Monday, March 12, 2007
The Detroit Tigers have called Lakeland, Florida home for over 70 years, and they defended their turf with a vengeance against the Red Sox.
You see, Josh Beckett was throwing curveballs...only they weren't curving. Subsequently, they were hitting Detroit Tigers batters. Beckett hit Gary Sheffield and Magglio Ordonez. He hit them both up high, Sheffield in his steroid enhanced shoulder, and Magglio in the helmet. So I can understand why the Tigers would be upset.
HOWEVER, the pitches were breaking balls! You don't throw breaking pitches when you're trying to hit batters. YOU THROW FASTBALLS THAT GO STRAIGHT!
And of course, in this day and age, when pitchers are never supposed to pitch on the inside part of the plate, and hitters are allowed to crouch over the dish, the Tigers overreacted to this non-aggressive aggression.
During meetings on the mound, Tigers manager Jim Leyland used the opportunity to bark at home plate umpire Larry Vanover. Then Sox 3B coach Demarlo Hale started yelling at Leyland.
In the 5th inning, Todd Jones who, according to carbon dating, is estimated to be 38 years old (in other words, not a stupid kid, a veteran) threw a pitch tight to JD Drew, then one behind JD Drew. Drew, who is a magnet for getting hit by pitches, thankfully was not struck, don't want him to break before we even get a real AB out of him.
Then the benches cleared, and in typical baseball fight fashion, people yelled, pushed a little bit, while most of the guys stood around and chatted, mingling around like it was some sort of baseball cotillion. Hugging ensued and a game of grab ass broke out, but quickly subsided.
In the 8th inning Travis Hughes hit Chris Shelton, but there was no bench clearing. Neither team knew which player was theirs and which one they should attack. By the way, Hughes is on the Sox, Shelton is on the Tigers.
After the game, Leyland accused the media of "trying to stir up shit" by asking questions about a near brawl in a Spring Training game. Right, like it was the media's fault that Todd Jones threw at JD Drew, or that Leyland was too stupid to realize Beckett is just a mediocre pitcher and couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, let alone Magglio Ordonez's head.
Can you imagine Jim Leyland screaming at Todd Jones: "WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE!"? I know that I can.
The Red Sox and Tigers will meet in mid-May at Fenway Park.
MATSUZAKA HAS ROUGH OUTING AGAINST O'S
Daisuke allowed two homeruns in his first bad start of the spring. His own throwing error led to an "unearned" run. In total, he allowed 4 runs off 6 hits in 4 innings. It'll be interesting to see how he responds to his first bad start in the States. I think we should keep this in context, though. It was a Spring Training game, nothing more. Let's please move on.
THREE NEW ENGLAND TEAMS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT
Only three teams from New England made the NCAA Tournament. Central Connecticut State is a 16 seed playing Ohio State in Lexington, KY. Holy Cross, for once, is not a 16 seed and is actually a 13 seed playing Southern Illinois in Columbus, OH. Boston College is a 7 seed going up against Texas Tech in Winston-Salem, NC. I really don't feel that Boston College will win this game.
This season the Red Raiders beat Texas A&M twice, and beat Kansas in Kansas. I'm afraid they're more than a match for BC. And even if the Eagles progress to the second round, they'll probably face Georgetown. Not a very good bracket for BC to be in, but we can hardly claim they were somehow snubbed as they have been in past seasons.
The first round games for the three New England teams are going to be played at the following times:
#7 Boston College vs. #10 Texas Tech - Thu 3/15 at 12:25 PM
#1 Ohio State vs. #16 Central Connecticut State - Thu 3/15 at 7:10 PM
#4 Southern Illinois vs. #13 Holy Cross - Fri 3/16 at 9:40 PM
Providence College, UMass, and Vermont all made the NIT.