Red Sox witness a C.C. Sabathia meltdown over bunting
By Rick McNair
The Boston Red Sox faced a child on the mound when C.C. Sabathia decided that bunting had become an inappropriate baseball tactic. Time for C.C. to embrace baseball strategy and history.
This issue may increase the already potent Red Sox – Yankees rivalry. Many people call them “professional” baseball players, but occasionally those we look up to become “unprofessional” baseball players. Stupid comments proliferate in sports as excuses or some type of self-proclaimed ire over a game situation. Enter one: C.C. Sabathia.
Sabathia is in a snit over the Boston Red Sox actually bunting on him during a game. A little reflection here, C.C., and that is the art – now almost non-existent – of bunting is part of the game. Sabathia decided to match your average miscreant five-year-old over the Red Sox use of that very bunting tactic with some on and off field antics. Hey, C.C., when you are last in the American League in home runs you can go small ball.
"“I don’t give a f–k about their reaction,’’ “I don’t care what they have to say. I’m out there early every day. If they’ve got something to say, we can meet in center field.” – C.C. Sabathia"
One statistic that Sabathia may have missed is one known a BUH. Just what is BUH? That stands for bunt hits and the Red Sox have the grand total of nine this season. The Yankees? Why the boys in pinstripes have 12! Maybe Sabathia should put on a clubhouse Mr. Bluster act?
"“Literally, two of the hottest hitters in baseball bunting. If that was their strategy, I [handled] it.’’ – C.C. Sabathia"
Let’s face facts on Sabathia. His knees are shot and he will have some more cleanup done after the season. Sabathia even contemplated packing it all in over his physical condition. And physical condition also traces back to his size or weight. I doubt C.C. has pushed back on any post game buffets. The good news is pitchers throw with their arms and not their stomachs.
"“It’s just kind of weak to me,” Sabathia said. “I guess it is what it is. It just shows what they’ve got over there.” – C.C. SabathiaMore from BoSox InjectionRed Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports GroupBizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departureRed Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contractRich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB recordRed Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure"
Just who was Monty Stratton? Stratton was a right-handed hurler who had back-to-back seasons of 15 wins for the White Sox. Unfortunately, Stratton had a hunting accident and suffered the loss of a leg, but that did not deter Stratton, who attempted a comeback.
Stratton returned to the minors, eight years after his accident and won 18 games. Eventually, Stratton failed over an inability to field his position – primarily bunting. I cannot recall reading any temper tantrums being tossed by Stratton over this tactic.
Late in his career, the great Cy Young had a profile similar to Alfred Hitchcock. In fact, some even compared his physical appearance to President Taft. Young, hung around a few seasons with mediocre results, but Young also fell victim to small ball that contributed to his retirement.
Sabathia is now 11-5 for the Yankees and that represents his first season since 2013 with double-digit wins. This is also the last season that Sabathia is under contract so nothing like a nice contract push for another big payday.
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The impact on the Red Sox and game strategy is not going to change one iota over the prattling of Sabathia or anyone else. The Red Sox run aggressively and just maybe they will now embrace the bunt even further? Eduardo Nunez, Deven Marrero and even Sandy Leon have demonstrated the ability to use the bunt. Jerry Remy would be proud. The Red Sox should incorporate this into their game strategies even further.
A big thank you to Sabathia for giving Red Sox Nation another reason to hate the Yankees.