I realize this is over a week old and that Sox fans were all over it, but it completely eluded my radar, so it likely eluded the radar of others as well:
After Adrian Beltre clubbed a home run in Friday night’s game,
television cameras caught him in the dugout taking what looked like a
serious swing at catcher Victor Martinez. Turns out, he was taking a swing, and there was a perfectly good
explanation – if you’re someone who doesn’t like having their head
Martinez and Beltre are friends, but in the home run celebration,
Martinez touched the top of Beltre’s head — and the third baseman said
that’s something his fellow players know he absolutely hates. Beltre
reacted immediately, lashing out at Martinez.
The two were smiling throughout, but Beltre definitely put some force
behind his good-natured swing at Martinez.
“He knows I don’t like that. I don’t like anybody to touch my head,
and he knows it. He does it on purpose. So I’m not responsible for
everything that happens after that happens,” Beltre said.
Doesn’t saying something like this basically guarantee you a lifetime of head rubbing? It’s the equivalent of “psycho” from “Stripes” telling the platoon that he doesn’t like being called Francis.
Anyway, this would be a lot more interesting, I think, if the Sox were still struggling. Someone could legitimately get cold-cocked.
Twins third baseman Miguel Sano has been suspended one game for his role in Saturday’s altercation with the Tigers, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Sano will appeal his suspension, so he’ll be eligible to play until that is resolved.
On Saturday, Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones was hit in the face by Twins pitcher Justin Haley. The Tigers’ Matt Boyd threw behind Sano when he came to the plate in the fifth inning, seemingly exacting revenge. Sano took exception, catcher James McCann pushed his glove into Sano’s face, and the benches emptied. Both Boyd and Sano were ejected from the game.
Sano has hit well in the early going, batting .241/.413/.569 with four home runs and 14 RBI with an MLB-best 17 walks in 75 plate appearances. Losing Sano for only one game won’t be the biggest deal for the Twins. Eduardo Escobar would get the start at third base to fill in for Sano if he loses his appeal.
Boyd was fined an undisclosed amount and not suspended, per MLB.com’s Jason Beck.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes has been suspended four games and fined an undisclosed amount for throwing at Orioles third baseman Manny Machado on Sunday. Barnes was exacting revenge for Machado’s slide which injured second baseman Dustin Pedroia on Friday, and was ejected immediately after throwing the pitch at Machado.
Barnes is appealing his suspension, so he will be able to participate in games until the issue is resolved. The 26-year-old right-hander has a 3.60 ERA and an 11/6 K/BB ratio in 10 innings so far this season.
The suspension is rather light considering Barnes’ intent. Barnes missed, thankfully, as he hit Machado’s bat rather than his helmet. Had he hit his intended target, though, baseball might’ve been out one superstar third baseman. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote today that Major League Baseball needs to beef up its punishment for players attempting to injure other players. And he’s totally right about that. The punishment is neither enough to deter players from attempting to injure their peers, nor is it enough for teams to deter their own players from doing so.