The Yankees and Rays are battling for the top of the AL East this season (and most likely seasons to come). The Yanks have been pitful against Tampa Bay this year, but last night they were about to close the doors on a 5-3 victory. Aroldis Chapman came up in the 9th to close out the game. The closer threw a hot 99 mph pitch up and towards the head of Rays batter Michael Brosseau during their matchup. After Brosseau struck out, he walked back to the dugout and had some choice words for the Yankees players. This caused both benches to be cleared. As always, Jomboy gives MLB fans a great breakdown.
After the final out, the teams yelled at each other in front of the Rays dugout, even though all players were told before the season that bench-clearing incidents would not be tolerated due to COVID-19 safety precautions. The root cause of the tempers flaring was when Masahiro Tanaka hit Joey Wendle with a fastball in the first inning. Both Cash and Wendle believed it was intentional. The straw that broke the camels back was Chapmans pitch. Although nothing came into fruition that night, both Chapman and manager, Aaron Boone, kept their composure. Rays manager Kevin Cash, however, did not.
“Somebody’s got to be accountable,” Cash said. “And the last thing I’ll say on this is I got a whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98 mph. Period. It's absolutely ridiculous. It was mishandled by the Yankees. Certainly the pitcher on the mound. It was mishandled by the umpires." The real kicker from his comments was when he suggested retaliation.
The suspensions are what are head-scratchers. They gave Chapman a three-game suspension for "intentionally throwing" at Brosseau. They stated that he has been disciplined in the past for throwing at heads. It was a scary pitch, without a doubt, but it is hard to believe that it was on purpose. The game was close, it was the bottom of the ninth, and the Yankees have lost multiple games to the Rays AND they are battling for the top of the AL East.
Aaron Boone got a one-game for Chapman's actions. Although the manager stated he "respects the process" he doesn't feel he should be sitting out. I think most of the baseball world could agree to that too. Boone said he might reflect tonight and “tighten up my coaching techniques,” firing back at Cash’s criticism of the Yankees’ coaching, but he called Cash’s remarks “reckless and inflammatory.”
How does Kevin Cash also only receive a one-game ban, when he approached the umpire and stated "throw me out anyway" and then barked a comment of "we have a stable full of pitchers who throw 98mph", instigating a retaliation. What Cash said was embarrassing the game and to his team, and a one-game timeout doesn't do squat.
Even if the Yankees were in the wrong, Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier blamed Nevin for instigating a postgame war of words that could’ve led to a brawl. “Once again their third-base coach was just always being that guy. It is what it is. I’ve said it before: We don’t like them, they don’t like us.” However, Nevin received no games.
We can toss this in the bucket of "Manfred doesn't know anything about the MLB", again. Commissioner Rob Manfred is a joke. He whiffed on the whole "Astros Cheating Scandal", giving the team absolutely a gift of a sentence. He handed Dodgers Pitcher, Joe Kelly, a hefty suspension for "taunting" the Astros, and he mismanaged the COVID return plan, causing the season to delay even further resulting in a flurry of responses from the players and the front offices. To put it in perfect words, Manfred is a JABRONI
a foolish or contemptible person
At the end of the day, the teams have history, and the rivalry is only growing stronger. Both teams are talented, competitive, and fighting to win. It will be quite the story to follow along during the remainder of the season and the future. Yankees face the Rays tonight for the series finale. Tensions will be high, and I wish CC could be there.