OAKLAND, Calif. -- Tim Hudson was involved in a minor
confrontation at a Boston bar on Friday night, but the Oakland Athletics said it didn't cause the injury that limited him to one inning in his start two days later.
A's manager Ken Macha told ESPN on Monday that Hudson and left-hander Barry Zito were signing autographs at the bar on the night before Game 3 of Oakland's Division Series against the Red Sox.
The players and Hudson's brother had to be separated from
several Red Sox fans after a confrontation, but Hudson told Macha
no punches were thrown. Hudson wasn't on the field before Game 5 on
Monday night, and players usually aren't available to reporters
before playoff games.
"I think it's a non-issue," Macha said earlier Monday. "He's
sitting there, and he's amazed at what this thing has been blown
out to. It's a non-issue."
The San Francisco Chronicle quoted unidentified sources Monday
describing a wild brawl at Q, a Faneuil Hall-area bar/dance club, between Hudson and several
patrons. The bar's manager, Noel Gentelles, denied the reports to
The Associated Press.
"That's all blown out," Gentelles said. "Tim Hudson was here,
but there was no fight. There wasn't a fight at all."
However, a Q security guard, who spoke to the Chronicle on the condition his name not be used, called the incident "a big melee" and said Hudson "was throwing haymakers."
"It was five minutes of mayhem," the security guard said.
According to witnesses at Q, Zito took a seat at the bar, while Hudson was standing in front of the bar in a different area.
It was there, the witnesses said, that Hudson was confronted by a young man who made an obscene gesture in Hudson's face and verbally attacked the pitcher. Hudson "laughed it off," sources said, but the patron persisted. Hudson then made an obscene gesture at the young man, who proceeded to spray Hudson with beer. It was then that punches flew. It is unclear from the witnesses who threw the first punch, though one witness said it was Hudson.
Hudson left Game 4 before the second inning with a strained
muscle in his left side. He underwent an MRI in Oakland on Monday
before Game 5, and was scheduled to be examined by team doctor
The A's didn't rule Hudson out of a relief appearance in the
decisive game if he showed significant improvement.
"He said he got hurt on the mound, and that's all I believe,"
A's trainer Larry Davis said. "If Tim says he can't go, you assume
that's a significant amount of pain. He's very unhappy this
happened to him. You get angry with your body because it's not
doing what you want it to."
Hudson won 16 games this season as one of the AL's top starters,
but he has a history of postseason struggles. He has won just once
in six playoff starts, and he got a no-decision in Game 1 despite
leaving with a one-run lead after 6 2/3 innings.
Last October, he had a similar problem with strained muscles
while going winless with a 6.23 ERA in two starts against
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.