Near-brawls over the weekend involving Boston athletes (Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett and Celtics guard Ray Allen) triggered a discussion in the Daily Forty-Niner newsroom over whether or not the stars should be disciplined for their actions. Sports editor Tracy McDannald, assistant sports editor Danny Lee and staff writer Matt Moreno chimed in on this topic.
Matt Moreno: Josh Beckett is a punk. He had no business throwing at Abreu when his catcher is setting up down and away. Beckett’s problems didn’t start with that pitch; it actually started with the previous batters when he took just as long to throw home as he did in the Abreu at-bat.
Danny Lee: You guys are big-time Angel homers so it’s no surprise where you stand on this matter. I hate Boston too, but Beckett could have seriously injured himself if he were to abruptly stop his arm motion during the wind-up. The best thing to do was to release the ball.
Tracy McDannald: What’s really stupid is how Torii Hunter ends up getting ejected in the whole thing, but Beckett is allowed to remain in the game. Beckett is the one who got in a shouting match with Abreu, and then with [manager] Mike Scioscia. He even stepped toward the plate just to mouth off.
MM: Even though Beckett was the main instigator in the whole thing I think you also have to blame the entire umpiring crew. There is no reason why four Angels should get ejected while no Red Sox get ejected without any blows being thrown. On the surface it appears to be nothing more than favoritism towards the great Boston Red Sox. They can do no wrong in the eyes of the MLB.
DL: Speaking of Boston, Beckett isn’t the only Boston-area star who’s in the news this week. Did you see when Ray Allen accidentally caught Anderson Varejao’s “lower extremities” with his elbow in Sunday’s game?
MM: Varejao didn’t go out of control when he first got hit, so Cavs fans should just let it go. There are so many other things like this that go unseen during normal play that we don’t even know about.
DL: Ray Allen is known as a class act throughout the league. Varejao is known as a flopper. C’mon, who’s side are you going to take? The fact that a guy who’s known for exaggerating pain didn’t flinch after taking a hit to uh…that area shows that there was no harm done. The Cavs and their fans are just being soft crybabies.
TM: Watch the slow-motion replay. The force Allen uses is far from an accident. There is a code among men: Do not aim for the groin! If anything, Varejao was calm about it when he could’ve easily retaliated.
If Allen would’ve just shoved Varejao away, then it would be fine. Hit his legs, yell at him … anything but a low blow.
MM: There’s no need to go crazy, just take it out on them in the playoffs. Or if they feel the need to retaliate, just drop an elbow on him to make it even.