The Boston Red Sox are three days removed from their weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays and five days removed from Friday’s heated contest, yet the questions surrounding the teams’ feud don’t appear to be going anywhere.
Red Sox manager John Farrell, who was ejected in the first inning Friday for arguing after Rays starter David Price drilled David Ortiz, still is trying to wrap his head around why everything unfolded the way it did.
“An explanation was had, but still a differing of opinion. Anytime you get ejected, you have thoughts in a certain way,” Farrell said Wednesday on WEEI’s “Dale & Holley.” “(Umpire) Dan Bellino took exception to those thoughts, and obviously the ejection did take place. But there were no warnings issued prior to Saturday’s game. There was an awareness or a heads-up given prior to the series beginning. … You’re going to have different sides of it, and our side was certainly different than what the umpires and certainly what Tampa thinks.”
Red Sox starter Brandon Workman was handed a six-game suspension Tuesday for throwing behind Rays third baseman Evan Longoria in the sixth inning of Friday’s game. Price, meanwhile, escaped with just a fine despite plunking Ortiz and Mike Carp, setting off a bench-clearing altercation in the process.
“I understand that they want to protect people and not put guys at risk for potential injury, but still, David Ortiz didn’t get injured, no one else got injured, yet we had three guys hit by pitches that night,” Farrell said Wednesday. “We’re the only team getting ejections coming out of the Friday night game, so when you add it all up, it doesn’t make sense.”
Friday’s squabble marked the second time in six days the Red Sox and Rays emptied the benches, as Boston outfielder Jonny Gomes and Tampa Bay shortstop Yunel Escobar were at the heart of an incident May 25 at Tropicana Field. But even though there was a heightened awareness going into Friday’s series opener, Farrell was surprised when tempers flared early and often.
“Nope, I didn’t anticipate anything, actually,” Farrell said. “A lot of people want to refer to the Sunday game in Tampa five days prior. We thought that was pretty much a done deal at the time. By their comments afterwards, David Ortiz being hit was not a result of Sunday’s game but last postseason. You don’t go into a game thinking someone is going to get drilled in the first inning.”
The Red Sox-Rays rivalry once again was renewed over the weekend. It should be interesting when the teams hook up in St. Petersburg at the end of July, as the tension between the clubs doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.