With the Red Sox having floated around a .500 record the entire season and yet to climb into the A.L. East race, Boston fans have been patiently waiting for a little excitement in their lives. Those who were in attendance at Fenway Park Friday night to watch the Red Sox take on the Rays got exactly that, as the division rivals cleared their benches in the ninth inning of Tampa’s 7-4 victory.
The beef started when Boston reliever Franklin Morales hit Rays DH Luke Scott with a pitch, after he had thrown behind him the pitch before. It seemed quite obvious that Morales was intentionally throwing at Scott considering his control was fine and he retired the first two batters of the inning. The benches cleared without any major fights breaking out, and after the game Joe Maddon was extremely frustrated with the way Boston handled the situation.
“Trust me, it’s not us (who initiated the altercation),” Maddon said according to the Boston Globe. “I have no idea on their side, but just watching the video, the people that were incensed, obviously they’re the ones that were probably behind the effort, the really weak, cowardly effort on their part.
“Did I say that strongly enough? Did I make my point?”
Dustin Pedroia was hit by a pitch earlier in the game, so it’s possible Morales was responding to that. Or, as Bobby Valentine reminded reporters, Scott may been targeted because of the derogatory comments he made about Red Sox fans and their ballpark over the offseason.
“The guy getting hit?” Valentine said. “Maybe it was the Ghost of Fenway Past remembering that he bad-mouthed all our fans and stadium.”
For his part, Scott handled himself well after the game. In fact, he basically admitted that he had it coming.
“I’ll respond this way: I respect every team and every player that I play against,” Scott said. “And from what I know about Morales, I know that he’s a pretty good guy. It’s obvious where it came from, and at the end of the day, you reap what you sow.”
Maddon concluded his mini-rant by adding that the Rays would never initiate that type of thing, but that they will “respond to others that do attempt to do it to us.” Earlier this season, Adrian Gonzalez was hit at Tropicana Field and the Red Sox responded by hitting Scott then as well. In other words, this thing is likely just getting started.
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