White Sox Bullpen Coach Pondered Telling Pitching Staff To ‘Smoke [Joe] Mauer’
What was already going to be a hotly-contested three-game series between the Twins and the White Sox at Target Field might have a little more sizzle to it if inflammatory comments made by White Sox bullpen coach Juan Nieves during a radio show on Sunday gets back to the Twins clubhouse.
Courtesy of Minnesota beat writer LaVelle E. Neal’s Twins Insider blog on StarTribune.com comes news that Nieves, during an appearance on a radio program called “Coaches at the Cork” on Chicago’s 670 The Score (audio here, at about the 27:00 mark), admitted that he considered informing his pitchers to “smoke Mauer” in order to incite a brawl with the Twins, who currently hold a three-game lead in the AL Central over the Pale Hose.
“I’ve even thought of telling guys, ‘Hey Thornton, smoke Mauer, see if you can start a fight,” Nieves said. “We’re not afraid of anybody.”
While I have no doubt whatsoever that the ChiSox are not afraid of the Twinkies, I do have to question the wisdom of a member of a major league coaching staff practically admitting he would like to put a bounty on an opposing player’s head in order to start a bench-clearing brawl. Stuff like that should certainly be cause for concern in the Commissioner’s office as well as the locker room of the umps who will be working this series in Minneapolis.
As a Twins fan, I want to say, “OH NO HE DI’INT,” but as a baseball fan, I’m all for it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with adding a little fuel to the fire, especially in an already bitter rivalry.
Either way, tonight, it’s on. It’s on like Donkey Kong.
“In this corner, wearing black and white trunks………” [Twins Insider]