Mood Music - Hey Bulldog by The Beatles
So, you may not have noticed this, but it got a little bit chippy in the Yankees last series against the Detroit Tigers. It all started when that guy -->, Brett Gardner, took out the feet of Carlos Guillen to try and break up a game ending double play. Guillen had to make a trip to the 15 day disabled list, and the rest of the Tigers were (understandably) ruffled.
The next day, GGBG was hit, Miguel Cabrera was hit, Derek Jeter was thrown behind, Jim Leyland was ejected, and both benches were warned by the umpires in the first inning. The warning, and it's lack of effectiveness, got Ken Plutnicki from the New York Times wondering about the real affect of warning the benches:
Should the warning have been issued in the first place? What purpose did it serve? Is the warning a useful tool for the umpires to control hostilities, or does it heighten tensions?
While I think the umpire needs to have something at his disposal before he gets to ejections, it does seem like the warning more often than not merely serves to escalate. And, when you realize what a dangerous game beanball is, the consequences are startling. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote a really excellent piece on the lasting affects of concussions, more specifically, the way they have really gotten in the ways of the careers of Justin Morneau and Corey Koskie. The conclusion of his article can be found below in a gray box:
There are games, and there are lives, and never should anyone be so blithe as to confuse them. Ignorance no longer is an excuse. If athletes and teams need more scared-straight ads, they’re readily available in academic studies, cross-sections of damaged brains and the number of coffins filled with men broken by the sport they loved.
And when you look at the lasting repercussions of brain injuries suffered by athletes, I have to admit to being in favor of a more proactive approach. Intentionally throwing at batters and instilling fear has always been a part of the game and it always will be. There are too many people like Josh Beckett who get a little smirk out of it, too many managers like Tony LaRussa who use it as a weapon, and too many guys that just want to protect their teammates for it to ever go away. But, at the very least, can we see some more support for Cervelli-style helmets so we don't keep watching player's brains turn into mush?
Roger Clemens is stupid. While most Yankees didn't want to talk about it the Rocket's current tom foolery, Lance Berkman still had his back. Quoth Sir Lance-A-Lot:
"I always heard honesty is the best policy and it is. Our society is such that if you say you made a mistake and you own up to it, they'll forgive you almost anything."
"He's my friend. I'm not going to sit here and contradict what he says. Until it's proven one way or another, I'm not going to sit in judgment."
I agree with the sentiment, but to come full circle, Roger Clemens is stupid.
And now that the aforementioned Berkman has landed on the Disabled List after his disagreement with first base and Alex Rodriguez has been out for a few days (but things are looking up for the centaur's triumphant return), the Yankees bench has been a little thinned out. Joe Girardi's new depth has come in the form of recently called up Eduardo Nunez.
In an article from a few weeks ago, Joel Sherman of the New York Post wondered about Brandon Laird and Eduardo Nunez and their future on the left side of the Yankees infield behind two guys you may have heard of (Jetor and A-Rad, if I'm not mistaken). I hope that he is right in thinking that they have a future with the big club, and Nunez's ability to play all over the diamond is certainly encouraging. Even if he doesn't progress the way we are thinking/hoping that he will, the worst I would expect Nunez to turn out is Ramiro Pena 2.0.