingers in the Canucks’ faces. But Claude was right. There’s no place for that. In terms of the dirty hit on Horts, I really, really doubt that the hit was the result of an intent to injure. But I do think Rome wanted to pop Horts a good one, but he just got a little carried away. And in reality the NHL has done a poor job policing this. I still have no idea what Murphy was talking about in his explanation of the Rome suspension.
    The NHL has been inconsistent in meting out these penalties.
    Had the league sat Burrows for the finger thing, or even fined him, it’s doubtful that thing escalates.
    But you mix testosterone and emotion and perhaps a bit of immaturity and this is what happens. The Canucks feklt empowered and Bruins probably overreacted a bit and got their undies in a bunch.
    Regarding the bat flip, I think Girardi was trying to get his guys jacked up a bit. I otherwise doubt he cares.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 8, 2011, 11:43 am
  • “Showboating is, like it or not, part of the tradition of baseball.”
    As is retribution for said showboating.
    True story: Last week played in our county finals. Kid hit a HR in the 2nd inning, jogged around the bases and “Dougied” at home plate. His next AB he wasn’t given the chance to swing the bat and after that it was done. On the flip side we hit 4 HR’s and each kid ran the bases with emotion and respect. That’s how they’ve been taught to play. There is no right or wrong, it’s all how you see the game.

    John - YF June 8, 2011, 11:45 am
  • I really, really doubt that the hit was the result of an intent to injure
    See, now I disagree with you here. But I do NOT think the Bruins should go out and injure a Canuck, even thinking that Rome hit Horty knowing he could hurt him very badly.

    SF June 8, 2011, 11:45 am
  • True story: Last week played in our county finals. Kid hit a HR in the 2nd inning, jogged around the bases and “Dougied” at home plate. His next AB he wasn’t given the chance to swing the bat and after that it was done.
    And my first thought was that he wasn’t given the chance to hit because his coach benched him, which is what should have happened. And then I realized that it might have been because your team plunked him, which depresses me. It’s a f*cking kid.
    Which was it?

    SF June 8, 2011, 11:49 am
  • “We need to not confuse our emotions with common sense.”
    That’s the thing, there are no emotions involved. Like I said when it’s done, it’s done. If you let it fester, that’s when emotion comes into play.
    SF, I’ve said it a million times here I don’t comment or care about off the field things. You and I try an be upstanding men in our work arena and personal arena, that’s our choice. I can’t judge anyone for non-baseball decisions. In life their are Wieners and non-Wieners. Unless they are Wieners on the field, I couldn’t care less. (Short of killing animals, people and driving drunk, etc…)

    John - YF June 8, 2011, 11:49 am
  • Let me say this…I have never in 15 years told any of my players to hit another player, ever.
    In this situation the pitcher was clearly pissed off by the dance at home plate so in the kids next at bat he hit him in the side. This was not a move sent in by anyone. This was his own decision. After he hit the kid, the batter walked down to first base, not a word. He knew why he was hit, shook his head and everyone moved on. Saw their coach the next night and he was pretty fired up about his players dance moves. Never once did he mention his player getting hit. There were no brawls, there was no fighting, the game polices itself and in most cases after the policing is done, so is the situation.

    John - YF June 8, 2011, 12:06 pm
  • I get it, John. If I were that kid’s coach he would have been sitting as soon as he got back to the bench.
    Now there are obviously issues that make my absoluteness a mistake – do you punish his own teammates for his transgression? Is that fair to kids who had nothing to do with his stupidity? I don’t know. But the kids need to know that this stuff isn’t tolerated, that it puts teammates at risk (who is to say the next kid up wasn’t going to get hit?). I guess I think that the kid’s coach should have handled this too, immediately. But I am not a coach so am speaking in a kind of utopian way.

    SF June 8, 2011, 12:12 pm
  • “Ruth (he f*cking CALLED A HOME RUN, talk about assholish arrogance!!!)”.
    SF, come on. Are you really saying that showboating after you’ve done something is equivalent to saying you’re going to do something incredibly difficult and then pulling it off??? The former is done in post-achievement state and is therefore not at all courageous, impressive, or legend-making. The latter sets oneself up for ridicule if he falls short. And when he doesn’t, can be called, in retrospect, courageous, impressive, and legend-making. Is it respectful of the game? I don’t know, but I would thing that prety much anything that establishes for generations legendary on-field performance is very good for the game. It helps build and sustain the myths and glory that draw people to stadiums, get them talking about the sport, etc.
    As for the argument that retaliation beanballs are “part of the game”, I find this too incomplete of an argument, because it’s susceptible to Paul’s counter-argument — i.e. just because it is part of the game doesn’t make it any less stupid and is not an argument for why it should remain part of the game.
    I think if you look at WHY it is part of the game, it has to do with the very murkiness of pitching inside, intimidating batters, asserting oneself, and bolstering one’s teammates by standing up for them.
    Who owns the inside of the plate in any given PA or accumulation of PAs in a game is important for real performance/results reasons, not just for macho showboat reasons. When guys are getting hit multiple times, some of the reasons for retaliating are:
    1. To make clear to the opposing team that if they are going to pitch in enough to hit our guys (whether intentional or not) so are we – not just out of machismo but because that territory on the inside of the plate is up for grabs in every game and needs to be claimed. If you’re going to claim it from our guys so aggressively that you hit them — multiple times no less — then your hitters will have to face similar aggression when it’s their turn. They need to be every bit as uncomfortable up there as you are making our guys as a result of either your jerkish aggression or pure lack of control.
    2. To strengthen the bonds on one’s team by doing virtually the only thing you can do to make your star guy – who just got hit – feel like he is not on his own and the other team will have to be more careful in the future if they don’t want the same to be visited upon their star hitters.

    IronHorse (YF) June 8, 2011, 12:16 pm
  • Blast Adrian. Period.
    It wasn’t intentional on Tex, but we lost our hottest hitter and best infield defender for the series. There must be blood.
    We’ve had this argument in the past but it always seems that the Yankees are the ones getting hit by the Sox. Maybe it’s just my perception.
    Either way, count on AJ blasting a player or two tonight. Preferably stars. And hard. If they miss a game or two, so be it.
    Please don’t evoke hockey in this. It’s completely different because players used to actually police themselves and things like what happened last game didn’t happen. Which is exactly the way it should be. Players had to stand up and take what they deserved, just like the Sox batters should expect tonight.

    krueg June 8, 2011, 12:17 pm
  • Blast Adrian. Period.
    It wasn’t intentional on Tex, but we lost our hottest hitter and best infield defender for the series. There must be blood.

    Seriously, this is just stupid. Sorry.
    As for Ruth, it was something of a joke, IH. But it is pretty damn arrogant, no!? The main point is that “disrespecting the game” is a really murky thing to qualify. To one person it is a Jeffrey Leonard home run trot, to another it is taking steroids, to another it is a harmless bat-flip, to another it is something else entirely inconsequential.

    SF June 8, 2011, 12:22 pm
  • That’s why I love krueg. Every game is a Sword of Damocles. …
    Your perception that the Yanks seem to get hit more – that’s mine, too.
    On hockey v. baseball, yes, two largely different things. But the relevant tie is testosterone-promoted retribution/retaliation.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 8, 2011, 12:27 pm
  • “testosterone-promoted retribution/retaliation”
    Again, I would suggest getting beneath the emotional side or pure vengeance side of things and explore the very real rational reasons for WHY certain things became part of the game.
    In contact/collision sports like hockey, football, etc. there is a ton of testosterone but there is also plenty of reason why imposing one’s physical presence and intimidating the opposing team pays real dividends in terms of the outcome of a game.
    I think once you identify what the reasons are for something having become part of the game, you can then fairly question whether those are still valid reasons given how the game or the world around the game has changed (do we need umpires when we can use electronically-managed K-zones? Should we still allow catchers who are standing stationary awaiting a thrown ball to arrive to get plowed over by baserunners who are increasingly big/fast?).
    I think this issue of retaliatory beanballs has roots in at least two things that are still important in my view, which I suggested above. And I really don’t think it is simply about testosterone any more than I think big guys boxing-each other out under the rim is all about testosterone — or deciding that you will no longer allow uncontested lay-ups to an opposing team that is killing you by slashing and driving to the basket.

    IronHorse (YF) June 8, 2011, 12:42 pm
  • I like your argument, IH. It makes sense.
    It never bothered me that Pedro (like Bob Gibson) pitched inside, sending the message that, “That’s my territory.”
    I do not like it, however, what batters get hit intentionally, and I don’t care why.
    Still, I concede that John’s point about self-policing has some merit. “Hey, that’s a crap thing to do. How’s this taste?”
    Perhaps that’s helped me wrap my arms around this thing better. Perhaps what really bugs me is when we as fans start calling for such Frontier Justice.
    Maybe it’s because, as the father of two, I’ve mentally started putting my kids into these situations.
    Maybe it’s because I overthink conflict resulution and hate my own inability to properly respond to conflict when I’m in the middle of it.
    Maybe I’m just thinking too much about Nathan Horton and his stiff arms and quivering eyes after the Rome hit. (That was a terrifying moment.)
    Maybe I’m sick of political extremists making a mountain of every molehill (or a boner of every weiner?)
    Maybe I’m just getting soft in my old age.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 8, 2011, 12:48 pm
  • This is a good discussion.
    Stupid job.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 8, 2011, 12:50 pm
  • “There must be blood.”
    I saw that movie. Not sure which character is the Yankees and which is the Red Sox. All I know is I hope the Sox keep drinking the Yanks’ milkshake.
    Seriously though, we can look up team HBP numbers by split, let’s say since 2003, when this rivalry really heated up.
    The Red Sox have been hit by Yankee pitchers 78 times to date, a little less than 10 per season. Kevin Youkilis has been hit 12 times; Mike Mussina did the most hitting (eight times), followed closely by Mariano Rivera (seven times). Burnett and Sabathia, incidentally, are tied for third, with four apiece.
    The Yankees have been hit by Red Sox pitchers 94 times. Jeter’s been hit 17 times, with Jason Giambi and A-Rod tied at 13. Tim Wakefield and Jon Lester are tied with the most hit batsmen at nine apiece.
    So K’s perception is technically correct, but of course there are some caveats:
    1. The difference of 16 HBPs amounts to one additional HBP every three months or once every 10 head-to-head matchups. Not a huge difference.
    2. The majority of those HBPs (nine) are from Wakefield. I think it’s safe to say those aren’t considered in the same category as Lester drilling Teixiera on the knee.
    3. The disparity largely exists from 2003-05, when the Sox “outhit” the Yankees 11-7, 18-15 and 10-6, respectively. That accounts for +13 of the +16 difference between the teams. Of those 13, five are from Wakefield and another five are from Pedro Martinez.
    4. The Yankees were hit more by the Red Sox in 2010 (12-8), but the reverse was true in 2009 (7-14).
    Here are links if you’re interested in the hit-by-hit breakdown: Yankees hit by Boston pitchers: http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/event_finder.cgi?type=b#ajax_result_table_2003_0::none
    Sox hit by Yankee pitchers: http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/event_finder.cgi?type=b#ajax_result_table_2003_0::none

    Paul SF June 8, 2011, 12:56 pm
  • I would suggest getting beneath the emotional side or pure vengeance side of things and explore the very real rational reasons for WHY certain things became part of the game.
    Just spitballing here (pun not originally intended but intentionally kept), but I would guess this, like many things (such as reliance on batting average, wins and fielding percentage as cornerstone statistics), is a holdover from baseball’s earliest days, when the game was much rougher and the ballplayers were working-class stiffs whose primary mode of settling scores was through the pain they could legally inflict within the basepaths.

    Paul SF June 8, 2011, 12:59 pm
  • It’s completely different because players used to actually police themselves and things like what happened last game didn’t happen.
    This really isn’t true. Hockey has a long history of crazy stuff happening. I was at a game where Ken Linseman speared a guy on the Oilers (this is when Linseman was playing for the Bruins) in the balls. Nothing happened to Linseman. No suspension, nothing – nobody saw it but some of the fans. No penalty. No retribution. Ulf Samuelsson kneed Cam Neely and effectively ended his career with no punishment and barely any retribution. Todd Bertuzzi and Marty McSorley were banned for long periods of time by the league but not for life, despite egregious, practically criminal acts. The NHL is policed by itself (certainly the league itself does a poor job) and see where that has gotten them: the sport is regarded as barely above wrestling or MMA. This despite being one of the most elegant, exciting, and great games to watch.
    I love hockey, used to play it (poorly), watched 80+ Bruins games a year for over a decade running, but the game has serious problems which are not new. This idea that the game polices itself and now that brawls are illegal this doesn’t happen any more is flatly untrue.

    SF June 8, 2011, 1:01 pm
  • I share so many of your discomforts and frustration with the way the world is IBM (sports, politics, conflict-resolution) and find your commentary there really insightful.
    I’ve got to think alot of people drawn to this site are here for many of those same reasons – and why I am eternally grateful to SF and YF for setting up a forum like this. It is so much more interesting to me than the mono-fan-sites, where groupthink and real “bloodlust” spark much less concern.
    I think that because my full-time job is in con-res, I like to have an outlet for the adversarial side to me – and having that be within the confines of sporting events with rules, protections, etc. is probably as good as any!
    But I do think that the change in players’ speed, size, etc. combined with how much more we know about the real damage that can be done to players – including long-term, off-the-field damage – really must force us to re-evaluate any tradition within any sport that is essentially condoned violence.
    This is happening in football now – finally – after some stunning information on the tremendous long-term brain damage that can be done by repeated hits that have been not only legal but encouraged in the sport from Pop Warner to the pros.
    It was raised by the college coach who recently called for an end to kickoffs after his kick returner was paralyzed by a hit last year. It was raised when Posey’s season was ended and career could have been put at risk by being run over at the plate. It gets raised by the discussion of whether more protective gear should be mandated (the stronger batting helmets).
    I really think none of these debates should be sloughed off and so despite all I’ve written above, I really don’t take bean-balls so lightly.

    IronHorse (YF) June 8, 2011, 1:08 pm
  • But I do think that the change in players’ speed, size, etc. combined with how much more we know about the real damage that can be done to players – including long-term, off-the-field damage – really must force us to re-evaluate any tradition within any sport that is essentially condoned violence.
    100% yes to this fantastic point.

    SF June 8, 2011, 1:11 pm
  • Thanks for the historical comparison Paul- very interesting and not altogether surprising, though I am surprised by Mussina being up there. Speaking of which, if you’re going to minimize Wakefield’s beanballs you need to do the same for Mussina’s, and as they’re both at the top of their respective teams’ beaning of the opponent, they pretty much cancel each other out.
    I’d say the differential is actually pretty substantial and statistically relevant – that’s a 20% discrepancy in batters hit over the period you searched. However much one translates that into hit-batters-per-game or whatevet, it’s 20% more Yankees being hit than Sox.
    And this may simply be correlation vs. causality, but the period of bigest differential for the Sox happens to fall right when they finally bested the Yanks while the one year that the Yankees out-beaned the Sox was the year they won it all.

    IronHorse (YF) June 8, 2011, 1:16 pm
  • Speaking of which, if you’re going to minimize Wakefield’s beanballs you need to do the same for Mussina’s
    Wait, Mussina had as little control as Wake does with his knuckler? Not sure that’s a fair swap, IH, Moose was a very good control pitcher, even with his knuckle-curve. Wake is the opposite, a non-control pitcher.
    As for hockey, Bobby Orr’s (admittedly tinged by conflict-of-interest) comments on the Horton hit and suspension:
    “Who cares if they suspend him. I’d want him in the lineup,” an emotional Orr, whose Orr Hockey Group represents Horton, told the Track. “It was absolute bull. It was uncalled for. It was wrong and you lose Nathan Horton for god’s sake. What does a fine mean? What does a suspension mean? Nothing. It’s absolute garbage. A blindside hit, late and high, is everything that the league despises and says they don’t want in the game.”
    If the league (or any sport) wants to dissuade players from dangerous activity they need to punish players very severely. That’s really the only way to do it. Self-policing doesn’t work. And nothing will ever eradicate this stuff, one can only hope to reduce it to the point where horrible injuries are an utter rarity.

    SF June 8, 2011, 1:21 pm
  • And a reminder that Orr’s career was cut short by recurring knee issues, he was often the target of low, injurious checks targeting his knees. Most sports now police these kinds of things.

    SF June 8, 2011, 1:26 pm
  • The Mussina/Wakefield comparison I made was not about who has what degree of control. I made it in reaction to Paul’s comment that minimized Wakefield’s HBP numbers relative to Lester’s.
    I understood Paul to be referencing the velocity and therefore danger of those HBPs, not whether they were done on purpose. (If it were a comment on the latter I’d assume that Lester’s HBP on Teix and Wakefield’s HBPs are actually quite comparable in that I think they were likely the result of control problems and not willful beanballs.)
    Anyway, with that being the basis for discounting Wakefield’s HBPs vis-a-vis Lester’s, I would argue you could similarly discount Mussina’s, who was – especially in the latter years of his career encompassed by Paul’s search – not throwing very hard at all, not “intimidating” guys with his inside heat by any stretch, etc.

    IronHorse (YF) June 8, 2011, 1:29 pm
  • IH, SF gets to why I was talking about excluding Wakefield’s HBPs: He can control the knuckleball to some extent, but it’s not a traditional pitch, and he certainly controls it far less than any other big-league pitcher controls any of his pitches; further, being hit by a knuckleball, while I’m sure not a painless experience, is far less dangerous than being hit by even the slowest of major-league fastballs.
    Good point on the 20 percent discrepancy, but it exists almost entirely from a point more than five years ago. If it’s proof of anything, I think it’s an example of how a difference that’s not terribly large over the course of a season builds up over time. Similar to the difference between a HOF career and a HOVG career, I guess.

    Paul SF June 8, 2011, 1:34 pm
  • The other side of this incidentally is – and I get this is very much a YF-perception-thing – that during that period of major discrepancy (2003-2005), David Ortiz practically sat on the plate. I don’t think I’ve ever seen – other than perhaps Bonds – a guy that comfortable hanging all over the plate and it infuriated many YFs that the Yankee pitching staff barely ever forced him to move his feet, let alone take one in the side. When a guy like Jeter is diving into the plate with a swing designed to hit the ball the opposite way, and he gets beaned a ton of times as a result, it is one thing. But when a slugger in the prime of his career is basically saying “this is my space, sucks for you” and you do nothing about it, you deserve to have him pounce all over your pitches.

    IronHorse (YF) June 8, 2011, 1:44 pm
  • By the way YFs, one of my good friends just got drafted by your Yankees: Mark Montgomery, 11th round.

    Atheose - SF June 8, 2011, 2:05 pm
  • “Seriously, this is just stupid. Sorry.”
    I know. But it’s easy to take the high road when your guy is still playing tonight. :)
    I don’t doubt you watch/played the game but that is my world. I admittedly know little about baseball, as is evidenced by my stupid posts but hockey is my world. (maybe slightly AG’s too!)
    Two words. Instigator rule. Get rid of it and things like the hit on Horton go away. That is my opinion but I don’t want to take up more of this with hockey because the sports are worlds apart.

    krueg June 8, 2011, 2:06 pm
  • Trivia time:
    With pick No. 1,132, the Red Sox took OF Robert Youngdahl from Hill-Murray Academy in St. Paul, Minn. This same school gave us Steve Janaszak, possibly the biggest “almost someone” in U.S. sports history.
    Who was Steve Janaszak?

    I'mBillMcNeal June 8, 2011, 2:17 pm
  • Yes, I know you could just Google him.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 8, 2011, 2:19 pm
  • Congrats Ath! That’s great news. We have a kid that was thought to be a late in the draft kid according to the scouts that came to see him, but no news yet. Glad to see the MLB draft get some juice.

    John - YF June 8, 2011, 2:20 pm
  • “Who was Steve Janaszak?”
    Mr. and Mrs. Janaszak’s son?
    sorry.

    IronHorse (YF) June 8, 2011, 2:26 pm
  • I actually do know the answer to this one but only because I watched certain movie again recently.

    IronHorse (YF) June 8, 2011, 2:27 pm
  • Krueg apparently should know.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 8, 2011, 2:28 pm
  • Incidentally, I think that ranks way up there in the list of all-time great sports movies.

    IronHorse (YF) June 8, 2011, 2:30 pm
  • I have said for years, Horse, that Herb should be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 8, 2011, 2:33 pm
  • Yeah IBM…because I know the name of every, single NHL player in the history of the NHL.
    Don’t be an asshole.

    krueg June 8, 2011, 2:35 pm
  • Steve Janaszak was the backup goalie to Jim Craig, if I remember.

    SF June 8, 2011, 2:36 pm
  • What did I say? ??? ????

    I'mBillMcNeal June 8, 2011, 2:36 pm
  • Horse, who was a better Herb: Karl Malden or Kurt Russell?

    I'mBillMcNeal June 8, 2011, 2:36 pm
  • Anyway, with that being the basis for discounting Wakefield’s HBPs vis-a-vis Lester’s, I would argue you could similarly discount Mussina’s, who was – especially in the latter years of his career encompassed by Paul’s search – not throwing very hard at all, not “intimidating” guys with his inside heat by any stretch, etc.
    Got it.

    SF June 8, 2011, 2:37 pm
  • Glad to see the MLB draft get some juice.
    Shouldn’t we be rooting for a juice-free draft?

    SF June 8, 2011, 2:39 pm
  • You were being a smart-ass, i.e. my comment earlier about being a hockey guy means I should know everything about hockey.
    Don’t be passive-aggressive. You know what you meant.
    I looked him up and he never really cracked the NHL and was the USA back-up in ’80. I was 4 years old when that happened so…

    krueg June 8, 2011, 2:41 pm
  • You were being a smart-ass, i.e. my comment earlier about being a hockey guy means I should know everything about hockey.
    krueg, I didn’t read it this way, I thought it was just a trivia question related to the draft occurrence. I don’t think IBM was being a wiseass, but he can correct me if I am wrong.

    SF June 8, 2011, 2:47 pm
  • SF gets it. Janaszak was the backup goalie to Jim Craig, which means he never played a second in the 1980 Olympic hockey tournament, the only guy who didn’t get into a game for Team USA.
    If I remember right, Herb Brooks said he didn’t decide who would start the first game in net until just before they took the ice.
    His NHL career, like Craig’s, didn’t amount to much.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 8, 2011, 2:55 pm
  • Wasn’t being a wise-ass. Just having fun.
    Sorry if it came out bad.
    Krueg, I love you too much to take shots at you.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 8, 2011, 2:57 pm
  • I am sensitive and fragile right now.
    Sox killing the Yanks.
    Bruins in the Finals.
    My bad brother.

    krueg June 8, 2011, 2:58 pm
  • Ok, this has been a great exchange about retaliation and retribution.
    Really excellent thoughts. But I gotta get back to work.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 8, 2011, 2:58 pm
  • krueg – what is it about the Bruins that would make you root for a bunch of diving, injury-faking, finger-biting dirty swedes over a lunchpail crew of likable little guys like Brad Marchand?
    Is this a holdover from a bygone era (I used to hate Mike Foligno, Larry Playfair, and the coward Lindy Ruff)? What is it? The Canucks, even before the series started, were a detestable, arrogant lot. What is it about the Bruins you hate? It’s not like the Bruins have, of late (meaning for 20 years) been any kind of thorn in the side of the Sabres. Do tell…

    SF June 8, 2011, 3:02 pm
  • Here’s a bit: in college I became reasonably well-known for knowing far too much about ice hockey. I used to avidly await the arrival of the NHL Guide and Record Book, which was a fantastic repository of statistics and factoids. I determined, after much scouring of the book, that Larry Playfair might have been the single worst hockey player of all time, based on a combination of points/points per game, penalty minutes per game, and plus/minus assessment. In the 20+ years since then I wonder if my determination still holds.

    SF June 8, 2011, 3:05 pm
  • Yes, there’s always a risk involved, but in real life, you do something wrong, even unintentionally, you might get picked up by the law. Just hit Ortiz and move on.

    Lar June 8, 2011, 3:25 pm
  • Adams Division SF. There is no love there. Not now, not ever.
    Cowardly Lindy Ruff? Besmirching Foligno and Playfair? How dare you.
    Playfair was a monster. Not very skilled but he had fists of steel. In case you haven’t noticed, we like that sort of thing in Buffalo.
    I hate the Bruins a million times more than the Sox. Probably because hockey is my favorite sport and I grew up at the Aud watching the Sabres play the Bruins, Nords and Habs.

    krueg June 8, 2011, 3:38 pm
  • I miss the Adams. Big time. I wish they’d go back to that severely unbalanced schedule. It had a lot of injustice, that old system, but hockey was the better for it.

    SF June 8, 2011, 3:41 pm
  • Rob Ray and Larry Playfair each checked in with over 80:1 penalty minute to goal ratios. This means they got in 16 fights for every goal they scored.
    For reference, Jay Miller was at 40:1 and Chris Nilan was just under 30:1. And Miller and Nilan were total GOONS.

    SF June 8, 2011, 3:44 pm
  • Two of my favorite Sabres of all-time! :)
    You may get your wish. With the Thrashers relocating to Winnipeg, realignment is on the horizon.

    krueg June 8, 2011, 3:50 pm
  • haven’t seen it mentioned here but, didn’t that noesi kid throw at ortiz the pitch before he took him deep? that’s what my eye’s saw and how castiglione called it on the radio broadcast.
    and in the words of varitek, we’re not intentionally throwing at guy’s hitting .258 and .238 respectively.

    sf rod June 8, 2011, 3:52 pm
  • I didn’t see the at-bat, sf rod, but the Pitch FX data is incriminating.
    http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/pfx.php?s_type=3&sp_type=1&batterX=43&month=06&day=07&game=gid_2011_06_07_bosmlb_nyamlb_1%2F&year=2011&pitchSel=456051&prevGame=gid_2011_06_07_bosmlb_nyamlb_1%2F
    I only saw the replay of the bat flip. But it does appear as if there was a brushback, making the dinger that much more emphatic.

    SF June 8, 2011, 4:03 pm
  • I didn’t have an issue with the Papi thing.

    krueg June 8, 2011, 4:17 pm
  • Noesli did not throw at him. I watched the pitch a couple of times. It was tight at the waist/high thigh area. If Ortiz had stood perfectly still in his stance, it *might* have barely grazed him, but he backed out of the way easily. It was a purpose pitch to set up the outside corner, nothing that any worthy veteran would truly be fazed about. The problem is Noesli’s next pitch was such a meatball, right in Ortiz’ sweet spot on the fat part of the inside corner.

    attackgerbil June 8, 2011, 4:21 pm
  • > in the words of varitek, we’re not intentionally throwing at guy’s hitting .258 and .238 respectively
    The guy that is hitting .258 is also the team leader in home runs, has a 147OPS+, and is an ace defender. So maybe he wasn’t intentionally hit, but to use BA as the reason they are “not” being intentionally hit is Bullshit.

    attackgerbil June 8, 2011, 4:29 pm
  • > I didn’t have an issue with the Papi thing
    Me neither. I’m just bummed that Noesli served up such an utterly destroyable pitch right after the setup.

    attackgerbil June 8, 2011, 4:32 pm
  • hmmm ag. take a look at sf’s pitch fx charts. look at the dropoff in speed and movement compared to the other 2 pitches in that at bat. and if he was setting up the outside corner, why was the next pitch on the inner third. and then there’s this…
    Girardi at least had the gumption to comment when asked about Ortiz’s bat flip after his majestic two-run homer in the fifth after Noesi had thrown the previous pitch at Ortiz’s legs but missed. “I didn’t care for it,’’ Girardi said.The manager went on to say, “I don’t know if [Ortiz] was upset that he came in hard on him.’’
    also…francesca reports that teixeira might play tonite. posada is unavailable due to a surgery his son is having.

    sf rod June 8, 2011, 4:34 pm
  • sf rod: I just watched the whole at bat again twice. The first pitch was a breaking pitch outside corner. The second was definitely a setup to move him off the plate. Martin framed the third pitch low on the inside corner, but Ayala hung it up in the zone.

    attackgerbil June 8, 2011, 4:42 pm
  • Noesli rather

    attackgerbil June 8, 2011, 4:43 pm
  • If Tex plays, then no one has to die.

    krueg June 8, 2011, 4:50 pm
  • > the previous pitch at Ortiz’s legs but missed
    Like I said, if Ortiz didn’t move, it *MIGHT* have barely grazed him.

    attackgerbil June 8, 2011, 4:52 pm
  • Wait, I am confused. He didn’t “throw at him” but he did throw inside off the plate to set up the outside corner.
    Question: does Ortiz stand there and make the distinction between “being thrown at” and “establishing the inside corner”? I don’t think so. I think Ortiz thinks “he just backed me up and I just jacked one out, so I am pretty stoked and flipping the bat”. The intent is irrelevant, the only thing that matters is that Papi cleaned Noesi out after Noesi tried to clean him out.

    SF June 8, 2011, 4:52 pm
  • Tex is in, Joba to the DL????
    This season is fading fast. Our entire bullpen is on the DL.

    krueg June 8, 2011, 4:56 pm
  • Per ESPN:
    “Ken Rosenthal tweets that Chamberlain will sit out 10-14 days before throwing again and testing the flexor strain, which may mean the right-hander will be out up to a month.”
    We’re totally fucked.

    krueg June 8, 2011, 4:59 pm
  • sox have varitek catching wake tonite. odd considering beckett goes tomorrow and tek hits burnett not at all.

    sf rod June 8, 2011, 5:00 pm
  • I think Ortiz thinks “he just backed me up and I just jacked one out, so I am pretty stoked and flipping the bat”.
    This is how I interpreted the bat flip, as well, but then I too was listening to Joe C. on the radio and haven’t seen a replay of the inside pitch.

    Paul SF June 8, 2011, 5:00 pm
  • SF: I really think a lot is being about nothing regarding the Ortiz matter. Noesli set him up and then screwed himself. Props to Papi for turning it.

    attackgerbil June 8, 2011, 5:03 pm
  • Francona on EEI today:
    “David’s a big boy. He can handle himself. I don’t know if there’s any difference in somebody hitting a home run and looking in their dugout and waving or something like that.”
    Hmm, to whom could Terry be referring? ;-)

    Paul SF June 8, 2011, 5:11 pm
  • Way to keep it going paul…instigator! 2 minute penalty!!!

    krueg June 8, 2011, 6:22 pm
  • Ah, yes, Tito defending his POS. Let us count the ways, Tito.
    1. A ridiculous bat flip against a rookie pitcher.
    2. A fricken’ pirouette at home plate
    3. Almost 30 seconds to round the bases.
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=14183
    I know Ortiz is a fat ass, but it seems running the bases is now getting to be too much for his lard.
    I also get that most of the world thought Ortiz’s career was finished for two years running and so he’s having a bit of a eff you moment. Of course, let’s see the team that steps up and gives him that multiyear deal he thinks he deserves.
    But 1 through 3 is too much. Hit him in his shriveled nutsack, Burnett! Help me to like you, Meathead!

    James YF June 8, 2011, 7:13 pm
  • I think we all knew it wouldn’t be long before James YF returned to his old, trollish ways. We really should do a YFSF pool next time to try to guess how long he lasts before flaming everyone and then changing his username again.
    Tsk tsk tsk.

    Atheose - SF June 9, 2011, 8:24 am
  • i’m not as big a nuts guy as james appears to be but i do know ortiz deposited 2 seeds into the rightfield stands.

    sf rod June 9, 2011, 2:05 pm
  • You sure rod?

    krueg June 9, 2011, 3:03 pm

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