Friday, June 16, 2006

Bean Ball

The hot story in baseball right now surrounds the Chicago White Sox and the rumor that they sent a pitcher down to the minors for failing to hit a batter when instructed to do so. To make a long story short, A.J. Pierzynski (of the White Sox) was hit twice in the same game by Texas right-hander Vincente Padilla. The story goes that White Sox manger Ozzie Guillen brought in rookie pitcher Sean Tracey with specific instructions to hit Texas batter Hank Blalock. After pitching inside a couple of times, Tracey apparently abandoned the order and got Blalock to ground out. Guillen took Tracey out immediately, and curiously, Tracey was sent down to the minors that night. I’ve never seen someone get in so much trouble for getting a guy to ground out.

Many people dislike Ozzie Guillen and his antics, and many will say that its ridiculous for him to order a pitcher to bean an opposing player. Personally, I think he should’ve chosen someone with a little more experience to get the job done to ensure that the job got done, and not to rattle the young pitcher. Aside from that, however, many people are viewing Tracey’s decision to hit or not hit Blalock as a moral dilemma.

Well friends, I disagree. Beaning people is part of the game; an important part of the game. Baseball is a game of respect. When respect isn’t given, the opposing team/player needs to be reminded of this fact. For instance, the respectful thing to do after hitting a home run is to run around the bases and a nice pace. Every once in a while a player will stand in the batters’ box for a second longer and admire his homerun, and sometimes trot around the bases at a slow pace – this is disrespectful. The baseball thing to do in response to this is to, at the next at bat, send that guy a message from either hitting him or giving him some chin music. I’m sorry if you’re used to cutsie Yiddle League rules where we should care about people’s feelings – that’s not part of baseball – hasn’t been for a over a hundred years, and shouldn’t be today. Disputes in baseball have been, and should continue to be settled on the field. It’s gotten to the point where pitchers are being suspended (ie, Randy Johnson) for upholding the unwritten rules of baseball – rules which, in my opinion, are just a big a part of the game as the written rules.

I was lucky enough from the age of 13 on to be coached by “old schoolers”. These coaches taught me to treat the game with respect: we were always to be tucked in on the field; hats never on backwards. In college, if someone disrespected a player on our team, or the team itself, they were sent a message. Unfortunately, today teenagers aren’t being taught these unwritten rules and more worried about them looking like a schmuck if they bean a guy. Sure, you might get ejected if you hit a guy on purpose…but if you have an good old-school coach like Ozzie Guillen, that’s better than getting sent to the minors.

18 Comments:

Blogger bellanny said...

I agree that respect in baseball must be upheld. Almost every sport has some agressive aspect, whether it's hitting and fighting in hockey to heavy hitting in football... All players know that they must stand up for their teammates, especially in those 2 sports. Hitting batters does not highlight the best aspects of the game, but it can't be ignored. Showing up a teammate is something that should not be tolerated. I think it's best to knock a guy down with a pitch instead of hitting them, but that's their decision. (It was good to see some aggression from Johnson.)

As for that young pitcher who was sent down, I think that was wrong. Ozzie should not have demanded a pitcher who is new to the majors to hit an opposing batter. He is young, inexperienced, and probably very nervous. If you want to intentionally hit someone you better know how to do it the right way and with the right guy. What was that, his initiation?

10:57 AM, June 16, 2006

 
Blogger AlanLaz said...

He should've definitely used an older, more experienced pitcher. This pitcher gets his chance in the majors and is ready to show the team what he's got - but then he's ordered to hit a guy? I would be nervous as all well.

Ozzie said last night that they sent him down because they made a trade - sounds like lipservice to me.

11:01 AM, June 16, 2006

 
Blogger Jewboy said...

I agree that the unwritten rules of the game must be upheld. Once in an NCSY Sports softball game I ran over a kid who had the ball and was in the basepath. One of the head staff called me out, saying I should've taken it easy. But them's the rules, and I play the game hard.

11:11 AM, June 16, 2006

 
Blogger AlanLaz said...

LOL. Gotta love that - willing to barrel over a 4 year old just to get in the win column.

11:16 AM, June 16, 2006

 
Blogger Jewboy said...

This camp wasn't for 4 year olds exactly. It was for teenagers-this guy was probably 16-17. C'mon, I have standards.

11:56 AM, June 16, 2006

 
Anonymous Erica said...

You guys are really crazy. Baseball is just a freaking game.

12:08 PM, June 16, 2006

 
Anonymous donny said...

A game which is made great by competition.

12:18 PM, June 16, 2006

 
Anonymous Erica said...

Competiton maybe, but not revenge.

12:21 PM, June 16, 2006

 
Anonymous Donny said...

You may see it as revenge. Those who play ball see it as just a part of the competition.

12:34 PM, June 16, 2006

 
Blogger Jewboy said...

"You guys are really crazy. Baseball is just a freaking game."
Only a woman could say that.

12:49 PM, June 16, 2006

 
Blogger aishel said...

alan, I'm glad I"m not playing with you on Sunday's! I'm sorry, I just don't see baseball as a contact sport. Now if you want to talk hockey...I'm all for it.

3:20 PM, June 16, 2006

 
Blogger bellanny said...

"Baseball is life. The rest is just details." That's a little overboard even for me, but it's a part of who I am. Not all women consider baseball "just a game" so don't generalize and say guys.

5:47 PM, June 16, 2006

 
Anonymous Erica said...

When I said "guys" - I meant the people commenting on this. I still think it's not normal to think that it's ok to purposely hit someone and make them "pay" for disrespecting you. That doesn't teach good middos.

11:20 PM, June 17, 2006

 
Blogger Jewboy said...

Erica-You want good middos, try Marvelous Middos Machine. This is baseball :)

11:28 PM, June 17, 2006

 
Blogger bellanny said...

ok. Think of it as middah kineged middah if that helps you.

11:36 PM, June 17, 2006

 
Anonymous Erica said...

Only Hashem can dish out middah k'neged middah.

Jewboy,
With that attitude, YM and MS are never playing baseball with Dani. I'm telling Helanis.

7:50 AM, June 18, 2006

 
Anonymous donny said...

Laz,

What's your feeling on tall guys who like to run over catchers who block the plate?

8:11 PM, June 18, 2006

 
Anonymous brad sultan said...

hey tough munchkin,
whats up, glad to see your cute lil jewish face praying. how cute.
hope life is well and your behaving.

do you know where my baseball is?

11:09 AM, July 27, 2006

 

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