Yankees Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Friday, August 31st, 2007 at 9:37 pm and is filed under Baseball, Yankees Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

“If the kid wanted to get our attention, he did a very good job.”

That was Red Sox manager Terry Francona‘s take on the latest chapter in the heated Red Sox – Yankees rivalry. Intentionally or not, rookie phenom Joba Chamberlain kicked a frustrated and ornery Sox club while they were down, and fans won’t have to wait long to find out what ramifications, if any, there might be. The two teams meet again for three games at Fenway Park on September 14-16.

In case you missed it, in the ninth inning of yesterday afternoon’s 5-0 Yankee victory, Chamberlain began his second inning of work and first save opportunity by retiring Sox slugger David Ortiz before hurling not one, but two 100 mph torpedos over the head of Boston first baseman Kevin Youkilis. Given the circumstances, why Chamberlain would’ve chosen to throw at Youkilis is anyone’s guess. Earlier in the game, Youkilis had been at the center of a bit of controversy in the seventh inning when he was ruled safe at third, then out for running out of the basepaths. Francona was tossed during the ensuing argument, and Youkilis was similarly peeved, however – at least from our perspective – the incident provided little fuel for any sort of retaliation on the part of the Bombers.

While a ball can get away from a pitcher – particular a young one who’s amped up on adrenaline – consecutive balls to the backstop are a bit more rare. Even Yankee pitching coach Ron Guidry expressed confusion at what Chamberlain might have been thinking. Said Guidry, via the Boston Globe:

“The first time he threw the ball over Youkilis’s head, OK. But I’ll have to ask him what was behind the second one. I understand he’s trying to get the ball in. Don’t forget, he has only 10 innings in the big leagues. He throws hard. So if you’re gripping it, you want to throw it a hundred. I’ll talk to him to see what was going through his mind.”

Youkilis, meanwhile, was similarly perplexed as to why Joba would have put a target on his sizable dome, but no less perturbed by the situation. Via the Post:

“That was the second time. [Scott] Proctor hit me in the head,” Youkilis said, referring to a June 1 incident that got Proctor ejected. “Coincidence? I don’t know. It doesn’t look good. Two balls over your head. The guy has a zero ERA and is in the strike zone pretty good.”

Intentional or not, at this point it’s irrelevant. The Sox-Yanks rivalry has been relatively dormant since 2004 as neither team has advanced out of the first round of the playoffs since, and there have been few open hostilities between the clubs since Jason Varitek introduced Alex Rodriguez‘s teeth to his catcher’s mit. And while Boston still holds the best record in baseball, that distinction appears to provide little comfort for a franchise and fan base that continues to be haunted by the ghosts of 1978 and 86 years of futility. Meanwhile, a Yankee team left for dead has seemingly regained its ability to instill fear in an opposing dugout just by showing up at the ballpark. With just 5 games separating the division rivals in the standings, this always combustible cocktail may be set to blow.

Comments are closed.

  • Press Harbor