A movement to change the name of the public street where the Boston Red Sox play their home games is now in the hands of the city.
The Red Sox submitted a petition to the Boston Public Improvement Commission, requesting that Yawkey Way be returned to its original Jersey Street name as a symbol of inclusion, the team announced Wednesday. The filing of the paperwork comes six months after Red Sox owner John Henry told the Boston Herald that he is “haunted” by the legacy of former owner Tom Yawkey.
The portion of Jersey Street that houses Fenway Park was renamed in honor of Yawkey in 1977. During Yawkey’s ownership, the Red Sox were the last team in Major League Baseball to integrate the roster, waiting until Pumpsie Green made the team in 1959, 12 years after Jackie Robinson’s debut.
“Restoring the Jersey Street name is intended to reinforce that Fenway Park is inclusive and welcoming to all,” the team said Wednesday in a statement.
According to the Red Sox, they have the cooperation of all Yawkey Way abutters. The D’Angelo family owns a souvenir store on Yawkey Way, and Samuels & Associates also has property on the street.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has said he is in favor of the name change.
In a statement, the Yawkey Foundation said it intends to protest the name change, which it described as a “drastic action.”
“We urge the commission to consider all the facts concerning Tom Yawkey’s ownership of the Red Sox and the sweep of his life,” the foundation said. “We are confident that if it does so, it will reject Henry’s petition.”
The Red Sox noted that the renaming initiative isn’t a reflection of the positive work that done by the Yawkey Foundation.
“It is important to separate the unfortunate and undeniable history of the Red Sox with regards to race and integration from the incredible charitable work the Yawkey Foundation has accomplished in this millennium and over the last 16 years,” the Red Sox said in its statement.
“The positive impact they have had, and continue to have, in hospitals, on education programs, and with underserved communities throughout Boston and New England, is admirable and enduring. We have the utmost respect for their mission, leadership, and the institutions they support.”
Chicago White Sox’s Lance Lynn shuts out Kansas City Royals in home opener
“It’s awesome to get the first one, but it’s behind me,” Lynn said after the game. “They scored some runs, so I was able to hit cruise control. I was glad I was able to do it at home. That was the most exciting part of all of it.”
Lynn, who threw 111 pitches, is the third pitcher in franchise history to strike out at least 11 hitters without issuing a walk in a shutout. He gave up five hits, with just two Royals reaching as far as second base. Lynn was asked if his pregame bullpen session gave him a hint he’d have a big night.
“Was the typical ‘felt terrible, had success’ situation,” Lynn said with a smirk. “As the game went on, with rain showers and stuff, we were able to get through some things. Once the pitch count started to build up, I started to get loose and everything felt good.”
Lynn’s feat barely overshadowed another good night at the plate for rookie Yermin Mercedes, who homered and singled in four at-bats. He’s hitting .556 with five extra base hits on the young season.
The Sox came out swinging after a rain delay that lasted 2 hours, 12 minutes. Yoan Moncada and Mercedes hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning giving Lynn an early lead and the ability to settle in right away.
Lynn is no stranger to throwing 100 pitches in a game, having done it a major league-high 45 times over the past three seasons. The only tough part came during that rain delay.
“It was extremely boring,” Lynn said. “There are no couches to sit on and you have to wear your mask the whole time. I sat in my locker, away from everyone, socially distanced.”
Lynn was an offseason acquisition from the Texas Rangers, sliding into the third slot in the rotation. After a high pitch count knocked him out after just 4⅔ innings in his first start of the season, he was able to last the distance in start No.2.
“From the first pitch on, he was just nails,” manager Tony La Russa said. “He had control of all his pitches. He was deceptive and his ball had life.”
The win evened the White Sox’s record at 4-4.
Before the game they placed outfielder Billy Hamilton on the injured list with a hamstring injury.
New York Mets get walk-off win vs. Miami Marlins on Michael Conforto’s controversial hit by pitch
With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth after Jeff McNeil had tied the game with a home run leading off the inning, a 1-2 pitch on the inside corner of home plate to Michael Conforto grazed his elbow pad as he leaned over the plate to give the Mets the victory.
Home-plate umpire Ron Kulpa initially started to ring Conforto up with strike three and then changed his call mid-motion to say the pitch hit Conforto.
The umpiring crew conferred on the call, but Kulpa’s decision stood. Under replay rules, a call on whether a pitch is in the strike zone when it touches a batter and whether the batter attempts to avoid getting hit is not reviewable.
On the other hand, Rule 5.05(b)(2) states that a batter is entitled to first base when he is hit by a pitch unless:
(A) The ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, or (B) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball; (2) If the ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a strike, whether or not the batter tries to avoid the ball. If the ball is outside the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a ball if he makes no attempt to avoid being touched.
After the game, Kulpa, in the pool report, acknowledged he made the wrong call, saying, “That guy was hit by the pitch in the strike zone. I should have called him out.”
“Not the way I wanted to win the ballgame,” Conforto said. “I wanted to go up there and drive the ball somewhere. From my point of view, it was a slider, felt it was coming back toward me. I turned. There may have been a little lift of my elbow just out of habit, out of reaction, and it barely skimmed the edge of my elbow guard. I did see that [Kulpa] rung me up. I think that’s why you didn’t see a reaction from me right away. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I knew there was going to be some controversy. Our first-base coach was yelling at me to get down there and touch the base and let’s get out of here.”
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said the umpires told him all they could review was whether the pitch hit Conforto. Whether or not Conforto turned into the pitch was a judgment call “and they wouldn’t get together on that.”
“I guess the toughest part is it’s just a strike. Kind of that simple,” Mattingly said. “You’d think with all the replay we do that you could say, ‘That ball’s a strike.’ I wonder what happens when they put the automated strike zone and it breaks the plane and the guy does that. I wonder if that’s a strike or not. I guess that’s for later.”
McNeil, who turned 29 on Thursday, led off the ninth inning of the team’s home opener against Marlins closer Anthony Bass with a long home run into the upper deck in right field, topped with a huge bat flip.
As for the ending? “That was pretty incredible,” McNeil said. “Just happened to nick Conforto there. We caught a break and just happened to win the game.”
Conforto said he had no idea what the rules were on the play until he saw it on TV screens in the clubhouse after the game.
“I guess it all came down to the call on the field,” he said. “I guess the controversy was he first called it a strike and then he said it hit me.”
Mets manager Luis Rojas said he thought the umpires made the right decision. “I saw the strike call and then I saw the hit by pitch,” he said. “Ultimately, the umpires have to make the right call. It’s an interesting call, for sure. The hand movement and trying to get out of the way caused the hit by pitch. But we’ll take the call.”
The Mets were happy to send their fans home with the win.
“Good to have the fans back,” Conforto said. “Good to have that atmosphere back. When Jeff hit that homer, the place just exploded. The roar from the crowd, we’ve been missing that.”
Eduardo Rodriguez wins for Red Sox in return from heart inflammation
BALTIMORE — Eduardo Rodriguez won in his return from heart inflammation that caused him to miss the 2020 season, allowing three runs over five innings to lead the Boston Red Sox over Baltimore 7-3 in the Orioles’ home opener Thursday.
Rafael Devers and Enrique Hernandez homered for the Red Sox, who have won four consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 14-18, 2019. Boston has scored 33 runs in the four wins after managing five while getting swept by the Orioles in a three-game series at Fenway Park.
A day after his 28th birthday, Rodriguez made his first big league appearance since Sept. 29, 2019, against the Orioles at Fenway Park.
He started last season on the injured list, and the Red Sox announced Aug. 1 that Rodríguez was going to miss the entire pandemic-shortened season because of myocarditis related to COVID-19. At the time, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said he was optimistic Rodriguez would pitch in 2021.
Rodriguez started this season on the injured list after experiencing a dead arm during spring training.
Rodriguez (1-0) gave up four hits, including two-run homers by Ryan Mountcastle in the first and Pedro Severino in the fourth — the first home runs allowed by Boston this season. Rodriguez struck out seven and walked none, throwing at up to 94.7 mph.
Orioles third baseman Rio Ruiz was hit on the left elbow by Rodriguez in the fourth, but the plate umpire Jeremie Rehak ruled he swung at the pitch. Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde angrily emerged from the dugout to protest the call and was ejected.
Matt Harvey (0-1), who didn’t get a decision in his Orioles debut last week at Fenway Park, allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings with five strikeouts and a walk.
Boston took a 4-3 lead in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Christian Arroyo and a run-scoring single by Franchy Cordero off Paul Fry, who was pitching for the second straight day and third time in four games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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