I hate the Yankees. As a longtime Red Sox fan (that means I followed the team long before they won in 2004, bandwagon riders), my dislike of all things Yankees goes back to the Craig Nettles, Billy Martin, Sparky Lyle, and yes, the late Thurman Munson era (Google "Munson Fisk brawl").
During the top of the 5th inning, starting pitcher, Joba Chamberlain, the Yankees' young pitching star, hit Jason Bay in the middle of the back (between the fours), an obvious intentional act. Bay had touched up Chamberlain for a 3-run homer in the first.
Bay was an unlikely object of Chamberlain's ire. From what I see game in and game out, he just goes out and plays the game, old school. He hustles, keeps his mouth shut, and when he uncannily turns around 96 mile per hour fastballs, he doesn't stand at home plate and admire them, he sprints around the bases. He certainly didn't do anything to warrant getting hit, unless the prima donna Chamberlain, doesn't realize that the ball he left out over the plate to Bay is the kind of pitch that major league hitters regularly deposit beyond outfield walls.
Dennis Eckersly, filling in for the ailing Jerry Remy, took issue with Chamberlain's act. I love the Eck, and he didn't mince any words about Chamberlain and what he thought about what he did. Eck was a hard-nosed competitor. He also played when there was still a code of how you handled yourself between the lines. Chamberlain is like so many younger players--no understanding of what's right and proper, at least what warrants a "message" pitch, which his plunking of Bay obviously was. I'm just not sure what the message was, other than, "I'm Joba Chamberlain and you can't take my fastball out of the yard."
I don't know if Red Sox starter Josh Beckett will retaliate tonight. Mark my words, however, from the looks on the faces of Red Sox players, in the dugout, as the camera panned the bench, you know that this isn't the end of this issue.
After hitting Bay, and receiving a visit at the mound from Yankee pitching coach, Dave Eiland, Chamberlain struck out Mike Lowell on five pitches, whereby he pumped his fist like it was the 9th inning of game seven of the ALCS, and yelled towards the Sox bench. There will definitely be more to this story.
In an unrelated item, apparently Chamberlain's Mom is a tweaker.