2009 MLB American League East Notebook
It was a little hard to understand where Major League Baseball was coming from when it came to Boston right-hander Josh Beckett.
In the April 12 game at Anaheim, Beckett threw a pitch that buzzed Angels outfielder Bobby Abreu but did not hit him. That, of course, drew both teams out of their respective dugouts to exchange words. But no punches were thrown.
Then Bob Watson, MLB’s vice president for discipline, apparently could read Beckett’s mind and handed Beckett a six-game suspension. Beckett and the rest of the Red Sox were pretty upset and have appropriately appealed. Replays showed that Beckett’s pitch was head high but several inches away from Abreu. Abreu had called time and Beckett followed through with the pitch when he was in his motion.
Abreu reacted angrily. Beckett defended his position. Actually, the umpiring crew found no issues with the pitch.
But Beckett’s mishap isn’t the only pitching issue confounding the Red Sox. Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka went on the 15-day disabled list with fatigue in his pitching arm. Dice-K has delivered two poor starts to begin the season.
Then there was the ageless Tim Wakefield. Wakefield, 42, took a no-hitter into the eighth inning April 15 against Oakland. He finished with a four-hitter in Boston’s 8-2 win.
The Yankees will debut their $1.5 billion new stadium April 16 against Cleveland. They are the last team to play a home a game. Ace C.C. Sabathia will face his former team for the first time.
But to their credit, the Yankees survived a nine-game roadtrip to begin the season with stops in Baltimore, Kansas City and Tampa Bay. New York went 5-4.
However, the news wasn’t all good. Outfielder Xavier Nady suffered a right elbow injury Tuesday while making a throw. The Yankees weren’t all that forthcoming. All manager Joe Girardi said was the MRI wasn’t good and that they expect Nady to miss some time.
During their series with New York, the Rays unveiled their AL East and AL Champions banners in the rafters at Tropicana Field.
Third baseman Evan Longoria missed Wednesday’s against New York and was expected to miss Thursday’s game because of a death in the family. He was scheduled to rejoin the team on Friday against Chicago.
Meanwhile right-hander Matt Garza could be a candidate to lead the American League in strikeouts. He already has 14 in his first two starts.
While a 6-2 start to the season is nice, the Orioles know they cannot live long with the way they are going about their business.
They are outslugging opponents right now. They have scored 50 runs but also allowed 50 runs and their team ERA of 5.92 ranked 12 th in the AL.
Meanwhile the injury bug caught up with them. Third baseman Melvin Mora and right-hander Alfredo Simon were put on the 15-day disabled list. Simon left his April 14 start against Texas with an elbow injury. Mora had not played for several days because of a hamstring problem.
Speaking of offense, the Blue Jays lead the big leagues in several categories including runs and batting average.
New acquisition Scott Rolen has been a welcomed addition as he led the team in batting at .406 through the first 10 games. But Adam Lind has really shown his prowess with three home runs through the first 10 games.
By Kevin Lonnquist
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