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.

Rosenthal: 'Some' Sox players question Farrell's leadership, game management

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Rosenthal: 'Some' Sox players question Farrell's leadership, game management

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal ignited a local firestorm when he made a seemingly off-hand comment a few days ago that he "wouldn't be surprised" if the Red Sox fired John Farrell this year. (He quickly added he also "wouldn't be surprised" if Farrell stayed on and led the team to the A.L. East title this year, but that got scant mention.)

Today, however, Rosenthal expounded on Farrell and the Sox in a lengthy column on foxsports.com. While acknowledging the team's injuries and beyond-the-manager's-control inconsistencies (in the starting rotation and with the offense), he also ominously added, "The excuses for the Sox, though, go only so far — all teams deal with injuries, and not all of them boast $200 million payrolls. Other issues also have emerged under Farrell . . . "

Farrell, even when he won the 2013 World Series as a rookie manager, was not popular in all corners of the clubhouse. Some players, but not all, believe that he does not stand up for them strongly enough to the media when the team is struggling, sources say. Some also question Farrell’s game management, talk that exists in virtually every clubhouse, some more than others.

And then he mentioned two leadership problems:

The first occurred during the Red Sox’s prolonged dispute with the Orioles’ Manny Machado. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, after Matt Barnes threw at Machado’s head, shouted across the field to Machado, 'it wasn’t me,' then told reporters that it was 'definitely a mishandled situation,' without mentioning Barnes or Farrell by name . . . 

The second incident occurred last Saturday, when Farrell engaged in a heated exchange with left-hander Drew Pomeranz in the dugout . . . [Pomeranz's] willingness to publicly challenge Farrell, in an exchange captured by television cameras, offered another indication that the manager and some of his players are not always on the same page.

Hmm.

Rosenthal's piece comes at a time when some of Farrell's harshest local critics are more or less giving him a pass, instead blaming Dave Dombrowski's flawed roster construction for the Sox' early season struggles , , , 

But there has been speculation hereabouts on whether or not Farrell has control of the clubhouse . . . 

Now that Rosenthal has weighed in, that sort of talk should increase.

In the end, Rosenthal makes no prediction on Farrell's future other than to conclude "If Dombrowski senses a change is necessary, he’ll make a change." 

But one prediction that can be made: The should-Farrell-be-fired? debate, which raged at unrealistic levels last year when the Red Sox won the division, isn't going to end anytime soon.