Source - Rick Honeycutt did not sound too pleased with how close the bullpens are to the Fenway Park stands according to SI’s Tom Verducci.
According to Honeycutt, Clayton Kershaw, who was appearing in his first game at Fenway Park, had some unpleasant run-ins with Red Sox fans during his warmups. Kershaw ended up surrendering five runs off seven hits in four innings during the team’s 8–4 Game 1 loss.
The bullpen is approximately three feet away from bleacher seats.
“Brutal. Pretty brutal,” Honeycutt said. “What I don’t understand is why baseball allows it. You’ve got the rubber right there and people literally standing over you.”
Oh the humanity! Imagine Rick Honeycutt’s pitchers having to endure the horror … the horror … of having to warm up within vocal range of the people paying money to watch Rick Honeycutt’s pitchers pitch. How can anyone expect Clayton Kershaw to stretch his arm out while enduring taunts of ticket buyers for the lousy $215,000,000 the Dodgers are paying him? Where’s the Player’s Association on this? Where’s OSHA? Where’s Amnesty International, for Christ’s?
And to be fair to Rick Honeycutt, it’s not like the bullpens have always been there, amirite? As far as I know, they only put them in front of the bleachers to make right field a shorter porch for lefty hitters. One lefty hitter in particular, actually. Ted Williams. In 1940. So you can’t expect his staff to be ready for it. Give them some time to adjust.
Besides, he’s not wrong. I practically grew up in those bleachers back when it was governed by Shillelagh Law, with a fight every half inning, when the pot smoke was so thick overhead it formed a cloud that rained bong water down on you and if the death toll was in the single digits the Boston PD considered it a good day. And the people in the front half of sections 40-43 felt like if they didn’t reduce at least one opposing pitcher to tears, they hadn’t done their job. So I’m sure last night the guys paying hundreds for those seats were carrying on the fine tradition of those ancient rowdies.
Funny thing about that. At Dodgers stadium, the bullpens are wedged in between two sections of stands. One with upper decks, no less. I wonder why Honeycutt never experienced so much fan noise there?
I guess in LA they know how to behave. By staying away. Whereas Fenway gives the Sox an unfair advantage.
So yes, it’s unconscionable that Red Sox fans would try to rattle Kershaw instead of politely letting him go about his business quietly so he can get into the proper head space. And I for one speak for all of us when I say how ashamed I am. And hope that tonight’s crowd doesn’t use Honeycutt’s complaining as incentive to make even more noise. That would be, to use his word, brutal. Pretty brutal.