Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Juvenile antics by Ortiz must be punished

David Ortiz is an old man by baseball standards, which makes his antics after hitting a home run against Hector Noesi all the more juvenile and offensive.

Ortiz dramatically flipped his bat after knocking one out of the park one pitch after the youngster threw a ball low and inside. Noesi wasn’t trying to hit Ortiz; he was just trying to make him less comfortable in the box, a typical move for a pitcher. Why Ortiz was so offended by that is beyond me. But he clearly needs to be punished, not by Major League Baseball, but by the New York Yankees.

Even Yankees manager Joe Girardi was upset about the antics, coming after Mark Teixeira got drilled on the knee. To be fair, I don’t think that hit-by-pitch was intentional, but I also don’t think the Boston Red Sox pitchers are at all bothered by how many Yankees hitters they drill.

I wouldn’t have expected the young Noesi, having only four appearances in the big leagues, to understand that he had to retaliate against the Red Sox after the Ortiz at-bat. But the Yankees have two more opportunities for payback. A recent story in the New York Times detailed how close AJ Burnett and Ivan Nova have become over the last year and how the veteran Burnett has mentored the young pitcher. Now it’s time for Burnett to teach Nova and Noesi a lesson about how to deal with batters who show up pitchers after hitting home runs.

If Burnett doesn't make things right, CC Sabathia will do it on Thursday. CC has made it clear that he will not allow opposing pitchers to throw at his batters at will and I can’t imagine that he’s pleased by Ortiz showing up one of his guys. The Yankees ace has retaliated against the Red Sox before and I expect him to do it again, if the umpires don't get in his way.

Thanks to Toasterb at the English language Wikipedia project for the photo.

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