Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Terry Francona Has Not Come to Eat Sabathia, Or to Beat Him

This was kind of interesting. Terry Francona was addressing the media recently, and trying to explain the Red Sox' uncanny success against C.C. Sabathia, who of course beats up every other team he faces.
Francona, who does the whole befuddled thing pretty well, was fairly befuddled to explain.

Reported the NY Times:

“Believe me, it’s not like we see him and say, ‘We’re going to punch up on this guy.’ But we did have good at-bats.”

Punching up on Sabathia, or, as Francona put it, not punching up on him. It's a good little sound bite.

Yet the Associated Press scribe, surely sitting in the same Dunkin Donuts-signage adorned Fenway press conference, heard it a little differently.

"Believe me, it's not like we go, 'We're going to lunch up on him.'"

Lunch up. I daresay it's an even better sound bite than punch up. You probably never heard lunch as a verb before, for starters, and it brings up the mental image of the likes of Youk, Ellsbury, Pedroia and Papi, napkins around necks, rubbing their hands as Sabathia is brought to the table. (J.D. Drew sadly had to miss the meal due to a strained pharynx.)

So was Francona saying his ballclub does not throw haymakers at the husky lefty, or it does not see him as a steak for 25?

The Providence Journal beat guy heard lunch.

Four years ago, RedSox.com had Francona saying about minor leaguer Jeff Bailey:

"He's the type of hitter that, in my view, can hit Major League pitching. He's lunching up on some average Triple-A pitching."

I will revisit this topic after, well, lunch.


Susan said...

That's interesting how two different people heard two different things. Did you read any other reports of this comment? Did the others have it as "punch up"?

The AP guy must've been really hungry after a long game.

Tim C. said...

Here's to "lunch up" catching on! Thing is, I can't get Sipowicz's voice out of my head from the old "NYPD Blue" series. He always used to warn suspects not to "LAWYER up." Sipowicz. There was a guy who could definitely "lunch up."