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 and the benches emptied onto the field. Order was quickly restored and play resumed with home plate umpire Todd Tichenor issuing warnings to both teams. Manager Joe Girardi wanted to know why Happ wasn’t ejected, earning him an ejection. The Yankees would finish the inning without scoring a run.
In the bottom of the second, Severino began the inning with two inside fastballs at Justin Smoak. Severino was ejected immediately 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.
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.
The Marlins’ pregame remembrance of Jose Fernandez was tough enough to watch and the emotions kept flowing in the bottom half of the first inning against the Mets. Dee Gordon, who normally bats left-handed, stepped into the right-handed batter’s box wearing Fernandez’s helmet. He took the first pitch for a ball, then switched back to batting left-handed. He took another ball, then drove a 2-0 Bartolo Colon fastball way out to right field for a leadoff solo home run.
Gordon wept openly as he rounded the bases. Marcell Ozuna, waiting in the on-deck circle, hugged him tightly as he returned to the dugout. Gordon was met with hugs from the rest of his teammates. Colon waited on the mound to allow the Marlins to take in the moment.