April 14, 2009

Does Beckett deserve suspension?

Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett received a six-game suspension after throwing a pitch near Angels' Bobby Abreu's head on Sunday. Of all days, Beckett throws near Abreu's head on Easter, which led to a bench-clearing incident of the two clubs.

Bob Watson, MLB's disciplinarian, thought the pitch was intentional.

Apparently, the Angels players thought the pitch was intentional as well, but they are also reeling from losing a teammate. Emotions can get high after such an occasion.

If Beckett's pitch didn't incite the bench-clearing incident, does he still get six days?

Here are Beckett's words: "I've never hit anybody in the head, and it's not really on my list of stuff to accomplish. But people can think what they want to think," Beckett said after Sunday's game. "I know Bobby Abreu. He knows I'm not trying to hit him in the head. Obviously, there's been a lot of emotion in this series with them -- not only facing us, but obviously the tragedy that all of them went through."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia felt differently: "Usually the pitcher will show a little bit of remorse and say that wasn't a part of it. But obviously, we didn't see any of that with Beckett," Scioscia said. "That was as blatant as anything I've seen in this game. What happened today absolutely crossed the line, and I think it was inexcusable. I really feel the league has to look at it."

Here is the pitch and subsequent brawl:

What do you guys think?

P.S. Don't forget to watch Bernie Williams' "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" video.


  1. going by history, Beckett is a butthead, so yeah, I guess he deserves everything he gets. However, I'm kinda old school... let the players play and govern themselves. If he calls time late, throw at him, crowds the plate, brush him back... heaven forbid we offend anybody.

  2. I'm not a huge Beckett fan either (pun intended). However, I'm on your side of this.


  3. I'm absolutely old school.

    Batters are WAY too babied these days. And they've taken every tactic pitchers have away from them (they don't get the high strike anymore, they aren't able to pitch inside, batters can call time whenever they want).

    Pitchers are out there to compete like everyone else. Don't take that away from them. So, Beckett is high-strung. So what? Do you think people were charging out of the dugout when Bob Gibson and Don Drysdale were dusting off batters?

    Let players settle it on the field. There are reasons for people like Watson to step in. This wasn't one of them.

    And I don't know what's got into Scioscia. I'm sure he called a brush-back pitch or two catching for the Dodgers, because L.A. knew how to pitch, and pitching inside and keeping a batter off-balance is part of pitching.

  4. I think this pitch was as close to Abreu's head as the pitch from Clemens to Manny that started the infamous Yankees/Red Sox brawl where Pedro tossed Zimmer to the ground. Emotions were high and the benches didn't really need to clear.

    Suspensions for starting pitchers are usually a joke anyway. Beckett misses one start. He can appeal and then determine exactly which game he'll miss and at this point the Sox might be better off with giving Buchholz a start since no one else has been performing all too well so far.

  5. Suzy's on my side... that's 'cause I'm her favourite. She even said so.

  6. I haven't decided on the pitch yet, but I think that Beckett could have helped his case by staying on the mound. When he approached the batter's box and the ump clearly indicates that he should step away and he didn't, well, you need to get your wrist slapped.

    If it was intentional, then Beckett should say that he was pitching inside.

    On average, Abreu has been hit by a pitch twice a season for his 14 year career. This time he successfully moved out of the way. He could have stood in there and taken one for the team and got on first. Oh, wait. He called time.

    Beckett, on the other hand, averages about 5 batters hit per season.

    I don't think that there's bad history between them. Abreu has had 65 At Bats against Beckett. 2 dingers and a .215 BA. Beckett's never hit him.

    I need to watch the video a few more times.

  7. I am no Beckett fan and he really won't even miss a start it just gets moved back a day. SP suspensions need to be at least 10 days. My initial thought was no big deal. Nobody was hit and no punches were thrown, but why did they throw out Torii Hunter. I then watched the video there and the Boston announcers really had no problem with Abreau being pissed and him calling time.....it was late b/c Beckett was holding on to the ball a long time. Remy even said he thought it looked like Beckett was wanting him to call time.

  8. I keep watching the video and I can't tell what's going on.

    The pitch appears to be intentional. Whether it was intentionally at Abreu's head, I don't know how anyone can figure that out.

    Beckett definitely elevated things by coming off the mound.

    It's just been a different world between the batter and pitcher for the last 20 years or so. Definitely a lot more brawls. Don't think I like it.

  9. I hate Beckett, plain and simple for a few reasons. But it looks almost like he was caught off guard by the time call despite looking in and at 2nd that many times. I don't really see why he would throw at Abreu's head intentionally. If he wanted to send some sort of message for something, there are other ways to do it and Beckett has been around the block enough times to pick a different way to go about it.