Hit Me

Okay, so I’m scouting the Angels by watching their game against the Blue Jays tonight. (It’s been a while since I watched the Angels)

(Why not? Sox lost, Yanks lost so that’s a wash….now I’d like to see the Jays win and find out what the Angels have in waiting for the Sox this weekend.)

Anyway, I’m watching the game and Bengie Molina gets hit. Which gets me to thinking about the four times this week the Yankees hit Devil Rays rookie Jonny Gomes.

I know hit batsmen is no big deal. But I’ve been watching baseball (Frank Menechino is a bonehead, way to run into an out, Frank…but I digress) an awfully long time and year after year more players are getting hit. I know most of the time it’s a control issue on the part of the pitcher…and other times it is the pitcher just wanting to brush the batter off the plate….but there are some times when it just seems too convenient. I mean Jonny Gomes? He wasn’t exactly leaning over the plate.

One of the Rays announcers mentioned that, for a rookie, Gomes is very self-assured and has an air about him that betrays his rookie status. I wonder if that’s a reason for going at him?

I don’t mean to single out the Yankees…the Red Sox hit more than their fair share of batters. It’s easy to see when it’s due to a batter who crowds the plate or a pitcher who has no control…but what about the others? What about the guys who get hit because they hit a homerun in their last at bat, or the last time they faced the pitcher? What happens when one of these guys gets really hurt because a pitcher’s ego was wounded?

I’m not a big fan of putting a man on base for ANY reason. I hate intentional walks…I don’t care who you’re pitching to (one of the many reasons I could never be a MLB manager)….

Slight pause while I revel in the Blue Jays making the Angels defense look like they are sponsored by Chico’s Bail Bonds.

…I don’t see the point in intentionally hitting a guy and getting him on base. 1) You could hurt a guy if you miss your spot and 2) YOU PUT A GUY ON BASE.

Just makes me crazy.

Then again, I’ll admit that I’m a bit two-faced on this issue. Early in the year when Bronson Arroyo purposely hit Tampa Bay’s Chris Singleton (and regardless of what is said about it, we all know it was intentional. I called it a half-inning before it happened)…I was thrilled that Bronson had the stones to defend his teammates KNOWING he would not only get kicked out of game but that he’d most likely get suspended as well. So the fan in me that wants blood thinks hitting a batter in retaliation is great…but the fan in me that wants the game to go as smoothly as possible wants there to be as few men on base as possible at all times. Yes, I want to have my cake and eat it as well.

Random trivia for the night: Chone Figgins is up. When I first saw his name, years ago, I thought you pronounced it “Choh-nee”, which, in my family, is an Italian slang word for a female body part. So no matter how many times they say “Shawn”, I read it as “Choh-nee”.

Choh-nee popped out, thus preserving the Jays lead.

Here’s hoping this is how the Angels are going to play this weekend.

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