Just when you thought the drama in Boston might have peaked between the Red Sox and the Orioles—after Rob Manfred dialed up both teams yesterday and told them he had seen enough—all hell breaks loose again last night.
And it didn’t take long, either. Because in the bottom of the second, O’s starter Kevin Gausman snapped off a bender that never got back to the plate and ended up tagging Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts in the back.
Clearly not intentional. No one with 97 in their back pocket is sending a message with a 77 mile-per-hour hook. And if he was—it’s the first time in the history of the sport a pitcher used a breaking ball to leave a mark.
But don’t tell that to home plate umpire Sam Holbrook who ran Gausman before Bogarts could even take his first step to first base:
One of the Worst ejections ever. If you’re going to dot a guy, you dot a guy, and you don’t do with a breaking ball. Everyone knew it, except for the one who guy had the authority to run him: the home plate umpire. And that’s exactly what he did.
Dustin Pedroia was right when he said the Red Sox completely mishandled the situation when Matt Barnes threw at Manny Machado’s head. And now, blue just did them one better. Because you expect those baseball vigilantes to do that sort of thing, but not the umps.
Now that Manfred picked up the blower to tell both teams to chill the hell out, he should make the same call to the Holbrook and his crew. And I’ll stand by what I said yesterday. The Red Sox were wrong to still be throwing at Machado after missing him four times already. And in this case, Gausman wasn’t throwing at Bogaerts. And because he wasn’t, and the O’s had to go their bullpen in the second inning, they had every reason to be pissed. And no one was more pissed that Oriole catcher Caleb Joseph who let rip with some straight fire.
Here’s to hoping no one on either side does anything stupid tonight. And that the umps don’t snap again with a quick trigger, and no one in the stands goes racial bomb on a player or another fan. This has been a pretty heinous series, from start to finish, and the second it does finally end, we’ll all be a helluva lot better for it. This has been a series for the ages, and for all the wrong reasons.