A rare enforcement of Rule 6.08

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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.”

Yep.

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.

Cubs place Ben Zobrist on 10-day disabled list with back soreness

Ben Zobrist
AP Images
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Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.

Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.

With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.