Bobby Jenks Is Playing "Ozzieball"

I'm being extremely facetious when I say any player is playing Ozzieball because Ozzieball frankly does not exist. However, there is one aspect of this perceived notion of Ozzieball that has come into fruition lately- pitching taking retribution for their batters getting hit. This actually was a bit more prominent in how Ozzie used to play baseball but not so much now. I unfortunately don't remember the exact specifics but in 2006 Ozzie ordered a young bullpen player to hit the batter he was facing. At first the pitcher threw it behind the batter. The ump let that one go because he even knew Ozzie had good reason to, at minimum, "scare" the batter. But then the pitcher threw it behind the batter again. This forced the ump to warn both benches. After that, the Sox bullpen guy pitched 'normally'. However, Ozzie actually did want the kid to hit the batter and a little bit rightfully so, his pitcher refused. I believe that kid never spent an entire day in the major leagues again- at least not with the ChiSox.

But this even has come into fruition again when this past Sunday, closer Bobby Jenks threw behind Texas Ranger 2B Ian Kinsler. That series, Texas pitchers hit 6 White Sox batters in three games. One hit batter is an accident. Two hit batters is a freak coincidence, but when six batters were hit, you can't necessarily take that lying down. So in the final inning of the final game with two outs left and nobody on base, Jenks threw behind Kinsler. After the game Bobby said he was "trying to send a message" but he just lost control. Nobody throws behind a batter on purpose. Even Sidney Ponson has enough control to throw it where a batter can hit it (and the batter usually DOES hit it...).

But I think Bobby Jenks had every right to do what he did. I'm sure Ozzie ordered his closer to actually hit Kinsler, but no matter what, Bobby needed to take retribution. In every sport, if your team "gets attacked" in a similar fashion to this one, you attack back. This past NFL season, when the Pittsburgh Steelers played their division and hated rivals, the Baltimore Ravens, Steelers wide receiver laid out a huge hit that injured a Baltimore LB during their first meeting. Of course, Ravens players made all sorts of comments saying how they were going to put a target on Ward's back and make sure he would be "punished". What did all the pundits say about this? While they all agreed maybe the Ravens players should have kept that information out of the public, they agreed with Baltimore. If Baltimore felt like they were "attacked" by Ward, then on the playing field, make sure they get retribution. During these current NBA playoffs, Orlando Magic G Rafer Alston slapped Celtic Eddie House because he felt House used unfair physical contact. When Houston's and NBA's resident crazy person Ron Artest felt Lakers Kobe Bryant used unnecessary physical contact when both were trying to get a rebound (although everything Kobe really did do was perfectly fair and legal), Artest ran over to Kobe and got in his face. And do I really need a hockey example?

My point is, is that in the other three major sports, retaliation is just a part of the game. You obviously shouldn't make it public and Bobby probably should not have overtly said he was trying "to send Kinsler a message", but Bobby needed to do something. Ozzie has obviously been an outspoken supporter of retaliation and his pitchers hitting his batters. I think he's absolutely right. Ozzie has gotten better at this and does not purposefully hit people since really 2006. In this instance, when you're up by 1 and there's two outs, the odds of you winning that game are high. Although yes if Jenks had actually hit Kinsler, it would have potentially allowed Texas the possibility to come back into the game, but in reality the Sox still would have won. This makes it an ideal place to try and send your message.

And don't get me wrong, I think this should hold true for all MLB clubs and all professional sports. I don't agree with it just because it's the White Sox, I agree with it because it's a truism for professional sports.

Jenks did end up with a measly $750 fine and this is appropriate, I guess. I think what he did was fine and necessary and I think he should have hit Kinsler (although obviously not injured him- I need him on my fantasy team!). But at the end of the day, people need to stop putting their panties in a bundle every time retaliation occurs- in any sport.


David "MVP" Eckstein said...

1) i love how all Jenks AHD to say was "yeah, the ball got away from me" and he wouldnt have had to pay any fine and he was just like "suck it bitches, it was intentional"
2) Here here for retaliation! It's only fair that Jayson Werth break his neck trying to catch a ball at the wall hit by Pujols.
3) Retaliation is immature, unsportmanlike and barbaric. Take your walk and score if its not people getting drilled in the fucking elbow. Or clear your benches and throw punches. Hitting batters intentionally is just childish and gives the other team increased scoring ability.

The 'Bright' One said...

You are right, ozzie ball doesnt exist. I have a theory that ozzie ball is just something hawk harrelson invented due to his homosexual love affair with ozzie guellen.

Sexy Rexy said...

I agree that walking a guy that have negative consequences but there are plenty of situations where it's fine. When you have one more out left in the game, one walk won't really hurt you. Of course it COULD possibly hurt you if the next guy up hit a HR, but the odds of winning that game, even if Kinsler did get hit, was still extremely high

How is that Werth comment at all related to retaliation!?

And retaliation is not childish- in fact it's necessary. The name calling and talking that goes along with it is childish- but you're telling SIX batters hit in three games was all accidental? One and maybe even two to Quentin who crouches the plate-OK- but six?! In any fight, if you get hit, and don't hit back, expect to get hit some more. That's why you need to hit back.

It happens all the time in basketball, football, and hockey and the same 'consequences' that happens in those sports should happen in baseball as well