K-Rod confronts Bruney

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In case you missed it yesterday, here’s what Brian Bruney had to say about Francisco Rodriguez after Friday’s game:

“Unbelievable, I’ve never seen
anything like that. I have, but in high school. Couldn’t have happened
to a better guy on the mound, either. He’s got a tired act.”

He continued:

“He gets what he deserves, man. I just don’t like watching the guy pitch. I think it’s embarassing.”

The quotes were worthy of some chuckles initially, especially
considering the fact that Bruney can’t stay on the field, but the two
pitchers almost came to blows before Sunday’s game. Peter Abraham of
the Journal News relays the story:

Francisco Rodriguez tried to confront
Brian Bruney during batting practice today and was held back by Jose
Veras. The incident attracted enough attention that several Yankees,
including C.C. Sabathia, came over to keep the peace. Bruney was in
left field as the Yankees were finishing up their BP. The Mets were
coming into the field at the same time and Rodriguez went over to
Bruney and appeared to be yelling at him.

There were rumors of a video that showed Rodriguez pushing Bruney, but
that appears to be false. K-Rod tried to get to him, but was held back
by Mike Pelfrey.

When Abraham asked Bruney what happened, the pitcher said:

“We talked about our dinner plans. That was it.”

Who said the Subway Series had lost it’s luster?

Pirates looking for outside outfield help

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Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pirates GM Neal Huntington is looking for outside outfield help in the wake of Starling Marte‘s 80-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. With Marte out of the picture, the club moved Andrew McCutchen back to center field and have played Adam Frazier, John Jaso, and Jose Osuna in right field. But, as Brink points out, Osuna and Jaso — neither an outfielder by trade — misplayed balls over the weekend against the Yankees.

Among available free agents, the pickings are slim. There’s Coco Crisp, Jeff Francoeur, Cole Gillespie, Kelly Johnson, and Nolan Reimold (who is currently in independent baseball). The Pirates may have to find themselves a trade partner. They could also try to talk Angel Pagan back into action, as the veteran outfielder recently said he’s taking the year off. The Pirates could also look at Leonys Martin, who was recently designated for assignment by the Mariners.

Matt Barnes ejected after throwing at Manny Machado’s head

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On Friday, tension between the Orioles and Red Sox rose when Manny Machado spiked Dustin Pedroia sliding into second base. Although the umpires found no fault with Machado’s slide, third base coach Brian Butterfield was later ejected, still feeling like Machado wronged the Red Sox. Pedroia exited the game and was not in the lineup on Saturday or Sunday. He’ll undergo an MRI for his left knee and ankle in Boston on Monday.

For what it’s worth, Pedroia didn’t seem to feel any bitterness towards Machado for his slide. As MLB.com’s Jeff Seidel reported, Pedroia said, “I don’t even know what the rule is. I’ve turned the best double play in the Major Leagues for 11 years. I don’t need a … rule. The rule’s irrelevant. The rule’s for people with bad footwork.”

Tempers flared between the Red Sox and Orioles again on Sunday. In the bottom of the eighth inning with a runner on first base and one out with the Red Sox leading 6-0, reliever Matt Barnes threw a first-pitch fastball up-and-in to Machado. The ball actually hit Machado’s bat, so it counted as a foul ball. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher ejected Barnes and the Red Sox brought in Joe Kelly. Machado doubled on the first pitch Kelly threw to put the Orioles on the board, but the Orioles ultimately lost 6-2.

MASN’s broadcast later showed Pedroia talking to Machado, seemingly clarifying that Barnes acted of his own volition without encouragement from Pedroia. “You know that,” Pedroia appeared to say. “It wasn’t me. It’s them.”

Update: Pedroia even apologized to Machado and the Orioles, per Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.

Commissioner Rob Manfred will likely look into Sunday’s incident. He could fine and/or suspend Barnes.

The Orioles and Red Sox meet again in Boston for a four-game series May 1-4. It will be interesting to see if the tension still remains then.