The Yankees beat the Red Sox on Tuesday night in Boston by the score of 5-2. It was tighter than the score indicates as the Sox stranded 16 runners during the course of the game.
Yankees’ ace CC Sabathia finally beat Boston in his fifth try this season.
It was also a long game, stretching to a bit under four hours and it got contentious, none of which should be surprising.
What’s new and interesting for those that follow the continued expansion of what constitutes action that demands a bean ball, is that a big clapping of hands after landing on home plate is now a breach of baseball’s unwritten rules.
In the seventh inning, of a 4-2 game with no one out, starter John Lackey plunked Yanks back-up catcher, Francisco Cervelli on his back for Cervelli’s exaggerated clap after his fifth inning home run.
The Boston Globe quoted Lackey as saying, “He was pumped for that [third] home run of his career,” Lackey said. “I thought it was a little excessive, honestly.”
For those that miss the sarcasm in the pitcher’s comments, emphasis should be placed on the fact that Cervelli, hasn’t hit many home runs and in a game against his team’s hated rival, a homer is a big freaking deal.
Lackey also engaged in the usual denial of a retaliation pitch. ESPN.com got this comment, “We had no intent on hitting him. It just happened that way.” It certainly did.
However, for Lackey and presumably Boston fans, the sight of Cervelli making a point to clap his hands in the face of Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia ( the man with the longest name in MLB) was unacceptable and reason enough for a plunking.
Even the Globe’s blogger Eric Wilbur asked in print this morning whether the “clap flap” should be considered excessive in light of David Ortiz’s habit of standing at the plate admiring his home run balls.
Players in the NFL and some fans have begun criticizing the disciplinary actions of Commissioner Roger Goodell. What is acceptable behavior on the field is much narrower during the Goodell administration and it relates to more than helmet hits.
In a pre-season game this past weekend, a player was penalized for excessive celebration after scoring a touchdown and even the broadcasters couldn’t determine what wire he tripped.
He didn’t engage in something that had a plot line, used vulgar body movements or recruited his teammates in the celebration, yet, the flag was thrown and his team was penalized 15 yards for its kick-off.
Unlike NFL fans. baseball fans aren’t complaining today except Yankees’ followers ,and even they understand the “an eye for an eye“ ethic of the sport.
When a clap is as good as the middle finger raised in defiance, I think we have come to a ridiculously conservative interpretation of those all important unwritten rules. Some might say it’s the Tea Party view.