The A’s and Red Sox are scoreless at Fenway today thru 4 innings, and more to the point, there have been no hit batsmen nor ejections. If you’re wondering why I’d be looking for a such a thing, Amalie Benjamin’s recap of yesterday’s 7-0 Boston win in this morning’s Globe provides the necessary background.
With plate umpire Mike Reilly having warned both dugouts after Red Sox starter Curt Schilling hit Nick Swisher in the sixth inning last night in apparent retaliation for A’s starter Dan Haren hitting Jason Varitek (which appeared to be in retaliation for Friday night’s hit batsmen), tempestuous Oakland outfielder Milton Bradley decided to take on the fans behind the A’s dugout.
Words were exchanged. But, with no one in the A’s clubhouse talking about the Bradley episode after Boston’s 7-0 win, the only words left were the ones hurled back toward the Red Sox.
“I thought that was pretty bush league there,” Haren said. “But I guess that’s the way they do things here.
Last night, with two out in the fifth and Mike Lowell on second after his second double of the game, Haren hit Varitek in the back of his leg with a fastball. Said Haren after the game, “I was trying to go [inside]. Not necessarily hit him, but I was definitely trying to go in.”
That seemed to prompt Schilling’s fastball the next inning, with two men out and Swisher up.
“You know it was on purpose,” Swisher said. “Everybody in the [expletive] stadium knew it was on purpose. I didn’t think anything was going on for the first two pitches, then all of a sudden I catch one in the [expletive] ribs. The guy’s been hitting his spots all night. If you don’t think that’s on purpose, you’re crazy.”
With Swisher in pain and on his way to first base, Oakland manager Ken Macha had a spirited discussion with Reilly, and Bradley began to have a spirited discussion with the fans behind the dugout. Mostly there was yelling, followed by Bradley coming back up to the top step of the dugout and raising his arms like a prizefighter, followed again by an angry-looking Bradley (above) pacing in the dugout.
And as he walked out to right field after the verbal encounter, he found himself being serenaded by a chorus of “Mil-ton, Mil-ton,” leading him to tip his cap in mock appreciation. Security, which came quickly when the talking started, stayed in the area for the rest of the game.
After giving a “no comment,” Bradley left a group of reporters, finally saying as he walked away, “I’m too honest to talk to you. I might tell the truth.”
Frank Thomas left this afternoon’s game after hitting a single off the Green Monster in the 4th. The Big Hurt pulled up slowly upon reaching first on a ball that might’ve otherwise been an easy double.
WCBS’ Suzyn Waldman was in a giggling tizzy earlier today over the notion of Kyle Snyder starting for the Red Sox. “Well, Suzyn, injuries do happen,” advised Jon Sterling, his voice dripping with malice. I think the Demonic Duo are a little too smug considering Aaron Guiel is patroling right field for the Yankees this afternoon (currently atop the White Sox, 6-3 in the bottom of the 7th).
The Boston Herald’s Tony Massarotti digs through one heck of a mailbag today, but amongst the various letters of complain, none are nearly as precious as this one :
œI really enjoyed your (Kevin Youkilis) reference of Greek salad and Matza ball soup which obviously highlight Kevin™s Greek and Jewish background. I just wanted to point out that this combination is not Kosher. Greek salad comes with feta cheese and the soup is based on a chicken stock. As you may know, milk and meat do not mix in a Kosher environment. How about Greek olives in hummus instead?
(UPDATE : Adam Melhuse was indeed, hit by a pitch from Synder today. Snyder also managed to make contact with the fat part of several Oakland bats, particularly those wielded by Jason Kendall and Mark Kotsay. Boston’s 8-1 loss coupled with the Yankees’ 6-4 win over the White Sox — a contest topped off by Mariano Rivera’s 400th career save — puts New York a mere half game behind the Red Sox in the AL East, and just 3 games behind Chicago in the wild card hunt.)