March 10th, 2007

Bad day to be in the batters box

That goes especially if you’re Magglio Ordonez, who left the game in the third inning after a Josh Beckett curveball hit him in the head. He was taken down the street to Watson Clinic for diagnostic tests, which came back negative. He’s being listed as having a left ear contusion, basically a bruised ear. He came back to the clubhouse around game’s end with a wrap around his head and no doubt a headache. At the very least, he won’t play in either game on Sunday.

Ordonez was the second Tiger hit by a Beckett pitch; Gary Sheffield was hit in the first. After another Beckett pitch nearly hit Brandon Inge in the fourth, Todd Jones came out and started the top of the fifth. He retired Jason Varitek before throwing at least two inside pitches on J.D. Drew. The last one was behind him, prompting an ejection from home-plate umpire Larry Vanover. Red Sox third base DeMarlo Hale was yelling by that point, and when Jim Leyland went out to change pitchers, Leyland starting yelling back at him. Soon Leyland was ejected, too. The benches cleared, but basically everyone lined up on their side of the mound and just traded words.

Neither Jones nor Leyland wanted to comment on the whole thing. Beckett said he was having trouble with his control. Sheffield and Inge understood that, but they both said that after two hit batters, it’s time to try something else besides throwing inside. As for what Jones did, Inge said, "This is baseball, even if it’s spring training."

I wouldn’t expect this to carry over. They don’t play again until mid-May, none of the Tigers thought Beckett hit anybody on purpose, and Jones didn’t hit Drew.

Lost in all this was the fact that Edward Campusano looked really good … again.