This morning’s New York Times article starts out as if this was something everyone knew about, but it’s the first I’ve heard of it:
What first raised suspicion among the 2001 A’s was an early May series in Toronto. Tejada and Blue Jays third baseman Tony Batista,
friends from the Dominican Republic, each put up terrific numbers. In
the three-game series, Batista went 6 for 13 with a home run and 5 runs
batted in, and Tejada was 4 for 10 with 9 R.B.I., including a home run in each game.
More significant in the eyes of some of the players was an incident in
the second game of the series. Tejada did not get to an easy ground
ball Batista hit off reliever Mark Guthrie with the Athletics leading,
8-2. When the inning was over, A’s players fumed on the bench.
Tejada, now 35, said his teammates were skeptical because Batista dropped a foul pop-up he hit in the previous game.
“I would never do that,” Tejada said. “I want to win. If my brother was on the other team, I would never help him.”
These incidents, and others, led to a supremely contentious closed-door meeting in the A’s clubhouse, and some of the guys from that team tell the tale. Contrast this to the anonymous accusations against A-Rod this past spring, and you have some great reading.
Emotions are apparently high all around baseball, not just in Miami. In Toronto, the emotion was anger between the Yankees and Blue Jays.
Josh Donaldson was hit by a Luis Severino 1-1, 97 MPH fastball with one out in the bottom of the first inning. In the top of the second, J.A. Happ threw to fastballs back-to-back that were up and in to Chase Headley. The second one hit him. The Yankees, understandably, were not too happy about it, but order was quickly restored and play resumed with home plate umpire Todd Tichenor issuing warnings to both teams. The Yankees would finish the inning without scoring a run.
In the bottom of the second, Severino began the inning with two up and in fastballs at Justin Smoak. Both Severino and manager Joe Girardi were ejected and the benches emptied again, this time with more anger. There was some yelling as well as some pushing and shoving.
It doesn’t appear that Severino appeared to intentionally hit Donaldson, but he very clearly intended to retaliate against Smoak. Happ has issued retaliatory beanballs before in defense of Donaldson. He did so on April 23 against the Athletics. Donaldson hit a home run in the second inning and was hit by a Liam Hendriks pitch in the sixth. Khris Davis led off the next inning for the A’s and Happ hit him with a pitch. Plus, Happ’s two pitches to Headley were both up and in.
Severino and Happ are likely looking at fines. There’s a possibility of suspensions as well. Happ, however, was not ejected from the game.
As expected, the Marlins and Mets paid their respect to pitcher Jose Fernandez prior to the start of Monday night’s game at Marlins Park. It was emotionally charged and very tough to watch without becoming a sobbing mess.
The stadium was as quiet as a library even before the P.A. requested a moment of silence. The Marlins’ players rubbed the chalk line, just as Fernandez used to do. The starters — sans starting pitcher Adam Conley — rallied around the pitchers’ mound. The Mets’ players poured out onto the field and removed their caps as the National Anthem was played.
Once the anthem was completed, the stadium remained quiet. The Mets and Marlins formed lines and went through hugging each player. The fans began chanting, “Jose, Jose, Jose!”
The rest of the Marlins joined the starters and they wrapped around the edge of the dirt on the pitcher’s mound. Some of them drew in the dirt with their fingers. Others rubbed dirt on their pants. Then, they huddled and Giancarlo Stanton gave a motivational speech of sorts. The players came in close and they all put their index fingers in the middle, pointed up at the sky, and broke the huddle to begin the game.
There is crying in baseball.