15 April 2005

BOS 10, TB 0

BOS 10
WP- David Wells (1-2)
LP- Hideo Nomo (1-1)
HR- D. Ortiz GS (3)

Before I get into this one, I just wanted to point out an exchange from last night's game with the Yankees that struck me as being a startlingly bright baseball play, and I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often. With Johnny Damon on first, Edgar Renteria at the plate and Randy Johnson pitching, Damon clearly got a sign to run, and got a good jump on the pitch. As Johnson's pitch reached the plate, Renteria squared around hard to bunt on the high pitch, pulling back at the last second preserving it being called a ball, but completely obstructing Posada's view long enough (and totally legally) to impair his ability to throw through. Damon was safe, then Johnson hung a slider and Chopper hit it out. Just recalling it, because it was really a head-nodder of a play: you saw it, you knew exactly what he was doing, and you thought, "god dammit, that was smart." Great job by Chopper, great job.

Anyway, speaking of Chopper- broke out nice tonight. A beautiful double play turn in the top of the 2nd, taking Bellhorn's chest high throw, and having to get over and above the baserunner Travis Lee, jumped high in the air whilst throwing the ball through, getting Toby Hall easily to end the inning. Just very baseball aesthetic. Then, after making a brilliant diving stab of a Carl Crawford liner, Renteria singled and scored in the 7 run 3rd, and tripled in the 4th on a ball off the wall- a pure baserunning play, gauging ably Crawford's play and turning it into a standup 3 bases. Many baserunners get stuck on 2nd on such plays. The next at bat, he scored on a wild pitch.

Of course, there was also David Ortiz's Johnny Pesky grand slam: a beautiful line drive down the line that hooked right around the foul pole.

David Wells meanwhile, was brilliant. His success wasn't a function of his opponents- he was pinpoint all night, hitting his spots, changing speeds, getting a great curve over for strikes. He would have mowed down any team with his stuff tonight, and it just happened to be Tampa Bay- 7 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 ER. Very, very good home debut.

If you were wondering what Terry Francona thought about last night's atrocious home plate umpiring, well, here's what he said:

Francona, who was ejected in the bottom of the inning, was asked why he got thrown out. "I wanted to," he said. "I didn't want to watch him umpire anymore."

Francona knew he was going to get tossed- you can't argue balls and strikes. You could see Gibson pause and ask him if he was coming out to argue that, and Fracona just flatly responded "yeah." Then he got thrown out.

Apparently, Ron Jackson's ejection was just as egregiously stupid as any call Gibson made in-game. From multiple sources, apparently Jackson, after the awful 3-2 call on Sheffield went "ball," asked, half to himself, "that wasn't a strike?" Moments later, Jackson was thrown out, and Francona ran out to protect his coach.

"The explanation that I got was he read (Jackson's) lips," Francona said of his coach, who disagreed from the dugout on Bronson Arroyo's bases-loaded 3-2 pitch to Gary Sheffield, which Gibson called a ball. "That (expletive) guy can't see the ball in front of him. That was a (expletive) answer. Excuse me."

So this guy decides to throw a coach out based on a lip reading?! Are you kidding me? No wonder Papa Jack was so livid. That's way out of line.

Good for Terry. I don't know what Gibson was on last night, but that always onerous combination of arrogance and ignorance can lead to a lot of horseshit. Witness last night. No comments yet from Gibson.

Think this A-Rod-saves-boy story was a bit sticky (50 MPH on Newbury St.? Did he scoop the boy up or grab him? Did he keep walking, or talk to the kid...)? Think maybe that the differing accounts were a little weird, as was Alex's kind of giddy willingness to share it with reporters? And that he somehow found a season ticket-holding Yankee fan, Arod loving kid in Boston to save, miraculously?

Like conspiracy theories?

Check out this thread at RSN.net. Good for a laugh if nothing else. But very, very interesting.

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