Notes: Sox prepared for emotional game vs. Rays

Notes: Sox prepared for emotional game vs. Rays
May 31, 2014, 6:30 pm
Share This Post

BOSTON - With a testy first game of the Sox-Rays series in the books, Saturday is not the night to tune into the game in the 3rd inning.

The players you see may not be the ones who started the game.

No, it's not likely both benches empty again and ejections are made - but it certainly can't be ruled out.

There were no apologies after Friday night's game, a Sox 3-2, 10th-inning win, by either side. David Ortiz had nothing nice to say. David Price had nothing nice to say. John Farrell had nothing nice to say, so on and so forth.

You know what happened. Price hit Ortiz the first chance he got, and the belief is that it's stemming from a last year's ALDS feud. Ortiz didn't like it one bit, but Price said after Friday's game he was simply establishing the plate. Price wasn't ejected, but warnings were given out to both sides.

Later, price hit Mike Carp. That's when the dugouts cleared, and hurtful things were yelled from one team to the other. There was pushing. Sean Rodriguez got really tough, too. But again, no ejection for Price.

What we do know: it's going to be an interesting game, and the umpires will be quick to eject players and managers. They've got to keep control.

"Well I think it's clear that there's a lot of emotion that plays out in these games in a series with Tampa," Farrell said. "We'll see what evolves here tonight. But our focus and my focus particularly is how we go about and execute tonight and win a ballgame. And my concern is with our players and making sure we protect one another."

Farrell was asked before the game if he expected to receive stern warnings before the start from the umpires.

"We'll find out once lineups are exchanged at home plate," Farrell said. "I don't know if anything happens prior to that, so I'm going forward assuming nothing will be said."

Fox Sports reports that both Farrell and Rays manager Joe Maddon went into a meeting with the umpires shortly before 6pm.

Farrell was not happy with the way the umpires handled Friday night's game, saying that it appeared umpire Dan Bellino thought Price's plunk of Ortiz was more than just establishing the inside. He also said you could have made the case Price should have been ejected immediately, without a warning.

"That's upon the umpire behind home plate to determine if in fact there was intent," Farrell said, "which I read into the way the warning was issued and the emphatic nature that Dan Bellino used, I think he pretty much felt that there was intent behind the pitch."

********

Four Red Sox were ejected Friday night, including Farrell and two other Sox coaches acting as managers at the time.

Farrell was ejected in the first inning after David Ortiz was hit, both sides were warned, and Price wasn't ejected.

In the fourth inning, Price hit Carp - and again wasn't ejected. Acting manager Torey Lovullo became irate at that, and he then got the boot. That put Brian Butterfield in the driver's seat . . . until the 6th inning.

That's when Brandon Workman threw behind Evan Longoria, promptly earning an ejection which in turn automatically ejected Butterfield.

So hitting coach Greg Colbrunn took over. Luckily, there were no more ejections, because the guy sitting a couple rows back in section 14 was next in line.

Farrell said on Saturday that he's never seen so many "managers" ejected in one game.

"No, I haven't. It's kind of like the 'next up' mentality, right?"

But if you thought he was going to rate which acting manager did the best in his absence, think again. It's not that Farrell didn't want to, it was just that he couldn't.

"No one really lasted long enough," he joked.

*********

If Holt is to get time at left field, it will have to be over Jonny Gomes, who looks to have earned a much more permanent role over there as of late.

Gomes is only hitting just .194 against righties, but that hasn't prevented Farrell from shying away from him completely against them. In fact, he's in there again today against the righty Jake Odorizzi.

Gomes is batting .240 on the year wit 5 home runs and 23 RBI.

"He's been in against some right-handers which he is again tonight," Farrell said. "With [Erik] Bedard going tomorrow he'll be back in there. So he's taken the job. It's about competition and who's producing. Even though you'd like to put guys in position to match up, overall Jonny's taken the job."