Postscript from the fracas

Manager Jim Leyland wasn’t saying much after the game — on anything, really, but especially the second inning. Fortunately, the players were talking. Here’s a roundup of the reactions from the Tigers.

Starter Rick Porcello didn’t take questions on his role, but gave a general quote on his view of the situation:

“The only thing I have to say about tonight is that I was not intentionally throwing at Kevin Youkilis,” Porcello said. “That’s all I have to say. It was unintentional. There was nobody on. It’s a 3-0 game. I was not trying to hit him intentionally.”

Porcello didn’t say anything about his surprise that Youkilis charged him, but his expression when it happened said it all. The fact that catcher Alex Avila couldn’t get to him spoke to his surprise.

“Once it hit him,” Avila said, “I looked at him to see what he was going to do, and he kind of just stood there. I didn’t think he was going to charge. I reached back to get another ball, and he took off. I wasn’t able to get between him and Porcello, and Rick was more surprised than I was.”

Avila said it was supposed to be a sinker down and in.

Porcello also said he was unharmed in the pile. A good part of the credit for that should go to Brandon Inge, who tried to keep other players from piling on, and Gerald Laird, who pulled Porcello out.

“I was in there just trying to get to him and get him out,” Laird said. “You don’t want to see one of your stars get hurt. A lot of things can happen in a pile.”

Said Inge: “Basically, there were a couple people that jumped on top of me. I was on Youkilis. At that point, I was kind of wrapped up, trying to pull him off. Youkilis was kind of on top of Porcello, I was on Youkilis, someone else was on me, and they were piling on. I feared that we were going to crush Porcello, so I took my arms off of Youkilis and put my hands on the ground and try to hold the pile off the two of them.”

Laird not only came to Porcello’s defense physically, but also postgame.

“Miggy’s a big slugger in the middle of our lineup, and you’ve got to protect your sluggers,” Laird said. “Today, that wasn’t intentional, but that’s the second time they hit him, and they hit two guys yesterday. That’s just part of the game. I don’t think Ricky meant anything by the Youkilis thing, but the one in the first inning with Martinez, it’s just to show them. You’re gonna pitch inside, we’re gonna pitch inside. That’s just the way it is. It’s baseball, and today it just got a little out of hand.”

33 Comments

My darn kids needed a bath, so I missed the fracas by minutes, turned on the game while Lambert was warming up. I so wish we could have held on to beat them – would have been the perfect way to end the game. The pitching situation for tonight is dire – don’t suppose any of our call ups can get the same kind of luck as the other teams against us?

By the way – loved the take down by Rick – not that I am in approval of a fight, but glad to see he held his own. Crazy stuff.

Why wasn’t Boston’s pitcher thrown out for supposedly hitting our players, because we did not storm the mound like a bunch of little kids ? This was all a bunch of crap for professional baseball. I expect better from the umpires. They can ruin a game in a heartbeat. If Porcello was thrown out by guessing what he did, then Boston’s pitcher should have been thrown out also. He was hitting our players also. By throwing someone out because the other team acts like little #@*, this does not say much for baseball. I wanted to turn the TV off and not watch the game at all, but other people were watching. I lost a lot of respect for Boston.

The homeplate umpire had a pitiful strike zone and did not issue a warning until after Youk charged the mound. By the way, he is a coward, he could only yell at Jackson when he gets drill with a clear message pitch. But, when a thin 20 year old hits him in the back he charges. When you throw a message pitch, it is usually a two seam fastball and not a four seam tailing fastball.
The umpire the night before was not much better. It sure seems like there are a lot of bad balls and strikes umpires. That should be the first thing that is judged.
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Figaro has been on the disabled list since he was sent down. Dolsi gets the call up, so if Armando is still sick, I guess that Minor goes for the first five and then the pen takes over. I would also be surprised if they pitched Porcello.
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Lambert, unfortunately seems like a AAA pitcher. He had done well this year and deserved the call up. I saw him pitch a shutout at Toledo. You can throw a 90 mph straight fastball belt high to AAA hitters and get away with it. He was put in a tough spot, but six runs in each of two appearences will get you the ticket back to Toledo.
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Mark

I am still really really angry about last night. Probably take this all a little so seriously but well, I can’t help it. I feel sorry for Lambert getting thrown into that situation. And lets face it all but one of those is probably a routine fly ball and not a homerun in any other park in the major leagues. Still really really mad.

The following is from the Billfer Blog and states it better than me.
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“The umpiring was atrocious the whole night and it didn’t just go against the Tigers. In fact it led to the Tigers offensive outburst in the first. Guillen got away with intereference on his take out slide breaking up a double play in the first. Then the Tigers were gifted a caught stealing in the 2nd (leading to the ejection of Terry Francona) where Lambert was handed an out because he wasn’t capable of notching one on his own. The strike zone was a complete and utter joke (11 Red Sox pitches out of the strike zone called strikes, 5 Tigers pitches out of the strike zone called strikes, 3 Tigers pitches in the zone called balls, 1 Red Sox pitch in the zone called a ball). It was just a horrible job of umpiring all the way around.”

First of all, I have to agree with the comment above that Youkalis is a coward, among other things. He gets hit by Jackson on a pitch that was quite clearly intentional, and he yells at the big guy. He gets hit by a pitch from Porcello that really did look like it got away from him, and he charges the kid! Then after the benches clear, Youkalis was one of the first to exit the field after Rick took him down and made him look like a fool. That was great!
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Credit to Brandon (who was the first on the scene) and Laird for protecting their guy.
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I find it laughable that Youkalis says that it comes to a point where you just have to protect yourself. Charging the mound and throwing your helmet at a 20 year old pitcher is not defending yourself, it’s bush-league and idiotic. If you want to show how much of a man you are, keep your temper under control and take it out on him in your next at bat. If you need an example of how to react, just look at Miggy.
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I expect the umps will have a very short leash the rest of this series, which is fine. I hope tonight’s home plate ump at least keeps the strike zone consistant. I know this is a longshot, but I’d really love it if we could rock Beckett tonight. We need to put up some runs, no matter who is pitching for us.

We again point back to Monday night here, a game where Leyland should have used his top bullpen guys to win a game that’s there to win. That chance may not appear again in the series although, as it’s played out, we’ll need everybody tonight, even if we’re 10 runs down.
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I think Chris Lambert deserves some credit. There’s nothing tougher than being unexpectantly called into a game after and an ejection or injury. They stick him on the mound, in a raucous and riled up Fenway Park, tell him to warm up for as long as he needs, but any pitcher feels in a rush in that situation and doesn’t warm up fully. So Ortiz singles and Bay hits one that probably is a flyout to the leftfielder most anywhere, and that was the damaging blow. Later, Lowell really clobbers a couple, homeruns anywhere, and that’s Lambert’s five innings. Not all that bad, and he still gave us a chance to win if we hit at all.
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Youkilis will receive a suspension for throwing the helmet if nothing else, but that won’t help anyone but the Yankees, Rays, and Rangers. In fact, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if that jerk takes his suspension during one of the two 4-game series upcoming with the White Sox. So how do you like Youkilis NOW?
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Going to Boston is always trouble. Polanco gets injured in 2006. Maroth gets sick in 2007, just as Galarraga has done. Nate Robertson had his entire season (career?) ruined by one start there, when he thought he was tipping and made adjustments that weren’t needed and sent him into a nosedive, culminating in “tired arm.” And now this.
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If this was college ball, I wouldn’t schedule Boston.
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These umpires are going to end up with what they want least. An electronic system of ball/strike calling. The system is already in place and it won’t suprise me to see MLB begin discussing it’s use for a game. Just like Gameday, green for a ball and red for a strike, with a cute little sound to go with each pitch. Do I want that? Absolutely not, but it’s coming if these guys don’t tighten it up back there. Too much inconsistency and subconscious favoritism.
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And that’s the Morning Report. Now sing the little song from “The Lion King.” :-)
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–Rich

Watching the replay, I liked the fact Rayburn took a run at Youk, but he could not get him before he got to Porcello.
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If the jerk gets 4 or 5 games he will appeal to try to reduce it. Now it will be out of spite if he appeals and drops the appeal as soon as their White Sox series starts.
Mark

I went and watched the replay just now. If anyone hasn’t done this as of yet, be prepared to become angry all over again. This was the NESN feed and even their guy didn’t think it was intentional. Laird had a clear mission to get Porcello out of there which he performed admirably, and there was Inge just like he said, trying to hold up the pile (good luck with that). I’d forgotten how fired up Jackson had become. He’s got more history with the Red Sox than anyone on the club, and I can only imagine he was yelling “Why didn’t you come at me” followed by a word you can probably guess.
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The followup video from the MLB Network I had not seen. Mitch Williams and Joe Magrane had our backs on that. Magrane’s story about “no punches were landed” is priceless.
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–Rich

I should get all my thoughts together before hitting the submit button……..
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I think the umpires ejected Porcello to make their own jobs easier. They didn’t want to deal with it. Never mind fairness. This will be reviewed also, of course.
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It occurs to me that, of all the pitchers on our staff, Rick being attacked is the one most likely to cause the most outrage from our fanbase. Probably his age and his future as the franchise. If Youkilis had done that in Detroit (which I doubt he would have), I hate to think of what may have transpired. That could have gotten REALLY ugly.
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Well, at least we saw Porcello showing some emotion. :-)
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–Rich

What happened last night with the Umps and Youkilis is a disgrace to baseball. MLB should be ashamed.

Sal724, the decision by the umpire was a bunch of crap.

I lost far more respect for the umpire than I did Boston. If Boston can get away with this crap, then who can blame them for doing so.

Mark, I enjoyed your comments in your post.

Great point about Youk’s actions versus Jackson as contrasted with his actions versus Porcello.

Also enjoyed your point about a message pitch usually being a two-seam fastball, rather than a four-seam tailing fastball.

Sklant, you are right about what happened last night with the umpires and Youk being a disgrace.

Rich, like you, I also liked the commentary on the MLB Network video. Here is a link to it for anyone who want to see it: http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=6038061&c_id=det&topic_id=.

Another try at the link (this time making sure the period isn’t attached) http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=6038061&c_id=det&topic_id= .

Waiting for word on how we’re going to pitch this thing tonight. I think you can get three innings from Lyon and three innings from Miner, if they’re anywhere near effective. That’s six, and would help a lot. Galarraga might give it the ol’ college try.
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While waiting, we need to avoid the temptation to use the time talking about the “fracas” last night…………too late, I’ve given in to the temptation.
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I’ll bring up something I know you all are thinking about. That is, the Red Sox uncovered a very good game-winning strategy last night. So, let’s say Cabrera’s wrist is okay enough for him to play. In that case, you start Raburn at firstbase and hit him 3rd. On the first close pitch, Ryan charges Beckett and they both get ejected. Then Miguel comes into the game. If we find we can’t hit their relief pitcher, we do the same with Everett. Tossed, replaced by Santiago. Lather rinse and repeat until we get a guy we can hit, or until we run out of position players. In that case, Porcello comes up to hit……………….
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–Rich

Very good one Rich! I am glad to see that after all the “fracas” we can still find things to joke and laugh about. I would not want it any other way! For whoever pitches tonight ( still appears to be Galarraga ) Here’s to a good night and a good win. Beckett can’t win em all!

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Marci**

I am mad now. Watson does not want the Boston grief from just suspending Youk and does not want to make the umpires look wrong, which they were. This is just plain wrong. He should appeal and make a start the day before the appeal hearing.

Mark

Five game suspension for BOTH of them? That is just wrong.
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–Rich

NOOOO! I haven’t even read the link above so don’t know if it’s the same thing but the Detroit Free Press says Porcello is fined and suspended 5 games. NOOOOO! I can’t take it. The words I’d love to say here but can’t. My God, I don’t believe this.

Both fined and suspended 5 days. Go at it, folks. I just don’t know what to say.

Rich:

I absolutely agree that a five game suspension for Porcello is nonsense. A disgrace. Youk is a known hot head. Far as I know umps didn’t warn Porcello or JL after the high heater to Martinez. Looks to me like Porcello didn’t want to do it and I do buy his explanation. Suspending him for 5 is flat out wrong and the ump crew should be suspended as well.

I’m hoping this incident fires the boys up and wakes them up to the idea that we are in a pennant race.

5 games. Mr. Illitch should cede from the union.

I’m hearing that Youkilis is not appealing and will begin his suspension tonight.
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–Rich

Well for those of you who may not know – Detroit Tigers get the short end of the stick – Each suspended 5 games plus Jackson was fined $$$$$$. So guess what, the MLB ruling body is a bigger joke than I even thought it was. The thing is that I don’t like Porcello being ejected – I don’t like the fact that Youklis gets to go off like a freaking maniac and then get the same suspension. I thought all along that they both would get a suspension but I certianly though Youkilis deserved the greater suspension. Just another thing that convinces me that the MLB is east coast centric.
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UTTER AND COMPLETE FARSE

Hit up that link that Tracey provided. It really is funny.
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Looking back, consider Tito Francona’s little boy Terry last night, having that very long and very strange conversation with the umpires after Miggy was hit and before the Red Sox came up to bat.
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Here’s the thing: we’re just a club trying to win our stupid little division and want nothing to do with all that Boston/Fox/New York/ESPN east coast television garbage. The powers at MLB are out of their minds.

And now they’ve crashed the server with their billions of minions.
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–Rich

Well for those of you who may not know – Detroit Tigers get the short end of the stick – Each suspended 5 games plus Jackson was fined $$$$$$. So guess what, the MLB ruling body is a bigger joke than I even thought it was. The thing is that I don’t like Porcello being ejected – I don’t like the fact that Youklis gets to go off like a freaking maniac and then get the same suspension. I thought all along that they both would get a suspension but I certianly though Youkilis deserved the greater suspension. Just another thing that convinces me that the MLB is east coast centric.

THE MLB IS A COMPLETE FARSE AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED. My spouses aunt and uncle live right next to Selig in AZ. Half tempted to go down there and toilet paper his house?? HA HA

Miner is starting tonight. Blog-wise, that kind of puts the pressure on me, doesn’t it? :-) Come on, Zach, don’t make me look like an idiot. I don’t need any help in that regard.
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–Rich

That is really funny – that link Tracey found.

Porcello getting a 5 game suspension is absolutely idiotic! It was obvious he was throwing at Martinez, but not at Youkalis. Maybe the 5 games was for the combo of Martinez and Youkalis, but he was never warned by the ump… ever. The warning came after the fracas, which did a whole lot of good. No way they should get the same punishment when Youkalis was the aggressor and Rick attempted to avoid the confrontation! What does MLB want him to do, allow the Red Sox primate to beat the cr@p out of him?
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I bet Porcello’s appeal results in a much lighter suspension that nobody outside Detroit will ever hear about – most certainly not in Boston.
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How much did Jackson get fined? And what was the reason? For yelling and trying to get closer to the coward who quickly ran back to the home clubhouse?

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