Stop crying, Youkilis. You and everyone else wearing an elbow pad do not deserve a free pass.

Tonight, in the bottom of the fourth inning between the Red Sox and Tigers at Fenway Park, Detroit pitcher Edwin Jackson came inside on Kevin Youkilis, drilling him in the side with a hard fastball. The normally dramatic corner-man grunted and mad a gesture towards Jackson, perhaps hoping to frighten him in return. The AL’s designated hitter’s system has made it extremely hard to carry out revenge on those who would throw at a batter (remember Game 2 of the 2000 NLCS when Roger Clemens attempted to kill Piazza with a broken shard of bat for whatever reason). Unfortuantely, there was no way to put Clemens in the batters box that night and have him sweat against inside pitching because his time was at home and the designated hitter in play. Hardly seems fair to me, but hey, we don’t exactly live in a fair world.

Youkilis holding his beloved body armour after being hit by Santana

Tonight’s incident is the second time I have seen Youkilis – who burnishes some serious armour on his left elbow – cry about being hit by an inside pitch. He did so back in June when the Mets were in town for a 3-game interleague series. During the first game, Mets ace Johan Santana clobbered “Youk” on his back elbow, which was periously close to hanging over the home plate. Smarting from the pain, Youkilis, who Red Sox fans cherish as a blue collar player, made his way to the mound. On his way up the first base line, Youk shouted at the lefty pitcher who had plunked him.

As a Mets fan and just a fan of the game in general I found the exchange, brief as it was, very telling about the sense of entitlement some players like Youkilis have.

Firstly, the guy hangs out over the plate as if he’s gonna set up a table and some chairs for his bros, Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Pappelbon and Josh Beckett to hang out and have some cold beers and listening to 311. He really acts as if the plate belongs to him. In a league where the pitcher doesn’t have to face direct retribution for beaning batters, that’s pretty prime real estate for his ilk and he is lucky he doesn’t get pegged even more.

I haven’t done a study on this, but it has been my observation that the American League is exploding with the use of elbow pads, which only take away more room for pitchers to throw inside. It’s not just the Sox, but the Yankees as well (Jeter, Cano, Cabrera, Rodriguez), and the Rays (Longoria, Aybar, Crawford, Bartlett, Iwamura). I suspect the difference in elbow pads in both leagues has to do with the fact that in the National League the pitcher has to put himself in the position where he to could be plunke for hitting someone. In the American League, it’s the signficant players who have to worry about getting whacked for their pitcher’s indiscretion. Therefore, they have to on the armour.

I believe that when Pedro Martinez came to the National League his predilection for plunking batters reduced as he found himself in the batters box.

What bothers me so much about the elbow pad is that it removes the incentive of pitchers to thrown inside and, gasp…accidentally plunk a batter.

Kevin Youkilis, who may be the worst plate crowder in the game, has no basis for his crybaby antics after being hit. He chooses to hang his top half over the plate to dominate inside pitching (his stance is also very annoying to look at). Personally, I think people shoul keep whacking Youkilis until he agrees to take off that thick armour he’s wearing. It just seems low class. The agreement would forbid pitchers from throwing at the head and neck or other vulnerable areas. It could be called the Youkilis rule.

I guess I’m just sick of hearing how “blue collar” Youk and Pedroia are when both are wearing armour medieval warriors would be envious of.

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One Response

  1. […] Youkilis has crossed the line Posted on August 12, 2009 by appauled A day after I posted about how I think Kevin Youkilis has no basis for being angry about being plunked due to the fact that he girds himself with a big red bullet proof elbow pad and hangs out over the […]

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