(Photo from Boston.com)
Good lord, that is the stuff nightmares are made of. I mean, I totally had a dream last night that I was fishing with someone who got torn apart by a shark but that picture up there is nearly as scary. (Side note: I might need to take a break from the Discovery Channel's programming and subsequent Netflix rentals). But Kevin Youkilis is one angry dude. And it's not pretty.
Though I do applaud the Sox tactic of "We can't seem to hit this pitcher, let's get him thrown out of the game by inciting some kind of benches-clearing brawl and get another, suckier pitcher put in." Very shrewd. Whether or not the beaning was intentional is up for debate. Kevin Youkilis does seem to get hit an awful lot. And part of it, I'm sure, is his stance. That said, eventually, even the most even-tempered guy (which Youkilis, I'm guessing, is not), is going to lose it and want to take someone down with him. I suppose you can't blame the guy.
Plus, and I know some people hate this argument as it's akin to the "fights get the team fired up" philosophy from hockey, but maybe it's what the team needed. Sure, they won on Monday night but they've been decidedly below water for the past week and a half or so and replacing Youkilis with Mike Lowell who belted two home runs might be just what the doctor ordered.
Of course, this prompted a discussion between HJ and I as to which member of the Red Sox you'd least like to piss off. He weighed in with Victor Martinez because "he's like 800 feet tall and he seems generally even-tempered. So when he goes, he goes." I countered with Dustin Pedroia because he's got years and years of little person rage to build upon. HJ scoffed at that, claiming that he thinks Pedroia's all bark and no bite. Which probably means that at some point today, HJ will open the door to find Dustin Pedroia on the doorstep, calling him out into the street to settle this like men.
But also, I don't think you can discount the power of Kevin Youkilis in a baseball brawl. If only because brawls are generally harmless and no one really ends up hurt. There are rare exceptions, of course, but for the most part, they're largely for show. Except I don't think anyone ever told Youkilis that. I mean, look at that face. Does that look like the face of a man who's kidding?
Of course, then there's Tito and Jim Leyland, who I was not all sure wasn't going to incite an old man brawl and start ranting about six-shooters and panty-waits and whatever else it is old men like Jim Leyland talk about. I wouldn't have been at all surprised if he'd attempted to step in himself and throw, oh, I don't know, David Ortiz to the ground. I don't suspect anyone would have been able to toss Leyland quite as easily as Don Zimmer went down.
All that said, in the end, the Red Sox won. And Tazawa didn't collapse into a sobbing heap on the mound. So really, we can consider that a double win. Right on.