Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Torii Hunter's Cheap Shot - What's Next?

In my mind, there is one lasting question from last night's 6-2 loss to the Twinkies - how do the Sox respond to Torii Hunter's cheap shot of Jamie Burke at the plate.  [And, by the way, there is no disputing that it was, indeed, a cheap shot.  Hunter veered from his line to the plate to take out Jamie Burke, who had at least one foot on the infield grass and was not in Hunter's path toward the plate].  If the Sox do not retaliate in some way, dear readers, I fear that the team will lose cohesiveness.   By the same token, if they do retaliate, and perhaps instigate a brawl with the Twinkies, that event could solidy team unity and wake the team up for a real stretch-drive race against the Twinkies.  Down Thomas and Ordonez, the Sox need every possible edge they can get. 
One of Freddy Garcia's 95+ mph fastballs to Hunter's ribcage may not be the best solution.  First, it would be bad to lose Freddy early in a key game.  If Garcia is still pitching in the 7th inning with a comfortable lead, it may be an option.  But it might be even better to take revenge by playing VERY hard, clean ball.  Knocking over Guzman or Rivas at second on a double play in a clean but very hard manner.  Jose Valentin would be a good candidate for that.  Knocking over LeCroy at the plate on a sacrifice fly would also be a good choice - provided that it is a clean hit.   Konerko could slap some pretty hard tags on Twinkie runners at first base.  Hard, but clean.

More than anything, I hope the Sox take an attitude away from Hunter's cheap shot, not lumps.  Bearing down even harder to beat the Twinkies is the best response.

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