Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Congratulations to Oakland's Jason Kendall for stepping up to the plate as our first nominee for "Biggest Pansy of the Year". Kendall took exception to a pitch thrown by Angel hurler John Lackey in yesterday's game (video here that you need to see for context). Normally, that would be just fine, except:

* The bases were loaded.
* It was a breaking ball that nearly came back into the strike zone.
* Kendall wears one of those stupid garbage cans on his elbow and hangs out over the plate.

In other words, Kendall is an idiot.

Viewers need to factor in what current A's teammate and former Colorado Rockies pitcher Joe Kennedy says about a similar run-in with Kendall two years ago:

It was kind of the same situation as today," Kennedy said. "No one really knew why it happened, but it was pretty similar. I threw a 1-2 fastball over the plate, and he leaned over and got hit by it. I told him, `Next time get out of the way,' and he came at me.

So, Kennedy is verifying what major-league pitchers already know for themselves -- Kendall is a cheater in the sense of breaking MLB Rule 6.08(b)(2):

6.08 The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when...

(b) He is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting to hit unless...

(2) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball; If the ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a strike, whether or not the batter tries to avoid the ball. If the ball is outside the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a ball if he makes no attempt to avoid being touched.

Now, I'm not in favor of pitchers throwing at hitters -- well, not most of the time -- but that's bullshit. Hell, the pitch was damned near a strike. I don't care what Lackey said -- it wasn't directed at the plate umpire. If he wants to give a little verbal abuse to Kendall for crowding, it's his dime.

Kendall wears the big stupid elbow pad and does lean way out over the plate. It was a fucking breaking ball, you sissy -- if he'd wanted to really get the point across (and if the bases hadn't been loaded), he'd have stuck a fastball in your earhole.

I'm hoping that's exactly what someone does during Kendall's first at-bat the next time these two teams play.

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