After a weekend in which Bill James repeatedly embarrassed himself with ill-informed and ill-advised comments about Joe Paterno and the Penn State scandal, his employer — the Boston Red Sox — have told him to stop:
This afternoon, Red Sox Principal Owner John Henry and Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington spoke to Bill James regarding him making public his personal opinions on Joe Paterno.
In that call, Mr. James was informed that his comments in no way reflect the opinions or positions of the Red Sox; and, because he is perceived as a representative of the Red Sox, he was asked to refrain from any further public comments on this matter.
For the best. And he should consider himself lucky, as some employers might have fired a guy over this kind of thing.
Unless anyone else with a connection to baseball wades into that mess, this will be the last we speak of it too.
A lot of people in the comments to Bill’s posts on the Urena-Acuña posts last night and in response to my rant about it in the recaps and on Twitter this morning, have talked about how silly writers don’t understand the culture of baseball and how pitchers have been brushing back batters for years. One guy said that old players would laugh at me for my naive notions about such matters and that, to make it as a pitcher, you have to brush guys back and reclaim the inside of the plate and make the hitter uncomfortable in the box.
I think that’s all b.s. obviously, but they are right about one thing: I don’t play baseball and baseball players probably know this stuff better. With that in mind, I’m going to defer to seven-time All-Star Michael Young’s thoughts on the matter of brushbacks and purpose pitches:
If you think you know more about this than Michael Young, you now have his Twitter handle and can tell him yourself.