Bobby Valentine introduces Aceves-ology to Harvard curriculum
|09.13.12 at 12:09 am ET|
The moment was highly unusual.
Alfredo Aceves had permitted two runs in the top of the seventh inning, as Derek Jeter grounded a single to right as a prelude to a mammoth home run by Curtis Granderson (previously 0-for-10 with six strikeouts against the Sox reliever) that spread the game out and put the Sox in a 5-1 hole. Aceves rebounded to retire the next two batters, but when he gave up a ringing double to center by Nick Swisher with two outs, manager Bobby Valentine exited the dugout to pull Aceves in favor of Chris Carpenter.
The normal process for an exchange is familiar: The pitcher hands the ball to the manager, gets a pat on the back and proceeds to the dugout. Not this time.
Aceves had given the ball to a teammate. When Valentine received it near the rubber, the right-hander stood a few feet from his manager on the back of the mound. Instead of passing Valentine on his way back to the dugout, Aceves — after a few moments in which the two stood at an awkward distance — turned around and walked off the back of the mound, took a wide right turn around all of his teammates on the mound and headed for the dugout without ever passing by Valentine.
“I was there. I was standing up. I didn’t have the baseball with me, so what am I going to do? I’m going to go away from the field. What am I going to do?” Aceves said when asked about his exit route. The right-hander — who was suspended in late-August by Valentine after he tore off his uniform on the field, and upon his reinstatement, was used four times in five days while logging 143 pitches — insisted that he was “not upset” when leaving the game.
“I got a bad day,” said Aceves. “Like I say, tomorrow is a new day.”
Asked if he had any issue with Valentine, Aceves insisted that was not the case.
“No. No. I’m good, yes, thank you. I’m good,” said Aceves. “Ask him if he’s good. I don’t know.”
Valentine was initially circumspect when asked about his pitcher’s unusual path to the egress.
“I got the ball. He didn’t give it to me. I’m not going to address that subject,” Valentine said.
When asked if Aceves “showed him up” with his actions,
“I’ll have to look at it,” he said before pausing. “And who cares if he showed me up? If I have to explain Aceves’s actions, I’ll wind up going across the river and work for Harvard.”
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