I was always gunshy after that, but never got down, hoping that by me taking one for the team would actually help the team. I did, however, learn to turn my head while going in so that my earflap faced the thrower.... So, I guess I learned something from the situation....
Your story made me remember how my Dad used to coach me and our teams growing up. He was never a fan of us changing the way we played or went about the game b/c of the other team.... I remember him telling our middle infielders that if the runner coming into the bag wasn't getting down to "throw it through his (expletive deleted) face".
Other teams definitely accused our team of dirty play, but I never saw it that way.
For the record, I think Bob Watson is right that this was intentional given the context. Beckett was frustrated that Abreu stepped out. I realize pitchers are taught to go ahead and finish the pitch when time is called, but you don't usually gun it at full speed at the direction of the batters head.
I also agree with the point that suspending a starting pitcher for any less than 5 games is toothless.
I could care less that the umpires didn't think it was intentional. They don't have the benefit of instant replay, and I don't always concur w/Joe West's judgment anyway (see e.g. the strike zone in last night's game).
This also isn't a court of law, and the standard of guilt isn't "beyond a reasonable doubt." Bob Watson has to make assumptions about intent when serious risk to players is at stake. It seems a LOT more likely than not that this was intentional.
Last edited by cincinnati chili; 04-18-2009 at 02:27 PM.
". . . acquiring J. Blanton from Oakland for, apparently, Bailey/Cueto, Votto and a lesser prospect. I do it in a second . . . The Reds' equation this year is simple: Make Matt Belisle your #3 starter . . . trade for Blanton, win 85 or more, be in the mix all summer." - Paul Daugherty, Feb. 8, 2008
I don't think Beckett was just suspended for the pitch, if he stays on the mound and keeps his mouth shut, the whole bench incitement never happens. The way he comes charging towards the batter gets him suspended IMO.