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Daisuke Matsuzaka (2–2, 4.00 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte (1–0, 1.78 ERA)

The thesis first: Manny Ramirez and/or David Ortiz need to be hit tonight. Not in the head, the back will do, but they need to be hit.

The reasons: In other sports, I don’t think fighting or hard fouls are really part of the game. The Knicks/Nuggets brawl was a good sign that neither of those teams has an ounce of class. Baseball (especially American League baseball) however, is a different story. Violence doesn’t solve things in life, but violence in baseball is both an effective tool, and a necessary part of the game. Pitchers don’t hit in the A.L., meaning they’re never held accountable for their actions. It might not be fair, but the opposing team’s hitters have to pay the price. That’s the only way it works.

The last time the Yanks faced Dice K, he hit A-Rod and Jeter. Was it intentional? Maybe, maybe not. Does that matter? No. You hit our best, we hit your best. That’s the way it works.

Chase Wright was on the mound, struggling through his second career start when Dice K went head hunting. Tonight, there’s a veteran on the mound, Andy Pettitte, and it’s time to send a message. I don’t care what the situation is, David Ortiz and/or Manny Ramirez need to be hit in the top of the first inning tonight for several reasons:

  1. Payback. A-Rod was red hot when Dice K hit him. He was handling the outside pitch, driving it the other way. The Japanese pseudo-phenom was sending a message. Jeter has been hit, and hurt by getting hit, a number of times by the Sox.
  2. Ortiz is never, and I do mean never, made to move his feet. Last year in 558 at bats, Ortiz was hit 4 times. The previous year, in 601 at bats, he was hit once. That’s ridiculous. No one should ever feel that comfortable at the plate.
  3. He who laughs first… In a bean-ball battle, the first pitcher gets a free shot. Warnings may go out, but the first pitcher never gets tossed, it’s always the second guy. You have a free shot, use it.
  4. Life. As in, this team is not showing any. Maybe a brawl will help? Maybe just the fact that someone on the Yanks has the balls to put Manny or Ortiz on his ass will wake everyone else up.

Before Sox fans get up in arms, keep in mind. This is payback. Your spineless pitchers have been hitting our guys with impunity for the past three seasons, it needs to end now. Getting beaned is part of the game, and it’s time the Sox got a taste.

This isn’t something that’s going to come from Joe, he’s just not that guy. Bowa, maybe, but not Joe. Pettitte needs to take a look at his hobbled shortstop (missed 1.9 games because he was hit in the thigh by Scott Kazmir), and his third baseman who’s tearing the cover off the ball, and say “I’ve got your back guys.” He needs to go out there and put Ortiz on his ass in the first inning. It’ll definitely send a message, not only to the over-hyped import sitting in the Sox dugout, but to both teams. The buck stops here. It may cause a fight somewhere down the road, but guess what, Boston threw the first punch, it’s time for the counter.

Sox blog-of-the-day: The Joy of Sox.

by Brian on Apr 27 2007