We know that in baseball, you're supposed to do what your manager tells you to do. Especially if you're a rookie. But what if your manager is about a half dozen different kinds of crazy and is named Ozzie Guillen? And what if the order is to go out and hit an opponent with a pitch? At what point do you go all Michael J. Fox in Casualties of War and say, "No, Sarge."?
Our protagonist is White Sox rookie reliever Sean Tracey. The scene is Arlington, Tex. Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynski had been beaned by Rangers' starter Vicente Padilla in both the second and fourth innings, and Tracey was brought in in the seventh to face Texas' Hank Blalock. According to one White Sox source, says the Chicago Sun-Times, Tracey was on goon duty; with specific instructions to hit Blalock. And Tracey indeed threw two pitches inside — both of which missed — before Blalock grounded out. That's when Guillen went a little nuts, angrily throwing a water bottle, pulling Tracey, and then yelling at him when he got back to the dugout. From the Sun-Times:
A Sox source said after the game that Tracey was informed he was being sent back down to Class AAA Charlotte. "Ozzie went nuts,'' one source said. "He had the ass, big-time.''
We're not sure what to think about this; baseball's "unwritten rules" have always confused us. It seems like a raw deal for Tracey, though, to be fair, as John Chaney can tell you, when coach tells you to go out and break an arm, you break the damned arm.
Sox Pitcher Dismissed After Miss [Chicago Sun-Times]