Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Stop Backing Down Sox

This afternoons game was frustrating for all of us. Any time the score is 0-0 half way through a game (after 4.5 innings) and you lose a game 9-0 it's gonna sting. But what happened in the 8th inning actually made me more upset than losing the game itself.

This Perry character comes in the game and throws four pitches at guys heads. This is in a 6-0 ballgame at the time. Now I understand, young guy, first few times in regular season games, trying to impress a manager, I get it. But when your team is up 6-0 and the opposition is not threatening at all you have to lay off the intimidation garbage.

Bottom of the 8th rolls around and a perfect situation to throw a pitch up an in to one of Detroit's best hitters (Cabrera) presents itself. The Sox were not going to come back in this game. They had a golden opportunity to take something away from it. Now I'm not saying you need to hit the guy (I'd prefer actually doing it) but just let him know we aren't gonna take this crap all season. Buzz one either at his shoulder or behind his head and send the message we need to send. Alexei would have been happy, Fields would have been happy, and probably more importantly the Tigers would learn to stop messing with the Sox. Not to mention odds are it would have caused a riff between Cabrera and the pitcher (Perry).

Sure it could have cost MacDougal a few games (and frankly I think that would benefit the team) and maybe cost Ozzie some chump change and a game. But it would have brought the team a little bit closer. The pitchers could prove to the hitters that they have their backs. And the Tigers (and possibly the rest of the league) would probably stop throwing pitches at Sox guys heads.

But this one incident isn't the root of the problem. The Royals are one of the main offenders of this problem. Earlier this year I thought there was a situation in which they deserved a retaliation pitch. And two times last year there were incidents. One in which Miguel Olivo decided to charge the mound because D.J. Carrasco isn't good at pitching (couple pitches were a little too inside) and one series where the sox were out HPB'ed (is that a term?) like 7-0.

I thought this team had a fiery manager who would stick up for his players in any situation. Well if you can't get a pitchers to knock someone on their rear 8 games into the season, I can't imagine any situation later where he would authorize it.

Understand that this is not a post about the state of the team. They are fine, and I think they will be right in the thick of things when August/September roll around. I'm just sick and tired of watching pitches buzz but Sox players heads and opposing guys don't expect any retaliation. The Sox had a chance to set a precedent for the second time this year, and instead I think the exact opposite precedent has been set. You throw at us, we'll take it. When it should be, come too far inside on use and your next hitter is going to be needing some ice to heal that bruise. Sorry Ozzie, but this was a opportunity to pose the White Sox will on the Tigers, the AL Central, and the American League, and you let it slip away.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with much of the logic. Evidently you wanted your pitchers to defend their teammates with tough pitches yesterday.

    But if the intimidation pitches continue to be thrown by White Sox opponents (as you suggest they will) then don't you think Ozzie will change his mind at some point? If so, I would say he didn't let too much "slip away."