Los Angeles Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt was not pleased after Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night. While he wasn’t super thrilled with the Dodgers losing 8-4 to the Boston Red Sox, he seemed more upset about the visitors’ bullpen at Fenway Park.
The mound in the visitors’ bullpen is just a few feet from the Fenway bleacher seats, and Game 1 starting pitcher (and eventual Game 1 loser) Clayton Kershaw got an earful from the fans during his warm-up. Honeycutt was not happy about it, which he expressed to Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci.
“Brutal. Pretty brutal. What I don’t understand is why baseball allows it. You’ve got the rubber right there and people literally standing over you.”
Honeycutt doesn’t appear to be upset about the taunting itself, but that the bullpen location gives fans the opportunity to do it at close range. In fact, he’s so upset that he wonders why baseball allows fans to be that close to the bullpens.
Tuesday was the first time Honeycutt had been at Fenway since 2010, but nothing has changed since then. As a pitching coach and a former MLB pitcher, he’s been in bullpens all around baseball. Fenway’s setup may seem extreme, but it’s nothing new. Visitors bullpens with fan access are all around baseball, and dealing with it is just part of the game.
Kershaw gets it, though. He may have been the target of the taunting both in the bullpen and on the pitching mound, but when Yahoo Sports spoke to him after the game, he completely understood the passion of the Fenway crowd.
“It’s a great crowd,” Kershaw said. “They were excited about it. Very into it.”
And that was after the Red Sox beat the Dodgers.
Honeycutt may be upset, but the bullpens aren’t moving. Especially not before Game 2 on Wednesday night, which is still at Fenway. After Tuesday’s win (not to mention Honeycutt’s complaint) the fans will probably be even louder, so Dodgers starter Hyun-jin Ryu may want to bring earplugs. It’s probably not a bad idea for Honeycutt, either.
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