In binarytoybox: Red Sox and the Playoffs, jfournier describes the Red Sox as looking like “a bunch of spoiled brats looking for a fight.” I gotta say, I really don’t feel very much like Saturday was much the Sox fault.
Sure, Pedro did hit Garcia with that pitch. As a number of sports writers have pointed out, beaning batters is and always has been part of the game. (I’m still not convinced he was aiming for him. I think he was really rattled by the last few set of runs he gave up and simply over-threw the ball, but even if he was aiming, it’s not a capital crime in baseball. Hell, the other pitcher with that reputation is Clemens who was also in the game.) Anyway, Garcie is the one who slid hard into Walker saying that he had to get back at the Sox for beaning him.
Huh? I’m sorry, but in baseball there’s a specific code. If a player is hit, it’s up to his pitcher to exact revenge. That’s also the way it’s always been. I’ve never heard of a player taking it upon himself to go all vigilante on the basepaths specifically for that reason. And, yes, sliding hard is part of the game, especially if you are trying to break up a double play but not to get revenge for being hit. If he had truly hit Walker, it’s quite easy to imagine Walker being seriously injured.
So, after that happened, we saw a large number of shots of the Yankee dugout where people were shouting out at Pedro. Especially Posada and Zimmer. That’s inciteful too.
So, with that setup, Clemens goes up and in on Manny. Sure, it wasn’t that in but if you watch the replay, Manny turned his head away and did not see how close it wasn’t. All he thought was that it was too close and he reacted based on that. Did he overreact? Sure he did. But tempers were already flaring from all that had just happened. Next thing you know Zimmer is charging Pedro and Pedro defended himself.
Now, I am not saying that the Red Sox are saints here. Not by a longshot. I think they have a lot to be embarassed about. But I certainly am not going to say that this was the Sox fault. I think the Yankees went a long ways towards making that situation happen and for ratcheting up the tempers. Especially Garcia and Zimmer.
In the end, it’s a black-eye for baseball but I think both teams get the blame for this one. Not just the Red Sox.
I just hope that we can get back to regular baseball and that we can get ourselves to what everyone in baseball except New York fans really want: a Rex Sox/Cubs world series. Talk about incredible…