Gonzalez frustrated by non-call on 'quick pitch'

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Gonzalez frustrated by non-call on 'quick pitch'

BALTIMORE It was a rather fitting turn of events in the eighth inning when Adrian Gonzalez and Bobby Valentine were both ejected for complaining about a quick pitch thrown by Orioles reliever Pedro Strop.
Gonzalez grounded out to second base to lead off the eighth frame against Strop, and then started barking at home plate umpire Mike Everitt. Gonzalez put up his arms up and cameras caught him mouthing the words I wasnt ready to the ump as he trotted back to the dugout. It begs the question as to why Gonzalez swung at the pitch when he wasnt ready to hit, but he was ejected when he continued his argument from the dugout.
It was an emergency swing. It was like what happened? I just swung. I was shocked I even put it in play when it was coming in at 97 mph, said Gonzalez.
Bobby Valentine hopped up the dugout steps to take up the running dialogue with Everett, and the Sox skipper was also bounced by the home plate ump for what must have made for some interesting clubhouse conversation over the games final inning.
Valentine said that the quick pitch is a safety issue, and too many bad things could potentially happen when a guy throwing 97 mph lets loose on a batter that isnt ready in the batters box.
At the end of the day my job is to get on base and to start a rally, and that was taken away from me, said Gonzalez, who was also ejected in 2010 as a member of the Padres when he wouldnt leave home plate following a called third strike. I wouldnt say its dangerous, but he never even joined hands until he was ready to throw. If they say thats allowed then Ill never argue that, but the fact it was called a ball on Morales earlier in the year is what I was arguing.
I know I wasnt ready to hit. Thats what Im saying. I wasnt out of the batters box. But when I set up with the bat on my shoulder, and when the pitcher comes set I get in the position to hit. I was in a position where I wasnt ready to hit. They called that same play a ball on Morales earlier in the year. It needs to be universal and it cant be different with every individual.
It was a rough day for the Sox first baseman, who was fingered as one of the main culprits among a group of Red Sox players trying to undermine their manage before making a full and complete denial.
After the game Gonzalez said it was an issue of double standards. An umpire had ruled previously this season that Franklin Morales was guilty of a quick pitch and had called that pitch a ball. So the first baseman felt like that same rule should have worked in his teams favor this time around.
The reason they dont have a quick pitch is because its dangerous. Its the first time Ive seen it overused. If a hitter isnt ready and a pitch goes at his head, then hes not going to be able to get out of the way, said Valentine. Thats why they have the rule. I guess the batter has to step out of the box or drop his bat something.
With two strikes youve got to swing the bat for survival or leave it up to the umpire to ring you up with strike three. There are about seven guys that do it and Ive seen it called a ball a few times when its a no-pitch. If the hitter isnt ready then its a ball and its automatic.
So file the quick pitch as another bizarre chapter in the 2012 book of reasons and excuses as to why the Sox ended up on the losing end of the stick.

Chris Sale not concerned about which starter is Red Sox' ace

Chris Sale not concerned about which starter is Red Sox' ace

Trenni sits with Chris Sale and David Price during spring training in Fort Meyers.

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mitch Moreland knows he's likely the only new player in Boston's lineup since David Ortiz retired at the end of last season.

He's just not listening to those who say he needs to replace Big Papi's lofty production.

"I try not to hear it because there's no replacing that guy," said the 31-year-old first baseman, who signed a one-year, $5.5-million deal with the Red Sox during the offseason.

"I think it's going to be more of a team effort," he said. "Obviously we picked up two big arms as well, and it's a very balanced club."

After playing his first six-plus seasons in the majors with the Texas Rangers, Moreland is with a new organization for the first time in his career. So far, he said, the move has been smooth.

"They welcomed me from Day One," he said. "Handshakes and hugs right off the bat. It's going to be a lot of fun. You can see why they had so much success last year."

Coming off a subpar 2016 with a .233 batting average, 22 homers and 60 RBI, Moreland tested free agency. He wanted to go to a team that had a good chance at competing for a championship -- like he felt with the Rangers.

"Something that was at the top of my list as a player," he said. "If I was going to be on a team, I wanted a team that had a chance to win. It makes it that much more fun to come to the park every day when something's on the line and you're fighting for a chance to play in the playoffs, fighting to win the division and fighting to win a World Series."

A first-time Gold Glove winner last season, Moreland knows the defending A.L. East champion Red Sox wanted his defensive skills at first to allow Hanley Ramirez to shift to Ortiz's vacated DH spot.

"It gives you a little more confidence," Moreland said. "I take pride in that. That's going to be my main goal, to go out and show what they saw."

A left-handed batter like Ortiz, Moreland knows some people will expect him to fill the void offensively because of which side of the plate he bats from.

"I think it'll be a group effort picking up what will be missing," he said. "There's no replacing that guy."

Manager John Farrell also said the club needs to move on from Ortiz so Moreland and everyone else can relax and focus on their own game.

"David's effect on the lineup was felt by a number of people. We know opponents would game plan for David," Farrell said. "I think it's important for our guys - as we put David out of our mind, in a good way - that it's still a focus on what their strengths are in the strike zone."

The transition may be easy for Moreland so far, but one thing has certainly changed: spending spring training in Florida instead of Arizona.

"Fishing's a lot different than Arizona, so that's nice," he said.

NOTES: "We're getting a firsthand look to why he's been so successful and an elite pitcher," Farrell said after left-hander Chris Sale pitched batting practice. The Red Sox acquired Sale from the Chicago White Sox in an offseason trade for four prospects. They also acquired right-handed, hard-throwing setup man Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee . . . Farrell said righty Steven Wright, who missed the final two months of the season with a shoulder injury, "was unrestricted in his throwing." . . . The Red Sox will have a shorter workout Tuesday with the players association set to talk to the team and the organization's annual charity golf tournament in the afternoon.