Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
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Nothing Shocking
2005-04-15 05:04
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Red Sox beat the Yanks in another wild one at the Fens. I thought Randy Johnson looked decent, in spite of giving up three dingers (Payton, Renteria, and Varitek). But it was not one of his best performances. Bronson Arroyo wasn't as sharp and the Yankees squandered more than their fair share of scoring opportunities. In the ninth inning, representing the tying run, Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi both fouled back two pitches that they just missed. So close and yet...bubkus. Rodriguez had a bloop RBI single, but otherwise had a poor night at the plate. What Johnson and Arroyo (and both teams) had in common were their feelings about home plate umpire Greg Gibson's strike zone. Gibson had an erratic night calling balls and strikes, but he was equally bad for both teams. Johnson glared in at him on several occasions while Ron Jackson and Terry Francona both got tossed arguing with Gibson.

With the game tied at five, Tom Gordon gave up the lead in the eighth inning. The Sox scored three times and survived a shaky ninth-inning performance from Keith Foulke to secure the victory. But the most talked-about play of the game came in the bottom of the eighth when Jason Varitek's triple skipped along the right field warning track. Gary Sheffield went to field the ball and was inadvertantly slapped in the face by a fan. It appeared as if the fan was going for the ball, although he didn't bend down nearly low enough to grab it. It certainly didn't look as if the fan was intentionally trying to hit Sheffield. He only grazed the Yankee right fielder, but, caught by surprise, Sheffield immediately extended his glove hand into the fan's face, throwing a punch with his right hand into his mitt. He held himself back after that. Sheffield didn't jump into the stands. Later on, he said that he immediately thought about the infamous Pacers-Pistons brawl, and that's exactly what came to my mind as well. As a matter of fact, when that basketball fight went down last fall, all I could think about was that this kind of thing is so ripe to happen at a Yankee-Sox game.

Fortunately, it didn't escalate. I don't blame Sheffield for reacting, though he will most likely be fined for lunging at the fan. I can understand that too. (For what it's worth, the Red Sox thought Sheffield showed restraint.) Again, I don't think the fan was trying to hit Sheffield. However, he was in the field of play, interrupting a play, and there is no question in my mind that the fan was in the wrong. The incident will overshadow the rest of the game, which is too bad.

I think the Yankees and Red Sox have brought out the best in each other on the field (with a few notable exceptions) during the past two seasons. However, the rivalry has also brought out the worst in Red Sox and Yankee fans. After watching highlights of the soccer match in Italy last week, I just hope that something tragic doesn't happen one of these days.

Comments (78)
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2005-04-15 05:34:05
1.   Alex Belth
Oh, and I was feeling Cliff's pain last night when Torre pinch-hit for Andy Phillips with two outs and the bases juiced in the ninth. Ruben Sierra popped out to Jason Varitek in foul ground to end the game. Still, Rodriguez and Giambi had some fine swings on bad pitches against Foulke and just couldn't turn em around. That's baseball, and that was the game.
2005-04-15 05:43:03
2.   NetShrine
At the least, for the members of RSN who whine about slapping players, we have something to throw back at them.
2005-04-15 05:51:30
3.   KJC
To me, it looked like the "fan" was trying to knock Sheff's hat off, not hit him in the face. (He certainly wasn't anywhere near trying to grab the ball.) No matter -- the guy's a complete idiot and is an embarrassment to Sox (and baseball) fans.

I'm starting to think ballparks need to make front-row ticket holders take an IQ test before allowing them to sit there: "Now, you realize that there's an actual major league baseball game going on in front of you, and that you're not actually part of either team."

I was in the RF seats right near "the incident," and there were plenty of NY fans around me. Not one made a scene thoughout the entire game. Meanwhile, I was irritated by several Sox fans (even before Sheff got hit). Score 1 for NY fans last night...

2005-04-15 06:05:53
4.   rbj
These things are bound to happen when the media (and MLB) keep hyping the 19 Yankees-Red Sox games. I don't think Sheff should be fined, it was a natural reaction that ended real quickly. The fan basically got what he deserved for being in the playing field.

And what were the Yankees doing swinging at some balls before there were 2 strikes with an obviously wild Foulke. Reuben! At least Jason had the good sense to lay off ball four. Men on first and second, no outs, pitcher's got no control, and you don't score? Grrrrr.

2005-04-15 06:06:07
5.   TFD
Why is that the fans have to learn that they can never go onto the field, but it's OK for players to go into the stands?

Where's ESPN's Marky Shapiro and his late-night calls to studio analysts when you need him?

2005-04-15 06:15:25
6.   mattg
Well said summary on the incident. Sheff's reaction was completely understandable.

It is just a shame this stuff seems to happen repeatedly in Boston. I too, am a bit embarrassed for RS fans. I was at the Wed night game, and with so many positives to celebrate with Schilling's first start and being just the 2nd home game, all I heard was more NY sucks and Balco chants.

Aside from the incident -- 3 hrs off RJ is encouraging, and NY may have got a taste of the "real" Renteria going forward no? We hope so at least.

Now back to "normal" baseball.

2005-04-15 06:18:11
7.   Alex Belth
I distinctly recall Jim Rice going into the left field stands at Yankee Stadium sometime during the eighties. It was a day game but I don't remember what started the incident or if Rice ever threw a punch. I think the heckler ran away. But again, I don't remember. Does anyone remember this, or recall any of the specifics better than I do?
2005-04-15 06:22:16
8.   seamus
The one thing I might disagree with is that it couldn't have just been a graze or Sheffield wouldn't have been so convinced he had a busted lip. You could see Sheff checking his face for blood. So it must have been solid contact from his point of view (in part a result of his momentum going for the ball perhaps).

I think it is obvious that Fenway is a problem park from a fan standpoint. Crazy things have and will happen in other places but the frequency of fan crap in Fenway is pretty high and needs to be addressed. ANd it is a shame since there are so many good Boston fans who go to these games and have their rep sullied by a few.

2005-04-15 06:24:48
9.   soxeattle
"I don't think Sheff should be fined, it was a natural reaction that ended real quickly. The fan basically got what he deserved for being in the playing field."

Sheffield should have been ejected. And he should recieve a suspension.

The fan interfered with the game, and he was shown the door. Sheffield "restrained himself" only after punching/shoving the perpetrator.

Nobody was right in this. However, you cannot justify a MLB player committing an act of violence on a fan. And this wasn't a case of self-defense, since Sheffield could have restrained himself sooner than he did.

2005-04-15 06:25:19
10.   Simone
That fan was an ass along with the guy who threw beer on Sheff and the guys around them who were cheering and throwing cups at the Yankees when they and security came to Sheff's rescue.

RJ was iffy, but he came through with 7 innings which is certainly a change from last season. That only is an improvement.

2005-04-15 06:38:26
11.   Dan M
Michael Kay demonstrated that he had no idea who Andy Phillips is last night. When Torre pinch ran for Tino, Kay questioned who would play 1st since Torre wouldn't move Jason out of the DH spot, and suggested perhaps Sierra or Posada could play 1st. He was completely oblivious to the obvious solution. Cliff must have been going nuts.
2005-04-15 06:48:30
12.   seamus
I wanted to see Phillips hit too but I would have done the same thing. I mean, Phillips doesn't have an at bat yet. In that situation I would have gone with the veteran pinch hitter too. But I did feel that Sierra would screw it up still. ooopphhh.
2005-04-15 06:48:47
13.   JL25and3
Hey, Gary - first throw the ball in, then scuffle with the fan.
2005-04-15 07:13:15
14.   jonblack
You need glasses if you think that fan was going for the ball. He couldn't even see the ball. He wasn't looking at the ball, either. He was taking a swing at Sheff. And Sheff did not throw a punch (though the "Post" and the "Daily News" seem to think so). He shoved the guy back and then walked over to him and exchanged words. It didn't look like he lifted his arm hard enough to "bust his lip," but it's obvious he intentionally hit Sheffield.
2005-04-15 07:14:00
15.   rsmith51
Quick question...

Why wasn't it a double since it was fan interference?

2005-04-15 07:21:47
16.   jalexei
soxeattle, I agree that perhaps Sheff could have restrained himself sooner, and there's no justifiable reason to go after a fan regardless of the fan's behavior, but to call striking a player (and while I don't think the fan was trying to "punch" Sheff per se, he was clearly not going for the ball) simple "fan interference" is a bit disingenous.

Fine or suspend him, but I can see why he did what he did, and given Sheff's temperment, I'm amazed (and thankful) the "fan" left the ballpark under his own power.

And sadly, I'm sure a small contingent of NY idiots will want to return the favor - I bet Nixon's glad the walls are a bit taller in the Bronx...

2005-04-15 07:28:07
17.   Cliff Corcoran
Seamus has it right. As soon as they pinch-ran for Tino with the score tied in the eighth I had fantasies of Andy Phillips winning the game with a 10th-inning dinger (his only major league homer came at Fenway last September). But you can't let a guy who hasn't seen live pitching since spring training hit in that situation, particularly righty-righty against a pitcher as good as Foulke. Sierra's value is as a lefty pinch-hitter. Had that foul made the stands who knows what would have happened. Speaking of which, Rodriguez just missed tying the game, flying out to the warning track. It looked like he actually thought he might have done it.

With regards to the Sheffield incident, one thing I found interesting on the replay is that when the team came over to defend Sheffield there was a tall, dark-haired Yankee pitcher (I assume, he was in a warm-up jacket) who looked even more pissed off than Sheffield and had to be pulled back by his teammates. It looked like Pavano to me, but he was there so quickly he would seem to have come from the bullpen and I can't figure out why Pavano would have been in the pen the night before of a start. Perhaps it was Karsay.

Also, Sheff lead of the next inning (how many times does a guy . . .) and golfed a ball of his shoetops that hit just a couple feet from the top of the Green Monster. Proving once again, you do not make Gary Sheffield mad. How many times did he follow a Jeter hit-by-pitch with a huge hit last year?

Lastly, Randy Johnson threw 66 percent of 103 pitches for strikes, struck out nine in seven innings and allowed just seven baserunners (two walks, five hits). That's a hell of an outing. To hear him tell it, the hanging slider to Renteria was his only real mistake. I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do against the Devil Rays next week.

2005-04-15 07:32:26
18.   Alex Belth
Good point about Michael Kay missing out on Phillips. At first I thought that Phillips had already been shipped back to Columbus. Obviously, that wasn't the case.

Yeah, several people I've spoken with today think that the fan was clearly trying to hit Sheffield. I know that he was a long way from the ball, but it didn't seem to me that he was intentionally going after Sheffield. Maybe he was drunk and just hoping the ball would take a lucky hop. But, maybe he was trying to slap Sheff. Either way, he was in the wrong.

And while I also understand the sentiment that players need to restrain themselves, I think it's tough to judge how someone reacts immediately after being struck. Instinctively, you react. I don't think just because someone is a ball player that they should be judged on a higher ground than the rest of us. If anything, they are more pumped up. How would you react if someone hit you in the face? Maybe you would think twice before responding, maybe not. Maybe Sheffield comes from a place where you react first upon being hit.

This is something that polarizes fans though. I'm not trying to say that I'm right, or convince anyone to change their mind. I just am sympathetic to the fact that in a quick, violent situation, anything can happen. It's fortunate that Sheffield didn't let his anger get the best of him and go back for more. He got swiped, lunged, threw the ball in, and then went back to "discuss."

2005-04-15 07:40:42
19.   Beth
//At the least, for the members of RSN who whine about slapping players, we have something to throw back at them.//

netshrine, this is exactly the wrong attitude, and exactly the attitude that leads to incidents like this in the first place.

it's not about whether or not you have "something to throw back" at us. it's about this making everyone, hopefully, step back, realize it was a jerk move on BOTH sides (even if it could have been worse, on both sides), and that maybe ALL of us need to start changing the mentality around here. eventually, as alex said, something tragic will happen. it's only a matter of time--especially if people keep looking for a way to turn a stupid, regrettable incident like this one into further trash talk.

2005-04-15 07:44:41
20.   JL25and3
Cliff - maybe Tanyon Sturtze?
2005-04-15 07:46:06
21.   Beth
oh, and spare me the "fenway is a problem park" nonsense. i seem to remember some riot gear being broken out at yankee stadium last year. hello kettle, this is pot, you're black.

fenway only seems to be a "problem park" when the yankees are in it. sometimes i've thought to myself, too, how weird it is that these fights, usually on the field, between players (and so having nothing to do with fan security with the exception of this latest incident), end up happening at our park and not NY. but i've just chalked it up to a total lack of respect on the part of the yankees for our park and our field--the supposedly professional yanks will fight and brawl and charge pitchers here, but not on their hallowed ground.

2005-04-15 07:54:06
22.   soxeattle
"I don't think just because someone is a ball player that they should be judged on a higher ground than the rest of us. If anything, they are more pumped up. How would you react if someone hit you in the face?"

A ballplayer should be judged on a different level WHILE HE'S ON THE FIELD. I don't say this because for the usual negative role model reasons, but a player is seperated and protected from fans--he has the advantage and SHOULD be able to keep this in perspective. If a fan jumps the wall and charges a player, then a player must defend himself. This wasn't the case last night though, and Sheffield wa nevertheless compelled to fight back.

Again. No one was right here. The fan got tossed and Sheffield should take his lumps too (pun intended).

2005-04-15 07:56:49
23.   Knuckles
Beth, ever stop to think more sh1t happens on the field in fenway because the Sox are generally a little braver on their home turf in terms of brazenly beaning Yankee batters? Just sayin'...
2005-04-15 08:05:31
24.   Beth
well, here we are going to have a difference of opinion, knuckles. either way, it takes two to fight, doesn't it?

i agree with soxeattle: no one was right. it was a stupid thing, a jerk move on both sides. it doesn't mean that all sox fans are trying to pop gary sheffield. it doesn't mean that fenway's a "problem park". it would be great if everyone stopped shrilling the predictable generalizations about sox fans...all that does is absolve one side of the fights / incidents from responsibility or accountability, each side blames the other completely, and nothing gets solved or resolved. as long as that happens, these things will continue until someone gets seriously hurt or worse.

i'm not saying all sox or sox fans are blameless in every situation. i think that fan that swiped at sheffield is an imbecile and ought to be banned from fenway for life. but i don't think that gary sheffield is a blameless saint in this, either. what i'm trying to get across here is that it can't be all or nothing. if each side keeps playing the victim, this is only going to get worse.

2005-04-15 08:10:42
25.   rbj
Gotta disagree with you soxeattle. I think Sheff was protecting himself. He just got hit/grazed by a fan who was at that moment "on the field." If someone pushed me like that, my first reaction would probably be to deal with that; maybe push back, but in any event deal with the threat. That part was only a couple of seconds. Then Sheff calmed down. If he'd thrown the ball first, or returned after throwing the ball, then he should get a suspension/tossed. Maybe Artest is having a positive impact in the world, whodda thunk it?
2005-04-15 08:13:27
26.   Clay Caviness
It's not so much that non-baseball drama like this only happens at Fenway, it just that it seems to happen more there that elsewhere.

Beth can blame the Yankees, I'll blame the crowd and stadium design, and the truth is surely somewhere in the middle.

2005-04-15 08:20:41
27.   Beth
I'm not blaming the yankees! i think i said at least three times that the fan was wrong, that it takes two to fight, that i realize the sox are not innocent...the question i keep trying to ask is, why does there not seem to be the same acknowledgement on the yankees' side, that the yankees are sometimes wrong too?

what does it have to do with the crowd if one fan does something ridiculous? and what in the world could it have to do with the stadium design? you'd rather blame the ballpark itself than the actual people involved?

i'm going to try to make this point again, one more time: it's not just the yankees, and i've never said that. but it's not JUST the red sox either.

and this non-baseball drama doesn't happen more at fenway than others. you have no basis to even make that statement. and as i've tried to say now three different times, making these kinds of generalized statements is what leads to more bullshit.

2005-04-15 08:23:41
28.   Eric Blair
I was at Wednesday's game with one of my old college roomate, who also happens to he a Yankees' fan. He was somewhat surprised at how mellow Fenway was. I was also pretty surprised - I've been to a number of Sox/Yanks games in the past few seasons and it's usually much more heated.

Even after the Sox lost, other Sox fans were coming up and cracking jokes with my friend. I'd much rather have seen the Sox win, but I can honestly say I had a good time at the game.

There are always going to be drunken yahoos at any game. Just seems like Sox-Yanks brings out the worst in those sitting the closest to the field.

2005-04-15 08:26:02
29.   mattg
"You need glasses if you think that fan was going for the ball. He couldn't even see the ball. He wasn't looking at the ball, either. He was taking a swing at Sheff."

I've watched it a half-dozen times and I completely disagree. As the ball rattled around the corner many fans leaned over to grab at the ball, maybe some were trying to pick it up, while others were pretending to make a stab at it and distract Sheff. This guy was one of those people. As the ball approached he reached over and made a swipe at it and grazed Sheffs hat and his chin. Dumb move but his reaction tells the whole story.

You don't intentionally punch a ball player in the face and then look scared to death when you get a reaction.

In Sheff's defense, if you were bent over trying to field a ball w/ thousands of people yelling and all you see and feel is an arm swinging in front of you, I would say a high percentage of players in the same situation would have reacted similarly. I don't think we need to wax about whether Sheffield "came from a place where he reacts first after being hit." In a split second considering the circumstances and what he saw, he was justified in his response.

Its a regrettable incident but neither party deserves to be persecuted (in my book).

2005-04-15 08:32:31
30.   Marcus
Bottom line: If that fan had stayed on his side of the fence, none of this would have happened. Not everyone would have reacted the way Sheff did, but how can anyone say he should have reacted more calmly when he's running at full speed with the adrenaline of a close ball game running through him, and then gets hit/touched/brushed/whatever in the face?

Since this moron fan will inevitably get an interview out of this, he should apologize to Sheffield, the Red Sox, the Yankees, and all baseball fans for causing the whole mess and taking the attention away from a great game.

2005-04-15 08:36:21
31.   Simone
Cliff, that might have been Tanyon. He is always in the middle of any dust up. Did you see how quickly Bernie was over there.
2005-04-15 08:49:08
32.   blue
dear beth and soxseattle-

an amazing amount of equivocation from you two, but this is always the case with people completely biased and blinded by their support of any specific team. my brother in law sat two rows behind the 'fan' that swung at sheff, and his group of idiots was celebrating the fact that he had clipped sheff and riled him up. these guys were proud of it, and other 'fans' nearby were congratulating him on the shot. watching it again and again as i have over the past twelve hours has only reinforced the negative opinion i hold of sox fans at fenway, which has put my own allegiances deeply into question. wake up, people. step out of your little caves and admit the truth. this guy might as well have tossed a beer or a folding chair. he should have been arrested and his name should be made public.

2005-04-15 08:50:52
33.   blue
mattg-

"You don't intentionally punch a ball player in the face and then look scared to death when you get a reaction."

of course you do. this is typically loutish behavior from a drunken idiot 'fan', with no thought of action or consequence.

2005-04-15 08:52:08
34.   Beth
he was arrested. his name has been made public. and if you want to question your allegiance to the sox or whoever based on the actions of a few fans, i'd have to wonder who is really blinded.

otherwise, blue, i don't know how many times i can say the same things over again. i guess i'd just have to invite you to read my posts again for what you missed the first time.

2005-04-15 08:57:53
35.   blue
Beth-

if there hadn't been so much equivocation in your previous posts i wouldn't have written in the first place.

glad to hear the guy was arrested and his name was made public. hopefully he'll make an apology to all parties and we can move beyond this trash, which clearly brings out the worst in everyone, fans, players, and posters included.

2005-04-15 08:58:51
36.   soxeattle
"this guy might as well have tossed a beer or a folding chair. he should have been arrested and his name should be made public."

I can't help but point this out: one could easily apply the above comment to Gary Sheffield.

I am not defending that one fan, and (if you could read carefully) you'd notice that beth isn't either. Arresting him is a little extreme, but if the fan's intent was to disrupt the game by grabbing Sheffield, then that fan should be banned from the park. The point I have been trying to make is that players should never fight with fans, and when they do, they should be disciplined approriately.

2005-04-15 09:04:14
37.   blue
from the daily news tribune:

"Chris House of Dorchester, was escorted out of Fenway - but not arrested - following the eighth-inning incident."

2005-04-15 09:06:07
38.   Beth
so what's your point, blue. just out of curiosity, i guess. what are you suggesting? what do you think the solution is?
2005-04-15 09:10:32
39.   Clay Caviness
He wasn't arrested, just ejected, unless that story's been changed since last night.

I know there are crap fans in every stadium, Beth. I certainly can't defend the typical actions of the Yankee Stadium Bleacher Creature (except for Cliff, of course!). It's just my (obviously biased) recollections of the past 6-7 years that more non-baseball drama goes down at Fenway than at Yankee Stadium. I'm not claiming nothing happen at the stadium - far from it. Game 6 of 2004 ALCS is a good example.

2005-04-15 09:14:19
40.   Beth
My apologies--I heard on the radio this morning that the guy was arrested. I stand corrected.

Clay, I think we understand each other better now. Thanks.

2005-04-15 09:15:28
41.   blue
honestly, beth, i guess i don't really have a point, just a lot of strong feelings about the subject and the situation. trying to figure out a response without relying on old tropes ("problem parks" and "supposedly professional yanks") mired in team allegiances has so far proved impossible. some people will always think of varitek as a hero for standing up to the jawing a-rod, while to others he'll just be the ridiculous "tough-guy" talking smack from behind a mask and pads. no right answers, plenty of strong opinions, all taking away from the beauty of the game. it is depressing, but i am grateful for this venue for dialogue.
2005-04-15 09:26:51
42.   jalexei
"You don't intentionally punch a ball player in the face and then look scared to death when you get a reaction."

Were we watching the same game? Even the fat moron on Boston's Fox 25 morning show was saying words to the effect of "...when you hit someone by accident, the natural reaction is an arms up backpedal with a "whoa sorry dude" look on your face."

That guy didn't look scared, he looked like he was squaring to take and throw more punches.

Beth, I think you can "blame" some of this on fenway, and by that I don't mean the fans but the literal structure itself. There are complete morons on both sides of the rooting interest, and neither team can really take the high ground there. But the fact remains that this type of outfield confrontation would be extremely hard to replicate at Yankee stadium, simply due to the height of the walls.

2005-04-15 09:29:32
43.   Beth
Well, in that case i would have to point out that perhaps someone without their own unequivocal point should not be ragging on me for equivocation.

//trying to figure out a response without relying on old tropes ("problem parks" and "supposedly professional yanks") mired in team allegiances has so far proved impossible. some people will always think of varitek as a hero for standing up to the jawing a-rod, while to others he'll just be the ridiculous "tough-guy" talking smack from behind a mask and pads. no right answers, plenty of strong opinions//

yes. and this is why i asked you to read my posts again, because it's very close to what i was saying.

my personal point is, it doesn't really matter in the end who's wrong or right. it has to end, period. to do that, i think it's going to take both sides dropping their strong feelings for a moment, admitting both sides have had shortcomings, and letting it go.

in my posts, i said repeatedly that the fan in this case is a dickwad. i clarified repeatedly when questioned that i don't feel the sox are blameless in the previous fight situations. i am simply looking for a like response from the yankees side. instead--clay aside--what i've heard has been numerous attempts to blame an inanimate object (a ballpark) or a general population (sox fans, boston) for the actions of individual, living, breathing, allegedly thinking people. and what does it solve to say, fenway's a bad place, it's full of bad people, it's in a bad city? what does it accomplish to say such a thing?

look, it's all well and good to say it was the fan's fault OR it was sheffield's fault, and then people come down on team lines just like always, sheffield's lily white OR the fan didn't mean to, you're a bastard, no YOU'RE a bastard, and round and round we go until something happens you can't take back and everyone wonders where the hell it came from. i'm looking for a way people can cooperate, here. and yeah, that involves some "equivocation", or, as i like to call it, understanding, perspective and compromise.

2005-04-15 09:30:52
44.   Beth
ok, jalexi, i'll ask the same question i asked blue. what is your suggestion, then? that we tear down fenway? that we build higher walls? that we surround the field with glass barriers like in ice hockey?
2005-04-15 09:33:24
45.   Patrick
So, the innocent fan was going for the ball and accidentally touched Sheff and Sheff threw a punch?

I watched it live and in instant replay and what I saw was very different. Inadvertently means it was an accident. It wasn't. Whether he was trying to hurt Sheff, give him a love tap or knock his hat off, he was trying to make contact with Sheff. I don't view that as going down for the ball because of the motion of his arm, etc. I view it as intentional and the guy got what he deserved.

Sheffield threw a punch through his glove? That's not what I saw. I saw Sheff push the fan away immediately because he your head is down and something touches you, your reaction is to jump up and get it off you. I didn't see any punch being thrown. Anyone want to send me a link to a picture of this? I've posted pictures on my blog and for all intensive purposes, you can't make out that it is anything more than pushing the fan away. I see the hand on top of the glove, possibly... but when you have to react and quickly make a pushing gesture, you don't get the chance to fold your hands up nicely and put your bib on.

2005-04-15 09:37:04
46.   Clay Caviness
"that we tear down fenway?"

The good news there is you have a pitcher in your starting rotation that would be thrilled to press the button when that time comes!

2005-04-15 09:37:34
47.   Patrick
Someone just mentioned something to me... Sheff also could have been pushing him away so that he could make the throw. I mean, consider that his face is toward the ground and he feels someone on him. He pushed him quickly to clear the spot and made the throw. Then he turned back to end the guy's life... but, he didn't. He restrained himself and, in my opinion, he did well.
2005-04-15 09:38:30
48.   jalexei
Beth wrote:

"in my posts, i said repeatedly that the fan in this case is a dickwad. i clarified repeatedly when questioned that i don't feel the sox are blameless in the previous fight situations. i am simply looking for a like response from the yankees side. instead--clay aside--what i've heard has been numerous attempts to blame an inanimate object (a ballpark) or a general population (sox fans, boston) for the actions of individual, living, breathing, allegedly thinking people."

Please note above my assertion that regardless of what happened, Sheff should face some sort discipline for pushing the fan, no matter what happened to trigger it. And please don't take my discussion of wall height as blaming Fenway (hence my quotes) - I more meant it as an explanation of why this hasn't happened more in the Bronx (i.e. it's NOT because I think NY fans are any "better" than Sox fans)

2005-04-15 09:44:08
49.   blue
not to change the subject (well, actually a desperate attempt to do just that), but how do people think Pavano will handle this first game back after taking a line drive of the skull? odd that he'll be facing Mora again too...

i took a line drive off the cheek back in pony league and never truly regained my composure. of course having nothing more than a b.p. fastball might have had something to do with that...

2005-04-15 09:48:37
50.   jalexei
Beth wrote:

"ok, jalexi, i'll ask the same question i asked blue. what is your suggestion, then?"

I think you need to reread my comments a bit more closely (and hopefully I clarified in my previous post) but to reiterate: People claimed things like this "don't happen" at Yankee Stadium with the inference that Yankee fans wouldn't "do such a thing" - I merely presented a physical reason as to why such a disparity might exist, and in doing so defended (or so I thought) your assertion that Yankee fans don't really have any claim to the moral high ground.

I make no suggestions to "fixing" anything, the fact that the fans are so close to the field is what makes fenway my favorite ballpark, regardless of unfortunate events like this.

If this is the response I get when I'm backing you up, I'll refrain from outright disagreement ;-)

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-04-15 09:53:52
51.   Dan M
If recent history of MLB's reaction to Yanks-Sox incidents is any indication, is there any doubt that MLB will NOT punish Sheff?
2005-04-15 10:16:07
52.   brockdc
I'm far less concerned about this soap opera episode and far more concerned about the missing 5 mph on The Unit's fastball.
2005-04-15 10:24:11
53.   Rob
In more important news, A-Rod saved a kid from being run over.

We should focus on the positives instead of harping on the negatives. There are jerks and A**holes in every major league stadium, and they usually end up sitting next to me, no matter how hard i try....

2005-04-15 10:33:55
54.   Nick from Washington Heights
I don't think he was missing 5 mph on his pitch, and despite the results, I thought he looked pretty good. just a case of a couple of bad pitches.
2005-04-15 10:35:06
55.   rbj
And let's not forget that there's a certain other "Sox" team that has fans going onto the field to beat up coaches. . .
This is actually a fairly incident, in Europe they've got fans throwing flares at players. Yeesh.
2005-04-15 11:17:56
56.   jalexei
I'll close with a comment from Salon's King Kauffman (in reaction to Torre's quote about certain people not being allowed to walk the street):

"Good God, people. Get a grip.

Yes, we're only five months removed from the Pistons-Pacers brawl, but this wasn't that. Let's say the fan was taking a swipe at Sheffield -- and it's a testament to the unreliability of video evidence that I'll get e-mail from people absolutely convinced that he was and from people absolutely convinced that he wasn't.

What happened next was that Sheffield -- who wasn't looking at the fan when he got hit, so his immediate reaction of shoving the guy away is understandable -- didn't punch the fan, didn't jump into the stands, and security was there in seconds.

In other words, exactly what's supposed to happen happened. All of the things people complained about in November, the players not controlling themselves, security not being alert and on the scene, didn't happen.

Shall we move on?"

2005-04-15 11:32:09
57.   unpopster
Beth and soxeattle,

here's something that you just don't seem to understand, though being the sox fans that you are you at least should acknowledge:

There is an very obvious problem in the RSN fan mentality that is troublesome and often leads to this type of ugliness. For decades, and especially in regards to this generation, Red Sox fans have bene taught to HATE the Yankees almost as much as love their Sox. It's pretty sad when a fanbase's collective character is defined by how much you hate and despise the opposition. And this definitely leads to this type of ugliness.

I've been to only one Yankee-Sox game at Fenway Park...and I'm not quite sure I ever want to return. That game lead to a very ugly confrontation outside the park that I was in the middle of. I honestly feared for my safety. And all because I had a NY license plate on my car.

This hatred of the Yanks is pathological and pretty pathetic if you ask me. I have ZERO respect for Sox fans because of what I've seen over the years. Yankee fans are definitely no angels, but they still pale in comparison.

Guys, last night was nothing. One day there is going to be some bad stuff that will make the Detroit-Pacers fiasco look tame. And I truely hope that I'm wrong. But if there is, I'm very confident it wouldn't occur in Yankee Stadium.

2005-04-15 11:46:56
58.   soxeattle
"Beth and soxeattle,

here's something that you just don't seem to understand, though being the sox fans that you are you at least should acknowledge"

You're personal prejudice against Red Sox fans is something I should acknowledge? OK, done.

It is my understanding that fighting with fans (no matter how obnoxious they are) is detrimental to the spirit and business of baseball.

Beth and I have not been trashing the NYY or their fans. We are not defending the alleged aggressor. Ease up a little.

2005-04-15 11:55:26
59.   Alex Belth
I'm curious about Pavano too. I think it's a good thing that he's getting back out there so quickly, and that the beaning last weekend wasn't so severe. Mussina taking that shot off his face years ago was worse and could have potentially been more damaging mentally.

I think it was Denny Hocking who got hurt a few years ago. The day after, he was out of the hospital, still all banged up, but went to the field to take infield practice, just so the heebie jeebies didn't creep into his head.

I got hit in the eye ball with a bad hop during my junior year in high school and flinched at every ground ball hit my way there after.

But I think Pavano will be just fine. If his stuff isn't, he'll now about it early on, cause those boys in Baltimore sure can mash.

Camden Yards has traditionally been kind to the Yanks. Let's hope it stays that way. Go Bernie!

2005-04-15 12:17:48
60.   unpopster
soxeattle,

I'm not sure if you grew up in Boston or in Seattle, but if you are from Massachussetts then you'd know what I was talking about.

do you deny that Sox fans have been taught very early on to hate another team?

2005-04-15 12:28:38
61.   brockdc
After seeing the incident replayed 9 zillion times, all I can determine is that some drunk yuppie lost his motor coordination and took a wild, haphazard swipe in the general vicinity of the ball. There didn't seem to be any malicious intent toward Sheffield. On the other hand, fans of both teams continually overstep their purview by reaching onto the field for a ball in play. These people are self-absorbed and overindulged: Having prime seats does not give one the right to engage in the actual game. The most annoying part of this incident for me was the reaction from the balance of the RS fans, jeering Sheffield from reacting and egging him on - as well as the idiots sitting nearby the perpetrator who were gleefully ogling their digital cell phone cameras for their photos of an enraged Sheffield. But, like I said, judging from their recent caustic behavior at The Stadium, I doubt Yankee fans would've behaved much differently had the roles been reversed.
2005-04-15 12:29:07
62.   EvilDan
unpopster,

Since we're indulging in pointless generalizations...

There's something that you just don't seem to understand, though being the Yankee fan that you are you at least should acknowledge:

There is an very obvious problem in the Yankee fan mentality that is troublesome and often leads to this type of ugliness. For decades, and especially in regards to this generation, Yankee fans have been taught to LOATHE the Sox almost as much as love their Yankees. It's pretty sad when a fanbase's collective character is defined by how much you disdain and look down on the opposition. And this definitely leads to this type of ugliness.

I've been to only one Yankee-Sox game at the Stadium...and I'm not quite sure I ever want to return. That game lead to a very ugly confrontation outside the park that I was in the middle of. I honestly feared for my safety. And all because I had a Red Sox hat on my head.

This contempt for the Sox is pathological and pretty pathetic if you ask me. I have ZERO respect for Yankees fans because of what I've seen over the years. Sox fans are definitely no angels, but they still pale in comparison.

Guys, last night was nothing. One day there is going to be some bad stuff that will make the Detroit-Pacers fiasco look tame. And I truely hope that I'm wrong. But if there is, I'm very confident it wouldn't occur in Fenway Park.

The above statement is entirely true, based on my experience of some Yankee fans.

I just don't think ALL Yankee fans are like that. It's moronic to contend that all fans of a team are indentical.

There's an element of mookdom among both fanbases, that think a ballgame is an excuse to get loaded and act like a jerk. Last night a Boston mook was display, but I've seen them come from both sides.

2005-04-15 12:29:57
63.   soxeattle
"do you deny that Sox fans have been taught very early on to hate another team?"

Rhode Island is where I was born and raised, and I can only speak for myself: I don't hate the NYY.

2005-04-15 12:33:52
64.   Dan M
You're right Evil Dan, that was pointless.
2005-04-15 12:34:22
65.   Beth
EvilDan took the words right out of my mouth.

unpopster, why is it so important to you for sox fans to "admit" to their "inferiority"?

2005-04-15 12:37:32
66.   Beth
and you went to ONE game at fenway, don't live in boston, and yet you're qualified to characterize the "sox fan mentality" (and, of course, everything that's wrong with it and a population of millions of people the vast majority of whom you've never met, heard of or seen before) because...?
2005-04-15 12:38:02
67.   Beth
and you went to ONE game at fenway, don't live in boston, and yet you're qualified to characterize the "sox fan mentality" (and, of course, everything that's wrong with it and a population of millions of people the vast majority of whom you've never met, heard of or seen before) because...?
2005-04-15 13:20:51
68.   sabo
One problem I have with Sheffield's actions.

It seems like he reacted too fast to make sure he pushed the guy who hit him. I know he ended up "hitting" the right guy, but geez, what if he went after the wrong guy.

And there was NO WAY the guy went after the ball. If so he was 3 feet too high.

Also a real question:

I'm really starting to like (and trust) Sturtze, but has Torre just given up on Quantrill?

He only pitched in 2 of 9 games:

Twice against the Orioles, entering both games down like 4-0 with men on base.

He didn't pitch well in either game...but he did appear in 86 games last year & it seems better to alternate him & Sturze, then to burn Sturtze out.

Am I crazy, or does using Quantrill more make sense?

2005-04-15 13:27:39
69.   Cliff Corcoran
Props to Rodriguez for saving that tyke.

Props to Fenway security for an incredible job and to that one fella who jumped right in there especially.

As for Pavano, I'm obviously hoping he's either unaffected or so determined not to let it effect him that he's unusually focused and mowzda owz down. But I have no idea what to expect, I don't have a feel for Pavano's make-up yet, though he does have the good face.

I was saying to Alex earlier today on the phone, the thought of the Yanks in Camden Yards always brings back memories of how well Scottie Brosius hit there. Seemed he got half of his home runs in that park.

2005-04-15 13:32:43
70.   Cliff Corcoran
Sabo, one of Joe's weaknesses as a manager is having "guys he trusts" out of the pen. Clearly Quantrill's implosion (which was partially the result of the knee injury in Japan and partially the result of Torre overusing him) at the end of last year has broken that trust to a certain degree. That said, I think Q, Felix Rodriguez, and Karsay will be able to earn that trust by pitching well in non-clutch situations, and the first man out of Torre's dog house should be Quantrill. I just hope it happens quickly because, you're right. Mixing Q in with TanGo would be a very good thing for this pen.
2005-04-15 13:41:52
71.   Rob
my favorite memory of camden yards is Strawberry launching a homer to deep center in 96.
2005-04-15 13:45:23
72.   blue
Alex and Cliff-

Thanks for picking up the alternate thread and taking the high road on the rest of this business. Not always an easy thing to do (just refer to my previous posts for an example...) and that much more impressive as a result. I am glad that fans on both sides can take a breather from the mania and focus on matchups with the rest of the league - at least until May 27th.

I know they set the schedules in June of the previous year, but sheesh, i hope next year is different. I can't just jump in at full gallop like this season required...

2005-04-15 13:46:14
73.   blue
I meant just refer to my previous posts as an egregious example of what NOT to do...
2005-04-15 13:53:53
74.   Nick from Washington Heights
Cliff, I might be wrong about this but I think Torre is especially conservative against the Sox, and therefore less likely to give people he doesn't trust a chance. Hopefully, now that the sox are gone for a while, he'll start expanding his roster. Maybe we'll see Phillips soon. probably not.
2005-04-15 13:58:01
75.   Cliff Corcoran
Like I said, putting Sierra in for Phillips was the right thing to do last night. But Andy'll be on the shuttle for Columbus on Sunday due to Brown being activated to it's tonight against the lefty Chen or never (at least not in this visit to the show).
2005-04-15 14:11:20
76.   Alex Belth
I'd like to see the Bombers knock the sweet bejesus out of Chen starting in the first inning tonight. They could stand jumping on Lopez a bit tomorrow--he's pitched well against them of late. Also, like I mentioned before, I'm interested to see how these red ass Cabrera looks on Sunday. As Cliff and I were talking about on the phone earlier, pitching against Brownie, that game could either see a bunch of batters getting belted, or the score ending up 12-10. I don't like the looks of Cabrera. Looks like a chump to me. Dude is crazy tall though.
2005-04-15 14:22:29
77.   Cliff Corcoran
6'7" 250 or some junk. Question: when a hot-head like Cabrera faces a self-loathing jackass like Brown does it create some sort of matter/anti-matter scenario in which the joy of the game is obliterated? Guess we'll find out.

Who was the Oriole pitcher who did all the gesturing and finger pointing a few years back, was it Willis Roberts?

2005-04-15 14:30:37
78.   David
I too wish Torre had given Phillps a chance to hit. However, let's face it, no matter what Phillips did in a few at bats, there's no room for him on the squad. His only chance is if Giambi or Tino gets injured. And, even then I don't think Torre would use him.

BTW what do the folks here think of the missed call at first base on the opening play? I can't remeber a more flagrant mistake

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