White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen recently issued a warning, saying his team would retaliate on a two-for-one basis if he believed one of his players was hit intentionally with a pitch. On Thursday, Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston was asked about Guillen’s comments and he had this to say.
“I don’t think there is a manager in the league that’s not going to protect his guys.”
That being said, Gaston quickly added that he does not agree with the macho-baseball “tradition” of hitting a player with a pitch after somebody launches a home run. On Wednesday night, Jays reliever Brandon League hut Kevin Youkilis one batter after Victor Martinez belted a homer off the pitcher.
Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher immediately issued warnings to both the Red Sox and Blue Jays, which was fine with Gaston. The manager just wanted to make it clear to Fletcher and everyone else that League absolutely did not hit Youkilis on purpose. League hit him with a splitter — a dead giveaway that it was not intentional.
“If this kid is going to hit you, he’s going to hit you with about a 97 [mph fastball],” Gaston said. “He didn’t hit him with a fastball. I guess the league is just a little jumpy on all the things that have happened lately, so they issued warnings right away.”
That is just fine by Gaston, too, because he believes things got out of hand in the past.
“You know what? I think it’s better nowadays,” Gaston said. “I used to go up after someone who just hit a home run and get knocked down all the time. To me, I didn’t hit the home run, so don’t knock me down. If I strike out, and I throw my bat at you… you know?
“So, I never agreed with all that [stuff] that used to go on about throwing at people anyway. Now, I think they have more of a handle on it and I think it should be stopped. You’re jeopardizing someone’s career by hitting them in the head with a ball and they can’t stand out there and throw a bat at you, so I agree with [the umpires].
“I’m glad it’s that way. It should’ve been that way a long time ago. You can say it’s tough … baseball or whatever. It was stupid and senseless the way they used to do it. Somebody hit a home run, they hit the next guy. Does that make any sense?”
Not really, no.
BOSTON RED SOX (68-51)
Second place AL East, 7.0 GB
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Victor Martinez, C
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. David Ortiz, DH
7. Mike Lowell, 3B
8. J.D. Drew, RF
9. Alex Gonzalez, SS
Starter: LHP Jon Lester (9-7, 3.71)
1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Vernon Wells, CF
4. Rod Barajas, C
5. Kevin Millar, 1B
6. Randy Ruiz, DH
7. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
8. Jose Bautista, LF
9. Travis Snider, RF
Starter: LHP Brett Cecil (5-1, 4.35)
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