There were plenty of harsh words and flying fists last Sunday when the Boston Red Sox came to St. Petersburg to play the Tampa Bay Rays. Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar reportedly started some banter towards the Red Sox dugout once he reached third base and it quickly escalated.
Despite all the hoopla that you just witnessed, the two sides claim they’re done fighting and that they won’t carry anything over from Sunday when the Rays go to visit Boston for a three game series starting tonight.
“As far as we’re concerned, it’s over with,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s time to play baseball. Let’s not worry about all this goofy little trivial (stuff) that means nothing.”
Former Rays outfielder Jonny Gomes says it’s a “total non-issue now.”
Here’s how it went down, according to The Times.
Gomes, along with Yunel Escobar and INF Sean Rodriguez were ejected from the incident, which started when Escobar took third base on defensive indifference with the Rays up five runs in the seventh. Escobar, pointing out Red Sox OF Jacoby Ellsbury did the same thing up six in the eighth inning during the playoffs, got caught up in the moment, exchanging barbs with the Boston dugout. That’s when Gomes came in from leftfield to get involved.
Gomes claims that Escobar started it, saying he went out of his way to start something. No matter, he says it’s behind him.
He says he won’t charge if something does happen to carry over and he gets hit by a pitch, which is a typical response by teams with harsh feelings trying to send a message. Allbeit dumb (you give up a base runner when you hit a batter), it happens.
“If they hit me I’m not going to charge,” Gomes said. “I’ll be fine. I’m happy getting to first base. If they want to send a message, please let it be me.”