Friday, May 02, 2003

Game 28 - Red Sox

Red Sox 6, Royals 5
Record: 19-9

I love baseball, I really do. Right now, during the Spring, it's by far my favorite sport. Sometimes football moves into the top spot, but never for very long. So I get really, really steamed by how baseball manages, day after day, year after year, to be the worst-run major sports league in the world. Two things from today illustrate my anger: the first-inning ejection of Casey Fossum from the Sox' game against the Royals, and the announcement that the winning league in the All-Star game receives home field advantage in the World Series. The first was a bad judgment call borne of excessive regulation, and the second is just plain idiocy.

Royals pitchers hit three Sox hitters in the bottom of the 9th in Wednesday's game, but all three were the result of wildness and not intent. In Thursday's game, Fossum gave up a two-run homer to Mike Sweeney with two outs in the top of the first. His next pitch was aimed squarely at Raul Ibanez' back, but missed the Royals' outfielder and skittered to the backstop. The umpire immediately ran Fossum and then tossed Sox manager Grady Little after the latter came out to argue the ejection. A warning was issued to both dugouts, but when the Royals' Jason Grimsley hit Shea Hillenbrand in the 6th inning, he wasn't ejected, despite the fact that a warning is supposed to carry with it an automatic expulsion.

This situation illustrates baseball's current lack of management and direction on two levels: 1) there was no warning for Fossum, and no carryover of ill will from the previous game, so the umpire had no reason for tossing Fossum, and 2) the umpire directly violated the league's stated policy by not running Grimsley. Poor effort.

As for the All-Star game, I'll leave it at this: As a fan of a team that has a legitimate chance to get the World Series, I don't want Aubrey Huff and Dmitri Young determining the Red Sox fate. I've got more on this issue, but it's late on a Friday afternoon, and I'm out of here. This post is disjointed, rambling, and incoherent - just like major league baseball's management.

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