Hit me once, hit me twice

By now, if you’re a Rangers fan, you’ve seen and heard about the big fight tonight, which was mostly just a bunch of handbag swinging.  The clear exception was Richie Sexson, who I would expect to get at least a 10 day suspension.  You want to throw punches, that’s one thing, but throwing a helmet can cause serious injury.  The guys on the Rangers broadcast said he’s well-liked and this was out of character.

The ridiculous part is that the Rangers were completely innocent on this.  They had been hit twice by Felix Hernandez (whose reaction during the fight was way over the top), Kinsler looked like he was going to start something when he was hit but didn’t, and Gabbard’s pitch was a long way away from Sexson.  I know there will be people who will defend the Mariners in this, because I’ve been on the other end and defended the Rangers in similar situations (Frankie Francisco in Oakland, for example), but I fully expect most neutrals to side with Texas.

The video wasn’t completely clear on the location, so here’s what Gameday showed:
Sexson fight

This shows the pitches in Gameday during the full at-bat. The one at the top is the one to Sexson, the others were to Cairo after Sexson was ejected.  Now, I may be biased (yeah, may be), but this shows pretty much what we saw on tv, that this was a high pitch, not inside.  Admittedly, Sexson is a giant freak of nature, and his head sticks out like a pelican, so maybe he thought it was closer than it was.  But really, it’s on the edge or maybe slightly off the plate.

Curiously enough, the Gameday data logs don’t show it.  Sexson is simply missing from Gabbard’s data at that point, then you have Cairo’s at-bat and it is three pitches long.  If you didn’t know better, I think you’d probably just assume it was a glitch of some kind.  In Sexson’s batter data, it appears he only batted in the second inning.  My guess is that they didn’t program for this situation, not that they are trying to hide something.  The pitch existed at some point, because they made the chart from it.

Ahh, okay, I found it.  It doesn’t exist under the individual players, but it does exist in the inning data, which means it’s probably a programming oversight that didn’t get it into the players’ logs.  But the inning data has errors too though, because it shows all four pitches to Cairo.  Here’s what the data has:  px=”-0.879 pz=”5.362.  5.3 feet high (pz), so about eye height for a crouching Sexson.  0.879 feet inside.  That’s about 10.5 inches, which with the ball diameter is right on the edge of the strike zone.  If it was lower, it would just as likely been called a strike as a ball.

I love that Gameday called it an “On-field Delay”.  Someone out there was imagining a streaker, surely.

Sexson’s just mad because he can’t hit any more.

Took a while, but I finally saw Ichiro on the video, coming out at the back.  For a while I thought he wasn’t there at all, which would have been a major faux pas on his part.

It occurred to me a little later that my three year old was asleep at the time, but would probably have been watching if this game was in Arlington.  Josh loves to mimic the players in great detail, down to pulling on his gloves, stepping out of the box (not that he knows what the box is, he just knows that the players step back a little after each pitch), or even trying to break his bat over his knee after Milton Bradley did that the other day (plastic bat, and no, he didn’t really try very hard).  But if not today, one day, he will see players fighting.  And even though we’ll tell him that was a bad thing (just as we did with Bradley), and they’re not being nice, I am right now imagining the moment when he is going to throw his bad down and charge at me, and throw his helmet at me, “just like the Rangers did”.  That’s a bit of an uncomfortable feeling, when you’re the cause of your son being hooked on the Rangers.

Other notes:  Ben Broussard DFA’d.  Should have happened a couple of weeks ago, and given the job fulltime to Botts.

Edinson Volquez had a quote in today’s Star-Telegram, I can’t find it in the online edition.  He said something like the difference between last year and this is that last year he was just throwing pitches, but this year he is throwing them for a reason, and he understands why he’s throwing them.  I wish I had the exact quote.  Point is, the moment I read it, I of course thought that the difference is that this year he has a pitching coach who knows what he’s doing.

Jon Daniels says Ron Washington’s job is safe at least until the All-Star break.  Roll on All-Star break.

We’re going to try and get out to Saturday’s game, weather permitting, and get our budding superstar the Michael Young poster.  Hopefully it won’t be the only sighting of Michael Young we have.


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