With the White Sox 7-0 over the crosstown Cubs in the eighth inning on Wednesday night, Sox center fielder Alejandro De Aza stepped up to the plate to face Cubs reliever Manny Corpas. Here's what happened:
“I don't know, but the way he threw that ball, I think it was on purpose,” De Aza said after the game. It certainly looks as though De Aza's interpretation is correct.
Apparently, it all stemmed from De Aza's decision to steal second base in the previous inning, when the Sox were up 6-0. That, of course, is a grave affront in baseball. Among written rules, though, this is perhaps the dumbest. These aren't emotionally tender Little Leaguers; these are professionals, with big-boy pants and everything. If the Cubs would prefer not to allow a stolen base under such conditions, then may I suggest holding the runner and/or throwing him out?
As for Cubs manager Dale Sveum, presumable source of the revenge tactic, he acted none the wiser. “I don't know," Sveum said. "He hit him. It happens sometimes."
And so do stolen bases.