Sunday, June 14, 2009

Which team is more guilty of brushback pitches - the Yankees or the Red Sox?

The other day, Joe Girardi told the media he thought Brad Penny deliberately hit Alex Rodriguez in Thursday's Yankees-Red Sox game:
"Penny's control was pretty good," Girardi said. "I thought it was on purpose. That is all part of baseball."
Now Penny, who's been on the Red Sox for about five minutes, has fired back a response:

"I don't give two [expletives] what Joe Girardi says," Penny said yesterday. "I'm coming inside. I don't care.

"Anybody can say that. We can say that about the time they hit our guys."

Um, Brad, you guys do. Constantly. Your team's co-owner, John Henry even tweeted about it on June 10:

Q: What's the consecutive game streak for a team hitting another team's hitters? So far they lead us 9-2 this year in hit batters.

What's the consecutive streak of Yankee players being sent to the hospital by Red Sox pitchers? Two, Alfonso Soriano and Derek Jeter, by Pedro Martinez. I must have missed Henry's outrage over that.

Penny continued:
"I'm just trying to pitch inside. Maybe he should worry about managing and not trying to be the commissioner.

"Why wouldn't he say that the night before? Don't wait a day, then say it. He should worry about managing and let the umpire crew do their job."

Guess Penny missed how the umpires "did their job" and issued a warning to both teams after Penny hit A-Rod, which hamstrung the Yankees from responding.

And if waiting a day to respond is so horrible, maybe Penny ought to complain about Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell whining on WEEI the day after Joba Chamberlain hit Jason Bay last month, and threatening retribution:

"Those things aren’t forgotten. We know there is a history there between the pitcher in New York and our guys here and not to say that he was specifically out to do that but I think history speaks for itself and we’ve got a number of games left with these guys.”

At any rate, Penny has nothing to worry about. Only Yankees get suspended for brushbacks against the Red Sox, and not vice versa. Joba Chamberlain has already gotten more punishment from MLB than Pedro Martinez ever did.

Heck, Bob Watson even punishes Yankees when they don't hit anybody! The Red Sox could put up a billboard next to the Citgo sign saying "We're gonna hit A-Rod tonight" and Red Sox Bob wouldn't do anything about it. (Come to think of it, Penny basically did broadcast it, given that he had missed with his first brushback pitch!)

I'm sure I will hear Boston fans accuse me of whining, but I'm just tired of hearing their own whining about this issue. For all the complaints in Red Sox Nation about Jason Bay being hit by Yankee pitches three times this year, and for the now 9-3 plunking differential, there are other numbers to be considered. From 2003-2008 the Sox hit more Yankees than vice versa every single year, for a total of 69 vs. 52 plunkings. I wish reporters would cite those numbers instead of only talking about this year's HBP stats.

And while it is true that Kevin Youkilis has been hit by Yankee pitchers seven times over the last three years, let's look at the numbers of the Yankees' two top players vs. the Red Sox' two top players since 2003:

Player Times HBP
Jeter 12
Rodriguez 11
Ramirez 6
Ortiz 0

Yes, that's right. Despite feasting on Yankee pitching for the past seven years, Ortiz has never been hit once by a Bomber pitch. Not even by accident.

Tell you what - when the HBP totals on Bay, Youkilis, and Ortiz rival the A-Rod-Jeter HBP totals, then the Sox will have a point. Until then, please spare me the sanctimony.

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


Anonymous said...

I'm not going to tell you to stop whining, but please do a better job of it. Your internal logic is really inconsistent. You're comparing players from different teams/eras. Pedro Martinez hasn't pitched for the sox since 2004...

Lisa Swan said...

Pedro may be long, but the Red Sox plunking tradition goes on:

A-Rod's been HBP from the Red Sox nine times from 2005-2009. Jeter's been hit seven times after 2004. So even when you take Pedro's numbers out of the equation, the Yankees' two best players have been hit much more than Manny and Ortiz ever were.

Paul from Boston said...

I was wondering when we'd finally see a post about this.

I don't think its whining necessarily, but there seems to be this notion that the Yankees need to be allowed to 'catch up'.

Is this really the first time Girardi thinks a Yankee has been hit intentionally? and no Yankee pitcher has hit anyone intentionally? Girardi knows it is part of the game - fine, be peeved but to ask for further review/discipline is ridiculous (as is Henry's 'tweet').

So if Penny is still on the Sox in August do you think he and Girardi will have words like F. Rodriguez (I hate the "K-Rod" too, Lisa) and Bruney apparently just did on the field?

Speaking of that - I can't stand Rodriguez, but I think Bruney was out of line even if I somewhat agree with him. Players just need to speak less (Penny included!) - leave the bickering to the fans, we're much better at it :)

Hope the weather there is better than here. Enjoy your Sunday!

Anonymous said...

It is whining. Man up, throw at the red sox, and stop bellyaching! Jeter gets hit because he is all over the plate.

As for the bruney-krod thing. who the hell is brian bruney? he had much to say until krod confronted him today. a lot easier to talk smack when you are surrounded by the media.

"Nutball Gazette" said...

This year it is the Yankees, however for the past 32 years it has been the Red Sox, So Boston, I have this to say to you (BOSTON), To quote then Tampa Bay lightning Coach and now current Ranger Coach John Tortella "SHUT YOUR YAP"

Fred said...

Holy Crap! You're still whining about Pedro? He hasn't worn a RS uniform in 5 years! Move on!!

It is whinning and it's laughable at this point. Perhaps you should look at who plunked more batters in the 80s. Better still, let's go all the way back to when the Yankees were the NY Highlanders. How many NY batters did Cy Young plunk?

One other thing. Your fixation on plunking Ortiz has nothing to do with who gets plunked more often. You just want to see him get drilled (multiple times, probably) because he owned the Yankees for so many years and because he above any other RS player is responsible for making the Yankees provide the sports world with the biggest collapse (e.g. choke job) in history!

Anonymous said...

Why did I bring this up? Because A-Rod got plunked all of three nights ago (to the Sox crowd's cheers), the night after he got what would have been the game-winning hit. That isn't exactly ancient history.


Subway Squawkers said...

Don't know why that last post didn't display my ID. At any rate, like I said, Jeter and A-Rod have been hit a total of 16 times post-Pedro.

Oh, and remember how Jason Varitek sneered that the Sox didn't throw at .260 hitters? No, now they're throwing at .230 hitters!

Uncle Mike said...

"Different eras"? We're not talking about Allie Reynolds and Early Wynn in the Fifties, or Bob Gibson and Don Drysdale in the Sixties -- or even Dick Drago beaning Thurman Munson in the Seventies (at Fenway, natch). The Red Sox pitchers have been thugs since the Pedro era began, and, for all intents and purposes, that era is still going strong after more than 10 years.

And Lisa, are you surprised that the man in the chicken-wire mask said something blatantly false and self-serving? Jason Varitek: He's a lying dreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer... of cowardice. And he's NOT ancient history. (He's just ancient. He's a year younger than Jorge Posada but looks about five years older at the plate.)

Anonymous said...

Who the f*** are you telling not to bellyache, km?? That's all you've done since the Yanks sighed Tex, CC and AJ to large contracts this year!

I have one for you: Practice what you preach, asshole.


Anonymous said...

JJ, where've you been? Just not the same around here without your witty, intelligent, articulate posts. The IQ on this blog just took a serious hit. Glad to see you!

Anonymous said...

There you go bellyaching again.


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