All posts by woodandprent

We are a couple of small town bros from the hotbed of cultural and athletic activity known as Walpole, New Hampshire. We have been thinking of starting this for some time now as our brains and humor have just gotten too great to keep to ourselves. We have too many great ideas, and our mommas always told us that if you're good at something, make sure it can get you paid and get you laid. We already know you will love what we have to say. Welcome to the era of Wood and Prent

Umpires Need To Be Held Accountable Too

Just last month, Adrian Beltre became the 31st player in MLB history to join the 3,000 hit club, which basically punches his ticket into Cooperstown. He’s a guy who has always been one of the very best in the business for as long as he’s been in the MLB. This is exactly what makes what happened to him earlier that same week such a slap in the face. Take a look:

I go to A LOT of Major League Baseball games, and NO ONE stands in the damn on deck circle! It’s a “rule” that has no bearing on the ballgame. Additionally, this game was totally out of hand; the score was 17-5 at the time. So, in a 12 run game, Gerry Davis decides to make an example out of a future Hall of Famer? That’s a joke.

It even extends into the Independent League circuit. Check out this video (WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE):

Wally Backman goes bananas because his guy gets thrown out without saying a single word. I don’t blame Wally. I would’ve had a very similar reaction. These guys make a bad call, and then compound that mistake by throwing guys out. We can’t have that.

I coach high school basketball as well as baseball, and I can tell you that there is NOTHING worse than when an official gets too big for his britches and tries to become the star of the show. It’s even worse when they walk around on their high horse and won’t even have a discussion with you about what’s going on. That’s what guys like Gerry Davis and Joe West do. They think they run the show and they make sure that everyone who’s watching knows it. It’s brutal.

In a Cubs vs. Diamondbacks game at Chase Field in Arizona this past Saturday, the Cubs fell 6-2. While this scoreline initially makes it look like there was little competition between these two teams, the score was knotted at 0-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. The D-backs eventually jumped ahead to a 6-0 lead, but the Cubs weren’t ready to give up. They fought back to score two runs in the top of the ninth inning. They brought the momentum back on their side, only for it to get curtailed by a call from the umpire. The final out of the game was called a strikeout to 2B Ben Zobrist, who took a ball out of the strike-zone in a 1-2 count. Zobrist was furious and adamantly told reporters that this call shows the necessity for the league to enact an automated strike zone, citing the technological advancement and progress of all sports as reasoning. While the Umpire may have been adamant that he was making the right call, his decision overshadowed the game and put a terse end to a game that could have turned into a mini-Cinderella story. Oh well.

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My point is, coaches are held accountable; players are held accountable. Why can’t umpires be held accountable? I don’t have a problem with bad calls. I really don’t. They are part of the game. But when you have guys going rogue and baiting players/coaches into ejections, there’s a huge problem. No one has ever gone to a game to watch someone officiate. Ever.

Blame John Farrell for David Price’s Outburst

The Red Sox are in first place in the AL East despite a whole lot of flaws with the club. Their offense is on and off, the bullpen seems as though it will implode at any moment (especially on the road and Craig Kimbrel not withstanding) and their manager is the WORST in-game manager in baseball. But John Farrell’s most egregious sin is how he has let the culture in the clubhouse deteriorate without the presence of Big Papi; and there is no better indicator of that than the actions of David Price.

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Price has had two fairly high profile run-ins with the media this season. The first was back in early June after an 8-0 loss at Yankee Stadium, when he went on an expletive-filled tirade where he proclaimed that he will only speak to the media on days that he pitches.

After Price’s first outburst, John Farrell had a choice. He could either back David Price, or set the tone and let Price and the rest of the clubhouse know that they need to be professionals and handle their responsibilities with the media without acting like entitled, spoiled brats.

Which one do you think he chose? Of course Farrell decided to back David Price. Of course he backed the guy who sarcastically refers to Farrell as “Manager John” and is about as thin skinned as a 4th grader. Of course he decided to tell the assembled media that, “accountability is a two-way street”, rather than holding Price accountable.

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The second incident was when he and Dennis Eckersley had a confrontation on a team flight from Boston to Toronto on June 29. According to the report, Price’s issue stemmed from Dennis Eckersley saying “yuck” when the telecast flashed the absolutely horrendous stat line of Eduardo Rodriguez’s rehab start in Pawtucket. That is what Price was so upset about. Seriously.

According to reports, when Eckersley got on the plane, Price sarcastically said “Here he is! The greatest pitcher to ever live! This game comes easy to him!”. When Eck tried to respond, Price told him to “get the f— out of here!” and was actually APPLAUDED by some of his Red Sox teammates.

When Price was asked about it, he said that, “some people just don’t understand how hard this game is.” Fair enough, except that fact that Dennis Eckersley is in the HALL OF FAME! I think he kind of understands what it takes to be successful in Major League Baseball. And not for nothing, but Eckersley was wildly successful as both a starter and a reliever during the course of his career. Did you forget who you were talking about, David?

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Eckersley was no stranger to accolades in his playing days, winning an AL MVP, an ALCS MVP, a Cy Young, a World Series, & six All-Star berths. 

The day after the confrontation, Farrell said that he, Price, and President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski had a meeting and that the situation was being handled internally. This could be true, but I highly doubt it, considering the fact that no one from the organization has issued an apology to Eckersley.

Here’s what should have happened: After Price’s first outburst, he should have received a modest fine, and Farrell should’ve publicly reprimanded Price to make it clear to Price and the rest of the Red Sox that they are professionals and they will be expected to act like it. That’s it. That’s all that Farrell had to do to avoid the second outburst. And if for some reason the Eckersley incident happens anyway, you fine him even more and suspend him.

Now, Farrell has opened up a whole can of worms. He has now set a precedent that his guys can say whatever they want, whenever they want, and treat people however they want. Wrong message to Johnny boy. This is a young team and they need to be led by someone who has a spine and unfortunately, that is NOT John Farrell.

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Would this have happened if Terry Francona was managing this team? The answer to that is an emphatic no. These two situations prove that John Farrell is soft, which is pretty much what most of Red Sox Nation already knew. He doesn’t know how to hold people accountable, which is what the Red Sox pay him very handsomely to do.