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Another Tragedy Averted?

Another Tragedy Averted?
Paul Chick

When the Josh Beckett heater first sailed over the head of the Angels’ Bobby Abreu I didn’t think much of it. After some thought during a lengthy disruption in play my next thought was, “what the hell was he thinking?”

Let’s recap in case you missed it…first inning of the rubber game of a 3 game series at Angels Stadium. Beckett holds the ball as he looks at Chone Figgins at 2nd, back to Abreu, back to the runner, back to Abreu (you get the idea!) and Abreu is granted time from plate umpire Paul Schreiber. Beckett lets it fly and it whizzes past the head of Abreu. The benches empty, words are exchanged and Torii Hunter, Justin Speier and LA hitting coach Mickey Hatcher all get tossed. Angels manager Mike Scioscia is eventually shown the gate in the top of the second as well.

After the game Beckett shrugs it off as an emotional outburst due to the tragic death of pitcher Nick Adenhart earlier in the week. I considered that myself…fragile psyche of the Angels. Here’s the problem. Once a player calls timeout, he steps out of the box and relaxes when the ump yells “time!” If a batter is in the box prepared to hit and a pitch comes near his head he’ll have better reaction time to avoid it. Fortunately, Abreu was paying attention. What if he isn’t and he gets it square in the face? You can be sure the ugliest brouhaha of the 21st century ensues.

Other than the 2002 Series win the Angels have had a bit of a dark cloud hanging over them. The Angels have been victims of more than their share of tragedy most notably the 1978 murder of Lyman Bostock and the 1989 Donnie Moore suicide prior to the tragedy of the past week.

Perhaps we’re all a bit fragile after the Adenhart death but Beckett should stand up and apologize to the Angels. Hey we all love Josh Beckett. He recently donated 100 grand to the Josh Beckett Cancer Treatment Room at Children’s Hospital and will give another $100 for each strikeout this season. His pitch to Abreu was simply a bad split second decision. Think Tony C. That was an accident…ironically against the Angels Jack Hamilton.

On a lighter note did you catch Angels color man Rex Hudler as a guest commentator during Friday’s game? Very funny but Hudler might be a bit high strung for a full season. Reminded me of the time Lenny Clarke and Dennis Leary were let loose in the booth during a telecast at Fenway. “The Wonder Dog” reminisced about the end of his playing days and had high praise for then Phillies manager Terry Francona who released Hudler in 1998.


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