FanDuel - WFBC

April 14, 2009

Red Sox' Beckett Suspended Six Games: Boston Red Sox hurler Josh Beckett has gotten a six-game suspension for throwing at Bobby Abreu's head Sunday and for his "aggressive actions" in the bench-clearing incident that followed. Beckett said he wasn't intending to throw at Abreu, but he had started his motion before Abreu called time. "I know Bobby Abreu," he said he told the Angels at the time. "He knows I'm not trying to hit him in the head."

posted by rcade to baseball at 05:28 PM - 30 comments

Even Dennis Eckersley on NESN's broadcast (i.e., Red Sox announcer on team-owned network) wasn't impressed with Beckett's actions, wondering aloud if Beckett was trying to be"Studly Doright".

I love The Eck. Maybe I won't so much around June when he's the Sox' 5th starter.

posted by yerfatma at 05:34 PM on April 14

I offer some homer opinion which makes a good point that the officiating crew didn't think Beckett threw at Abreu.

posted by kokaku at 07:37 PM on April 14

I especially liked

And Abreu, whose idiotic whining started this whole fucking incident, just skates by whistling a happy tune?

Who is this Bob Watson dummy and what has he done to baseball?

posted by irunfromclones at 08:02 PM on April 14

Given that Beckett is a starting pitcher, a six game suspension is really at most one game. And since, as the article points out, Boston's schedule has an off day coming up, it really might not even cost him one start.

posted by dviking at 08:48 PM on April 14

Maybe he didn't actually throw at Abreu's head, but the way he acted after the pitch sure as hell made it seem that was his intention. And I agree that a six-game suspension for a starter is extremely misleading. You could make it a two-game suspension, and if the two games came when his spot in the rotation was coming up, it means the exact same thing. But Beckett even coming across like this so soon after the Angels have had a teammate die in a tragic manner, in their park, is bound to piss off Major League Baseball and fans alike. OK, Josh, you threw one really high and tight. Keep your fucking ass on the mound and don't come stalking off looking like you want to brawl, or expect people will assume you did mean to do it and deserve a suspension.

posted by dyams at 08:58 PM on April 14

Pitcher suspensions are always 6 games with the idea that always equals one game. Let's not act as if this is something new when suspending a starting pitcher.

posted by yerfatma at 09:11 PM on April 14

Exactly, a starting pitcher gets suspended for six games. One of the comments in the opinion piece kokaku linked to wanted to compare Beckett's suspension to the two games Joba Chamberlain received last year for throwing over the head of Kevin Youkilis. Chamberlain was a reliever at that point.

posted by dyams at 09:30 PM on April 14

Well, I look at it this way. If Beckett wanted to hit Abreu he would have. A guy that has been in the league for as many years as he has, will posses pin point accuracy and will be able to throw the ball wherever he wants. It has always been taught and I teach this to my guys at the college level, when you're in the stretch and you start to deliver your pitch and the batter calls time, continue with your motion and throw the ball. No reason to hurt yourself by trying to stop your motion. Abreu knew that Beckett was holding Figgins close at 2nd base but waited until the last second to call time. I don't think anyone should be at fault in this situation. Bud Selig in my opinion is probably the worst commissioner MLB has ever had.

posted by bdubbau44 at 10:10 PM on April 14

8+ years in the majors = pin point accuracy. Wow.

posted by DudeDykstra at 10:20 PM on April 14

Let's not act as if this is something new when suspending a starting pitcher.

Was anyone acting that way?

Personally, I agree that the suspension is more about how he acted after the pitch, than it was about the pitch itself.

posted by dviking at 11:45 PM on April 14

First he throws at Abreu's head then he comes in and starts talking shit? Josh Beckett = asshat. When suspending a pitcher it should be however many games suspended times 5. That way they actually miss the correct amount of games. The Sox are just in trouble right now and they thought they could get amped up over a brawl with the Angels, who will wind up kicking their asses in the playoffs.

posted by docshredder at 11:54 PM on April 14

A guy that has been in the league for as many years as he has, will posses pin point accuracy

Oh... yeah, no.

The Sox are just in trouble right now

Is Baltimore is already designing their World Series ring?

posted by jerseygirl at 12:20 AM on April 15

the Angels, who will wind up kicking their asses in the playoffs

A: So you think the Sox are in so much trouble they will make the playoffs? B: I'd be hesitant to predict the Angels beating on anyone in the playoffs, but especially Boston.

Let's not act as if this is something new when suspending a starting pitcher. Was anyone acting that way?

"Given that Beckett is a starting pitcher, a six game suspension is really at most one game."

"And I agree that a six-game suspension for a starter is extremely misleading. You could make it a two-game suspension, and if the two games came when his spot in the rotation was coming up, it means the exact same thing."

Starters tend to get suspended for a number of days that covers x number of starts, where x is the number of games they're really suspended for. Those comments came across as though this were either a new thing or the league cutting Beckett a break whereas it is neither.

posted by yerfatma at 08:50 AM on April 15

Is Baltimore is already designing their World Series ring?

I've thought for a long time that in order to stir up some interest in the team, the O's need to hire John Waters to redesign their uniforms. They'd be jaunty as all get-out and look fabulous in hi-def.

It'd be by far the most interesting thing to happen to the franchise in over a decade.

posted by Ufez Jones at 08:56 AM on April 15

Those comments came across as though this were either a new thing or the league cutting Beckett a break whereas it is neither

Or, maybe they were just people confirming that this really isn't a 6 game suspension...I don't see a singe case of anyone acting like it was new.

posted by dviking at 10:07 AM on April 15

I think Beckett's suspension comes down to his decision to approach Abreu and point angrily at the guy. If he had stayed near the mound and made the universal sign for "settle down"1 the incident never clears the bench.

Are pitchers these days allowed to appear conciliatory, or does the unwritten code of baseball require that they never allow a batter to yell at them?

1. Palms up and at your sides, tilted slightly downward. Similar to jazz hands, but without the side-to-side motion of the hands.

posted by rcade at 10:08 AM on April 15

I contend had he stayed at the mound and made jazz hands, it would have been awesome. Especially if Pedroia and Lowell came in and did a little shuffle-toe, shuffle-toe in the background.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:13 AM on April 15

Jazz Hands = Me jumping on board the Sox bandwagon (even if it's just temporary)

posted by tahoemoj at 10:54 AM on April 15

unwritten code of baseball require that they never allow a batter to yell at them

It's painful at this point to watch them constantly repeat the same motions, like neither side knows how to act spontaneously, so they just do whatever they've seen everyone else do.

posted by yerfatma at 11:08 AM on April 15

A: So you think the Sox are in so much trouble they will make the playoffs? B: I'd be hesitant to predict the Angels beating on anyone in the playoffs, but especially Boston.

The Angels didn't have any trouble beating Boston while missing 3 of their top 5 starters... It's a long season and I guess we'll have to see what happens.

posted by docshredder at 11:29 AM on April 15

I'm most pissed off that I watched eight minutes of millionaires playing "It's a good thing he's holding me back!" on YouTube. I expect at least a slap punch after all that.

posted by dusted at 02:19 PM on April 15

Whenever an umpire calls time at a point where a pitch might be delivered, he immediately RUNS out from behind the plate in order to get out of the way of an errant throw. The umpire is quite aware that in this situation the pitcher has no idea where the ball is going. Bobby Abreu has been in the game long enough to have the same awareness, and he should have bailed out. Had he done so, there is no incident. Put the whole problem where it belongs, that is, in Bobby Abreu's lack of judgment.

As far as Beckett earning his suspension for leaving the mound, please notice that he stood there for some seconds, and then walked slowly toward his catcher, not toward Abreu. He made no threatening gestures. What words were exchanged would have been noted in the umpire's report, so perhaps something was said.

Bob Watson is a stooge who spent quite a bit of time in the Yankees' organization before getting his job in the Commissioner's Office. He had tended to under-punish Yankees players and do quite the opposite to Red Sox players until the last season or two. It looks like he may be back to his old habits.

posted by Howard_T at 02:41 PM on April 15

He made no threatening gestures.

He walked towards Abreu yelling and pointing at him, which cleared the benches. I don't think he should have been suspended either, but that's enough of a threatening gesture to start some brawls.

This all reminds me of my favorite brawl, when Robin Ventura of the White Sox made the rash decision to charge Nolan Ryan, realized halfway there he was charging Nolan Freaking Ryan, and then half-heartedly fought him. Ryan, with no such reservations, wholeheartedly rearranged his face.

posted by rcade at 02:55 PM on April 15

This all reminds me of my favorite brawl, when Robin Ventura of the White Sox made the rash decision to charge Nolan Ryan, realized halfway there he was charging Nolan Freaking Ryan, and then half-heartedly fought him. Ryan, with no such reservations, wholeheartedly rearranged his face.

Ahhhh, the infamous Ventura/Ryan brawl, if you wanna call it that. Ventura ran towards Ryan and the Nolan Ryan Express put Ventura in a headlock and proceeded to bash him upside the dome piece. That was indeed a classic!

posted by BornIcon at 11:43 AM on April 16

Ventura clearly decided that being known as the guy beaten up by Nolan Ryan was preferable to being the guy that beat up Nolan Ryan. I think he made the right call.

posted by rcade at 12:28 PM on April 16

When suspending a pitcher it should be however many games suspended times 5.

36 games? So we're going to start suspending pitchers a fourth of a season that 'might' have intentionally thrown at a hitter? Brilliant.

Beckett even coming across like this so soon after the Angels have had a teammate die in a tragic manner, in their park, is bound to piss off Major League Baseball and fans alike.

Oh come on. It should have nothing to do with anything on the field. What beckett did is either right or wrong, intentional or not, but you really think in the middle of that he's suppose to think "wait, the Angels have been through a tragedy"? That's ridiculous.

Bob Watson is a stooge who spent quite a bit of time in the Yankees' organization before getting his job in the Commissioner's Office.

Yep.

He walked towards Abreu yelling and pointing at him, which cleared the benches. I don't think he should have been suspended either, but that's enough of a threatening gesture to start some brawls.

You're putting a lot of blame on Beckett without having any idea what he said coming off the mound. Bottom line, the umps were there, saw everything, and not only didn't think Beckett was throwing at anyone, but that he handled it well. Watson overruled the umps. That's troublesome.

But it does seem to be a consensus, here, elsewhere, Scioscia, that it was Beckett seemingly being unapologetic that give him the fine, that leads one to believe he WAS throwing at Abreu.

Which means I guess it's not the intent, but the reaction. So the 4th time Joba throws at youkilis' head he can once again give that "who me?" puppy dog look and all will be fine. Are fans really that gullible?

posted by justgary at 11:06 AM on April 17

Blame, shmame. I don't think he shoulda been suspended when the umps didn't toss him (did he even get a warning?).

My guess is that Beckett said "get your ass back in the box and shut up." I'm just saying that Abreu was hostile and Beckett gave it right back to him, which is where I think the suspension came from.

posted by rcade at 11:15 AM on April 17

My guess is that Beckett said "get your ass back in the box and shut up."

I'm hoping, after the appeal, that it comes out what he said.

posted by justgary at 12:38 PM on April 17

There was a warning issued, but, according to the umpiring crew chief, only because the Angels came out of their dugout. If anyone was to be suspended why was it not someone from the Angels? Can you please explain, Mr. Watson?

posted by Howard_T at 04:38 PM on April 17

You gotta love these AL pitchers who have all the balls in the world, while knowing they won't have to step in the batters box with the opponent's pitcher thinking about possibly whizzing one at their skull. Like when Roger Clemens had his issues several years ago with Mike Piazza, and the Yankees had to make the decision not to have him (Clemens) pitch at Shea because the designated hitter rule wouldn't be in effect.

As for the umps not throwing Beckett out of the game right then, I can't really fault them. Their main concern at that moment was that the teams not erupt into a huge brawl. But looking at the circumstances after the incident, I have no problem with the league deciding (after the fact) they are going to suspend him. And that's not intended to mean I think he (Beckett) should have been suspended in this instance, because I don't. But in other sports, leagues review situations and decide on consequences (ex. illegal hits in NFL games).

Baseball, though, needs to decide what it's going to do to deal with some of these brawls that tend to erupt. It's been ridiculous for a long time how players come out of the dugouts, bullpens, etc. They're running the risk of having a riot start they won't be able to control, and don't think fans won't eventually jump out of the stands and get in on the action, too. You could always say players in the dugout need to remain in the dugout, but the batter is the only person on the field (and possibly a baserunner or two) for the offensive team, while the team in the field has nine guys out there. That could be a problem.

posted by dyams at 11:27 AM on April 19

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