BOSTON — Red Sox manager John Farrell addressed the media nearly four hours after being ejected from Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. His frustration still hadn’t subsided.
Farrell was ejected in the first inning of Friday’s 3-2 win for disputing home plate umpire Dan Bellino’s decision to issue warnings to both benches rather than eject David Price after Price drilled David Ortiz in the back with a first-pitch fastball. As far as Farrell is concerned, the umpires mishandled the situation and the game, which featured four ejections, all on Boston’s side.
“We fully expect these to be very competitive games,” Farrell said after the game. “They always are against Tampa. And there some different things that happened inside this game. When we have four people ejected and also have three people hit by pitches, and they have none, that’s a hard one to figure out.”
The first-inning incident jump-started an emotional night at Fenway Park. The benches emptied in the fourth inning after Price hit Mike Carp with a pitch. Bench coach Torey Lovullo, third base coach Brian Butterfield and Red Sox starter Brandon Workman all joined Farrell in being ejected Friday before A.J. Pierzynski gave Boston its second straight walk-off win in the 10th inning with a line drive into the triangle.
The end result — Boston’s fifth consecutive win — certainly was what the Red Sox were looking for, but the road to the victory was a frustrating one for those in Boston’s clubhouse, namely Farrell and Ortiz.
“David’s a heck of a pitcher. He comes in with two hit batters and eight walks on the year. He’s got the lowest walk rate in the American League. And when he throws a ball and hits David Ortiz in the back, there is intent to that,” Farrell said. “They can dispute that all they want. There is intent to that pitch. As emphatic as Dan Bellino’s warning was, it sure seemed like Dan Bellino felt like there was intent as well. I disagreed with it, he took the ball out of our hand. And then after Mike Carp got hit with a ball up around his neck and they didn’t make a move then, the umpires allowed this game to escalate even further.”
The Red Sox and Rays also had a benches-clearing incident Sunday at Tropicana Field, adding to a wild, fight-filled history between the teams. Given the information, it was somewhat surprising that Price was allowed to stay in the game despite hitting Ortiz, whom the Rays left-hander also had beef with during last season’s ALDS.
“I would assume there would be heightened awareness coming into this series,” Farrell said.
Apparently not. And that isn’t sitting well with the Red Sox skipper.