I’ve got to comment on last night’s game and the reaction by some of the members of the media towards the team. Steve Buckley and Tony Massarotti claim the Red Sox disgraced themselves and acted shamefully last night.
Buckley says in his pay column:
Keep in mind, New England baseball fans, that your beloved Red Sox didn't exactly cover themselves in glory last night. They had this game in the bag in the first inning, and then spent the rest of the night taking the extra base, trying to score on close sacrifice flies and, in the case of David Ortiz, doing too much admiring after launching a home run.
When Florida right-hander Blaine Neal drilled Ortiz in the knee in the bottom of the eighth, the only question was why it took the Marlins so long to give the boorish Red Sox some comeuppance.
Tony Massarotti says:
Naturally, the Marlins retaliated, punishing the Red Sox for running ruthlessly by hitting David Ortiz with a pitch on the right kneecap. In baseball, after all, that is what Hammurabi's Code calls for when a team is running up the score.
Unable (or unwilling?) to take their medicine, the Sox shamed themselves further when Hector Almonte threw a pitch behind Andy Fox in the next half-inning. The benches emptied but order was restored, at least as much as possible on a night when anarchy reigned.
``I've seen a lot of guys get hurt because of that stuff,'' said McKeon. ``It's kind of an unwritten rule (that) you don't rub it in because somebody will rub it into them before it's all over.
I’m sick of “unwritten rules” in baseball. How many of them are there? If they’re so important, why aren’t they written? Does any one know all of these “rules”?
Did Buckley and Massarotti knock the Yankees and say they should’ve had “compassion” or “mercy” (two words used by Tony in his column today, implying that the Red Sox should’ve had shown some of those two qualities last night.) when the Yankees pounded on the Red Sox by a 22-1 score on June 19, 2000? No. I went and paid my money and looked through the Herald archives. If there was any shame in that game, it belonged to the Red Sox for their dreadful performance. There was shame to Jimy Williams for embarrassing Tim Wakefield by making him pitch the final part of that game. Nowhere was it implied that the Yankees should’ve shown a little “mercy” or “compassion” to the Red Sox.
Last night, Grady Little used his worst relievers, Rupe, Seanez, Almonte and Sheill. He put Doug Mirabelli at first base. The Marlins complain about the Sox sending runners on shallow drives…two runners were out…by a large margin…at the plate. Talk about a mercy outs. Had that been a close game, I don’t think Walker and Mueller would’ve been sent in those situations.
This business about the Sox deserving the “medicine” of having Ortiz nailed in the knee cap, and supposed to just be sitting there and taking it is equally ridiculous.
The Globe didn’t seem to have a problem with the Red Sox last night. Bob Hohler said the Marlins “could have used a touch of kindness, if not a whole lot of pity” last night, but that isn’t a knock on the Red Sox.
Kevin Gray of the Union Leader says the Sox did show mercy to the Marlins:
In one of the rarest scenes ever at Fenway Park, the Red Sox invoked the Mercy Rule against Florida during an embarrassing first inning for baseball.
The hosts did their best to uphold the integrity of the game, but it got to the point where Boston needed to get itself out to stop the madness. Bill Mueller, sent home from second base on a short single to left field, was thrown out by a mile to end a 50-minute inning.
Funny how media people can see things is such different lights.
Buckley concluded his piece by saying
Damon and the Sox made history last night. They also made asses of themselves.
Sorry, Buck, but I think you and Mazz have that honor to yourselves today. Was last night ugly? Yes. Do the Red Sox deserve to be called “asses” for continuing to play the game for the paying fans instead of just going through the motions for the last eight innings? No.