Purpose Pitch: Bobby Jenks Sends a Message

Sixty Feet, Six Inches Correspondent IMay 11, 2009

CHICAGO - APRIL 29:  Bobby Jenks #45 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the game on April 29, 2009 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

I am not a huge fan of the White Sox in general, but considering the fact that only a few days ago I said that the Mets should throw at Shane Victorino, I feel like I should share this video, which shows White Sox closer Bobby Jenks throwing at Texas Ranger Ian Kinsler.

I find it interesting for a few reasons. First of all, it shows how much the WGN White Sox crew sucks. Listen to them go apoplectic over the umpire warning both benches, and then read this quote from Jenks:

"Yeah, I wanted to go in and send a message, and I think that message was sent. Basically, I was saying, 'I'm sick of seeing our guys get hit and hurt and almost get taken out of the game.' I threw it with intention."

The warnings were warranted, and Hawk Harrleson is a moron. I'm just saying.

The more important thing, though, is that I'm with Jenks. They had a lot of hitters getting pegged in that game, and when that happens it falls to the pitching staff to stand up for the rest of the team.

And, Jenks was able to send his message in a fairly safe way. He didn't throw at Kinsler's head, aiming instead for the lower body. And, though he didn't actually hit him, the message was clearly sent by throwing behind him instead of in front of him.

The only real problem is that instinct prompts the hitter to jump backward, so throwing behind a hitter is more dangerous than in front of him. But all told, Jenks handled his business pretty well.

I'm not saying that this should be happening in every game, and maybe Jenks overreacted to what may have been accidental HBPs. It was a one-run game in the ninth inning, after all, and this business is maybe something that could have been dealt with the next time the White Sox and Rangers play.

But this is a part of baseball, and it's sometimes a necessary thing. Handling it well is important, and I think Jenks did that to an extent.

 


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