Reds first baseman Joey Votto and Brewers catcher Erik Kratz got into a heated argument in the bottom of the third inning of Thursday evening’s game in Cincinnati. Junior Guerra threw a 3-1 fastball that was just a bit off the plate, but home plate umpire Roberto Ortiz called it a strike. Votto wasn’t happy, so he had some words with the ump. Kratz wasn’t happy with Votto, either because he was trying to get his strike zone shrunk or that he was taking a long time to get his point across. Kratz stood up and the two exchanged words face-to-face, and then the benches emptied. The players congregated around home plate, but just to exchange words. There were no punches thrown and no one was ejected.
The Brewers went on to win 6-4. After the game, when asked about the discussion the two had, Kratz said (via MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy), “Completely blown out of proportion, that’s all. We were discussing the Canadian dollar and flawed systems in our two governments. He was coming from a different side of it, and we were just discussing those kinds of things.”
Needless to say, Kratz had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek. It’s always amusing when players make up some innocuous topic to dance around explaining what was actually said. It’s also fun to imagine Kratz and Votto actually having such a conversation.