Benches clear in San Diego thanks to a Padres pitcher throwing his gum at Hector Sanchez

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Some serious “Play The Game The Right Way Theatre” going on in San Diego last night, as benches cleared in the ninth inning of the Giants win over the Padres. The reason? These two teams like to throw gum at each other.

You may recall that, earlier this season, Giants outfielder Angel Pagan angered the Padres when he flicked his gum in the direction of Derek Norris. This time the gum went the other direction.

Hector Sanchez hit a grand slam in the sixth inning. He flipped his bat a bit and watched the ball go out as he began his trot. Which, for Pete’s sake, is common enough these days and wasn’t even in the 30th percentile of showboating moves as far as these things go. The Padres pitcher who gave up the bomb, Dale Thayer, however, felt like this was some breach of decorum, apparently, and threw his gum at Sanchez as he trotted toward first base.

Because, clearly, someone who is concerned with decorum is in the right to take his spit-covered gum out of his mouth and throw it at someone. That’s some serious Emily Post crap right there. You can look it up.

In any event, Sanchez later grounded out in the ninth inning, but not before Shawn Kelley threw a couple of inside fastballs at him. Because, again, the proper and reasonable penalty for being happy that you literally did the best thing you can do as a hitter on a baseball field is to send purpose pitches a guy’s way.

As Sanchez walked back to the dugout he exchanged words with Kelley and the benches cleared:

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Just the latest bit of ridiculousness that I’m sure a bunch of ballplayers think is totally appropriate because, of course, there is only one way to play the game. And because for whatever reason, the Padres and the Giants can’t keep the gum in their mouths.

Aaron Judge out of Yankees starting lineup for finale after No. 62

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.

When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.

With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.

Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.

“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”

Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”

Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.

Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.