I missed this on Sunday, but two extraordinary things happened during the Sox-Rangers game:
First, a pitched ball hit a player — Kevin Youkilis — yet he was not
awarded first base because the umpire ruled that Youk made no attempt
to avoid being hit, as he is required to do by Rule 6.08(b)(2).
In reality, this could and should be called on every other HBP, but I
can’t recall the last time an ump actually enforced the rules. For
those who care, one of the most famous invocations of Rule 6.08(b)(2)
came on May 31, 1968
when Don Drysdale hit a guy that would have forced in a run, thus
ending his scoreless innings streak at 44. The ump ruled that the
batter didn’t try to avoid the pitch, however, and called it a dead
ball. Drysdale went on to retire him and went another 14 innings
without allowing a run.
Second, Terry Francona — who ran out to argue the non-call on the Youk play — later admitted that he was wrong:
“I don’t know if you can go out and yell at a guy and then go back
out and apologize. It’s probably a little unprecedented to run back out
and scream you’re sorry.”
Oh, I also like this play because the ump who got the call right — Tim
Timmons — makes his offseason home about two miles from my house.
Throws a big Halloween party every year. I’ve never been invited, but I
hear it’s pretty sweet.
So nice call, Tim. And, just so you know, I’m not doing anything
this Halloween. You know. Just in case you’re having that party again.