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:
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.