Tagged: The Red Sox Bullpen Garden

The 9-5 Loss

I have no comment on tonight’s game. The only things to say are questions and they’re questions everyone wants answered: when will the timely hitting be back? Where are the lucky breaks? Why does A-Rod hit a two run homer when we need two grand slams and ground into double plays when we need two run homers? Who is Colter Bean and why does he miss ten feet wide on either side of the plate on every other pitch?

The team chemistry just isn’t clicking yet. If it’s at all possible, without searching for a cheap excuse, I think we’re being out "team chemistried" right now. But bad numbers that will forever be losing numbers regardless of team chemistry are involved too. Aside from Jeter no offensive player has been very consistent.

Anyway, the life saving virtue for me right now is patience combined with some herbal tea. Were it not for this calming tea my voice might be hoarse, my heart rate frantic and my sanity in tatters.

For this entry I have two questions:

1) In the bottom of the 8th in tonight’s Red Sox-Yankee game, Mike Lowell was on 2nd base. A deep fly ball takes Bernie to the warning track and the man on 3rd tags and scores. Lowell however stays on 2nd. The ESPN broadcaster Rick Sutcliffe noted that given the ball’s distance and Bernie’s weak arm, Lowell knows he could easily advance to 3rd. But Sutcliffe praises Lowell for staying at 2nd, calling it a professional and respectful gesture on Mike’s part to not "rub it in". Basically he’s saying the Red Sox are ahead enough runs, the Yankees have only one inning left to score 8 runs and a rookie is on the mound, so he needs to ease up a bit. I have heard about these unwritten rules of etiquette before, most recently in a recap of a Padres game:

"[Dave] Roberts agreed that had he tried to steal second in the ninth after reaching for the sixth time with a walk, his team up 10-4, it would have been another etiquette matter altogether.

"I’d never do that," he said…"

My reaction to these "rules" is first one of shock. If you play to win, you take every chance you get and if that means stealing or advancing to third, you do it. The Yanks posted a small rally in the 9th. What if they ended up plateing the go-ahead run? Sutcliffe’s little rule of meekness would all of a sudden look rather selfish. Am I wrong? The game ain’t over till it’s over so you do what you’re taught to do until you win or lose. But I’m not a player so I know I see this from the opposite perspective. The Yankees wouldn’t be offended if Lowell tagged and went to 3rd. No one should be. I’m aware that Rick Sutcliffe isn’t Mike Lowell’s personal spokesman but I’ve heard of these do’s and don’ts before and no one knows whether Lowell was adhering to them or not. Maybe he actually didn’t have a chance to make it to 3rd. So I offer another example, a fragmented one, on the same issue. I barely remember, so correct me where I’m wrong, a game a few years ago played by the D’Backs. A D’Back pitcher was breezing through a perfect game until one batter in the late innings bunts for a single. After the game Bob Brenly the manager was infuriated that this player broke etiquette and bunted to break up a perfect game. He said it was one of those rules: you don’t bunt to ruin a pitcher’s perfect game. I didn’t understand this and still don’t, but the memory is hazy and it might not even be true, just my imagination. Anyway, it’s the same issue and I want to hear comments on these situational ethics ballplayers are supposed to follow but of course don’t always do so. If they did, games with scores like 12-0 and 17-3 wouldn’t exist and pitchers would never have 14, 18 and 20 strikeout games.

2) Are the Red Sox growing tomatoes in their bullpen? I thought I saw some tomato plants out there.