August 05, 2011
In a year that has seen the Boston Red Sox slugger battle pitchers from the Orioles and blame the media for being hit by the Yankees, Ortiz didn't try to hide his emotions after Fenway Park's official scorer removed a RBI that Ortiz was initially given after an opposite-field single during Wednesday night's game.
In fact, Ortiz was so angry about the reversal that he interrupted manager Terry Francona's pregame press conference on Thursday with some loud expletives.
"I'm [blanking] [ticked]," Ortiz said.
If you watched the replay of Ortiz's single in Wednesday's first inning without any context, you'd know why Big Papi was so worked up. The hit seemed pretty straight-forward, giving Ortiz 70 RBIs for the season when Adrian Gonzalez(notes) scored from third and Kevin Youkilis(notes) came around to score from second.
Ortiz's total was dropped back down to 69, however, when official scorer Chaz Scoggins later ruled that Youkilis had only advanced home on Austin Kearns'(notes) bobble in left field. Though Ortiz's hit seemed deep enough to score Youk from second — misplay or not — Scoggins said that the replay revealed one crucial piece of evidence.
One that I'm still having trouble seeing.
Said Scoggins on WEEI.com:
"The Cleveland PR guy came over and told me their pitching coach had called him and told him that [Red Sox third base coach Tim] Bogar had put up a stop sign on Youkilis. I told him I didn't see the stop sign and I had looked immediately to see what the coach was doing and he'd waved him home. He said, 'Well, it's on tape somewhere.'
"So, I went back and reviewed the NESN tape. On their replay, sure enough, you could see Bogar throw up his hands to stop Youkilis until the ball was bobbled by Kearns, and then he waved him home. It was only an instant. He never really got his hands up all the way. But clearly, his intent was to stop Youkilis, even though there were two outs, until he saw the bobble.
"At that, I felt I could not give Ortiz two RBIs on that when the intent was to stop Youkilis at third."
Go back and watch the replay again from its wide angle. Scoggins is well within his rights as a scorer to use other resources to make the correct ruling. But where does he see anything that can be interpreted as seeing Bogar "throw up his hands"? If it's there, it's not conclusive. I also don't see where Kevin Youkilis breaks stride to pull into third. Youk's running around third — as plodding as it might have been — was one continuous motion.
Is it a big deal in the whole scheme of things? Well, not unless this somehow keeps me from winning my fantasy league* (and given my luck, it will).
*I'm only half kidding.
But what's right is right. While a lot of people will lambaste Ortiz for caring about his statistics so much, it seems like he has a good beef here. If Scoggins had made the call right off the bat, that would be one thing.
But to reverse a call for the home team after getting a tip from the opposing bullpen that wasn't backed by conclusive evidence?
You can see where Ortiz got a little bit fired up.
What do you think? Should Ortiz have been credited with the RBI?