Alfredo Aceves had a game for the ages on Tuesday night. The controversial Boston Red Sox starter had just about as bad a day as humanly possible yesterday against the Oakland Athletics—and it continued on into the post-game show.
Aceves surrendered eight runs (seven earned) in 3 1/3 innings, while giving up seven hits, walking four, and balking twice. He also gave up a two-run homer, committed a throwing error, and failed to cover first base on a ground ball to the right side. By the time the right-hander was yanked from the game, the Red Sox were down 8-0.
Needless to say, Aceves’ final stat-line was something straight out of a Little League scorebook. But it wasn’t nearly as impressive as what he had to say after the game.
“We got out hacks. Why don’t we hit?”
Umm, what? It should be pointed out here that English is not Aceves’ first language, so his words may not entirely represent what he was thinking. Still though, is there any reason to bring up the Red Sox offense after that type of a pitching performance?
But wait, there’s more…
“You guys just see the errors, the runs, the hits, whatever. It’s really hard to get through that plate. For whatever reason, the strike zone got small. Obviously you guys don’t see it that way. You see the runs. As a pitcher, man, it’s not easy. Also, the weather, whatever weather it is, we should be able to play. Also it don’t matter what score it is. We’ve got to have our backs, not because it’s 10 or 13, I’m going to sit back and relax for the next game. No, there’s no second game. We’ve got to have our backs. Pretty much that.”
Pretty much what? What did you just say, Alfredo? How does one interpret that nonsense? It seems to me that he was blaming the umpire and the weather at first, but then decided to call out his teammates. Was he saying that the offense can’t “sit back and relax” just because they were down 13 runs? Was he saying that the offense has to “have his back” when he pitches poorly? I think that’s exactly what he was saying. What a clown.
If you ask me, if a guy like Aceves is having trouble getting his point across in English, he should either just answer the questions in his native language and have someone translate or refrain from giving interviews altogether. The Red Sox are off to a nice start, and the last thing they need right now is some goofball stirring up controversy in the clubhouse.
If I were Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, I’d be on the phone nonstop until I found a sucker—er, taker—for Aceves. Despite his dreadful outing, the pitcher still holds some value, so I don’t think the Red Sox should just outright release him.
(JM Catellier is the author of the book Fixing Baseball, a guide to restructuring the Hall of Fame. Follow him on Twitter: @FixingBaseball and Facebook, and check out his site: www.fixingbaseball.com)