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Torrez Comes to the Set and Pitches… This Time in Court.

When Boston Red Sox fans hear the name of Mike Torrez, they immediately think of Bucky Dent and the homerun in the 1978 one game Red Sox-Yankee Playoff. However, Torrez has a role in Massachusetts courts where he served as an expert witness in a case in which a bullpen pitcher threw a ball that injured a fan.

Torrez testified to explain that the defendant Baltimore Oriole pitcher was acting appropriately when he continued to deliver his pitch in the bullpen even though the catcher had gotten up and started to walk away. At issue was whether the Oriole pitcher was just following through with his motion or intentionally trying to hit a heckling fan.

I’ve long since gotten over the one game playoff loss that Torrez suffered. For some reason, the 1975 loss to the Cincinnati Reds where the Red Sox led 3-0 in Game 7 hurts more. We haven’t even gotten to 1986 and Bill Buckner and then Game 7 where the Red Sox led 3-0 only to lose yet another World Series.

Since I’ve gotten over the 1978 loss, I’m willing to remember Mike Torrez in a different light, that of the expert witness. To me, he represents the notion that an expert need not have educational degrees to contribute something in a trial.

By the way, the trial resulted in a verdict for the defendant. Torrez won that one.

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