The Headline Says FIGHT!

But Sox real battle is with Twins

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John Kruk made a good point on the early edition of Baseball Tonight. There's a sentence I didn't think I'd ever be typing. He argued that the better teams--those in contention for the post-season--are at a disadvantage when a bean ball war looks to be breaking out, with his point being that contending clubs are more reticent to have their players suspended.

We could probably host a lively debate on whether the pitches that DJ Carrasco threw were intended to hit Miguel Olivo. Joe Cowley and Mark Gonzales think the Sox and Royals have some history. I'd argue that down 6-0 with the bases loaded isn't exactly the type of spot you start throwing at people. And if we were to judge by Ozzie Guillen's reaction, the plunking certainly wasn't called from the bench.

Back to the point at hand, my first thought as soon as Olivo started charging the mound was "F@#%! Suspensions and ejections are the last thing we need right now." From the actions of all of the Sox players, they had exactly the same thing on their minds. AJ Pierzynski, who's not exactly know for his calming influence, immediately rushed to defuse the cocked-and-loaded Olivo. Though he eventually took a roundhouse from Olivo to the top of the head. Brian Anderson, who was seen throwing absolute haymakers last time the Sox had a similar incident, ran in from the bench not with arms cocked ready for a fight but with both arms extended trying to stop the fracas. To a man, the Sox were looking to avoid the undesirable consequences that come along with releasing some frustration in the form of pugilistics.

The Sox know they're in a pennant race. They know that they need everyone healthy and on the field for the remaining 50+ games. They're not going to risk getting saddled with league-mandated downtime on the Royals. The Twins? Sure. The Tigers or Indians? Probably. But the Royals? No way. They're not worth the effort.

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You could almost see Nick Swisher going through those exact thoughts in his his head just after being plunked in the hip by a 94 MPH Zack Grienke fastball.

That Pokemon-lovin' paper boy just hit me with a baseball. I'm gonna run out there and show him exactly how I got the name Dirty 30.

But, you know, my playing time is going down as it is with Griffey on the team. And he's gonna get injured if he comes running in to help. If both of us are out, Konerko's definitely gonna be in the lineup. I should probably just stay right here, and damn did that hurt.

F'n Royals! Don't they know we don't care about them?

I'm sure the Royals will have next week's series at USCF circled on their calendars. It's not like they have anything else to look forward to this season. But the Sox, who now sit in second place for the first time since May 16th, which, note to Hawk, is much less than 105 days ago, have much bigger goals than getting even with the freakin' Royals.

I'll be interested to see how the media plays today's game as the season draws to a close. I have a feeling we'll be hearing about how Gardenhire's smart ejection last week helped spark the Twins run, while the incompetently volatile Ozzie Guillen has lost control of his team as they slip into second place.

* * * * *

Be sure to scroll down, as the unusually prolific Cheat chimes in on possible reinforcements for the ailing pitching staff.

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