Kevin Youkilis is less-than-clear on whether there was beer in the Red Sox clubhouse

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Last week there was considerable to-do over a report that the Red Sox drank beer in the clubhouse on their off-days.  Kind of a silly to-do as far as I’m concerned because, hey, they’re grown men and there was no suggestion that there was any kind of alcohol abuse or anything like that.  If Sox pitchers cracked a couple of coldies while at the office, well, they wouldn’t be the first.

But the story seems to have legs insofar as it’s part of some general narrative people are discussing in the wake of Terry Francona’s departure about the Red Sox’ clubhouse chemistry, and questions about the beer continue to be asked.  Like I said, the questions seem kind of pointless to me, but the answers sure can be fun.  Here’s Kevin Youkilis’ answer in a story over at the Boston Globe:

The Red Sox third baseman wouldn’t say whether or not there was a beer-filled cooler in the locker room.

“I mean, that’s another thing too, that’s… I don’t know if that’s been out there, that’s in the media, what we have and what we don’t have,” Youkilis said. “I don’t know if I’m allowed to say if there is or there isn’t.”

That’s my boy! They’ll never break Youk! He’s not gonna flip on anyone, I tells ya!

Dan Straily suspended five games, Don Mattingly one for throwing at Buster Posey

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Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that Marlins pitcher Dan Straily has been suspended five games and Don Mattingly one game for throwing intentionally at Giants catcher Buster Posey on Tuesday in San Francisco. Straily plans to appeal his suspension, so he will be allowed to take his normal turn through the rotation until that matter is settled.

Everything started on Monday, when the Marlins rallied in the ninth inning against closer Hunter Strickland. That included a game-tying single from Lewis Brinson, who pumped his fist and yelled in celebration. Strickland took exception, jawing at Brinson who was on third base when the right-hander was taken out of the game. Strickland went into the clubhouse and punched a door, breaking his hand.

The next day, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez hit Brinson with a fastball, which prompted warnings for both teams. Mattingly came out to argue with the umpires about the fairness of issuing warnings right then and there. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly apparently said, “You’re next” to Posey, who was standing around home plate. The next inning, Straily hit Posey on the arm with a fastball, which led to immediate ejections for both him and Mattingly.

Neither Rodriguez nor Giants manager Bruce Bochy were reprimanded, which is ludicrous because it was plainly obvious Rodriguez was throwing at Brinson. But neither team had been issued warnings. Essentially, Major League Baseball is giving free reign for teams to get their revenge pitches in. Furthermore, Straily’s five-game suspension is hardly a deterrent for throwing at a hitter. The Marlins could simply give Straily an extra day of rest and it’s like he was never suspended at all.

Beanball wars are bad for baseball. It puts players at risk for obvious reasons. When players have to miss time due to avoidable injury, self-inflicted (in the case of Strickland) or not (if, for example, Posey had a hand or wrist broken from Straily’s pitch), the game suffers because it becomes an inferior product. That’s, of course, second behind the simple fact that throwing at a player is a tremendously childish way to handle a disagreement. When aimed intentionally at another human being, a baseball is a weapon. That’s especially true when it’s in the hands of someone who has been trained to throw anywhere from 90 to 100 MPH.

Commisioner Rob Manfred has spent a lot of time trying to make the game of baseball more appealing, such adding pitch clocks and limiting mound visits. He should spend some time addressing the throwing-at-batters problem.