Kevin Millar, like many in the Boston clubhouse, is still scratching his head over Major League Baseball’s handling of the recent Red Sox-Rays altercation at Fenway Park.
Millar, now an MLB Network analyst, said Friday on WEEI’s “Middays with MFB” that he thinks Rays pitcher David Price should have been suspended for his role in the May 30 beef. Price, of course, drilled Red Sox DH David Ortiz in the first inning, setting the tempo for a wild contest that involved a bench-clearing incident in the fourth inning.
“I will say this, as much as I love Papi, and you know that I’m a Red Sox groupie, the moral of the story is Price said some interesting things, and I think he said something that stood out,” Millar said. “Guys like Miguel Cabrera, tremendous human beings. David Ortiz, tremendous human being. At the end of the day, you are a pitcher, and you have a family to feed also. So if you have a ball go inside — and this isn’t so much about David Ortiz, either … you have to back these guys off the plate at some point because they’re trying to get you out also.
“That pitch (to Ortiz) was on purpose, we know that. But in the big picture, to pound these guys inside, there’s going to be balls that get away. When Price said, ‘Nobody’s bigger than the game,’ on the other side of the dugout, and you’re not David Ortiz’s teammate, I can see where guys get rubbed the wrong way.”
Three Red Sox players were struck by pitches in the contest. Red Sox manager John Farrell, bench coach Torey Lovullo, third base coach Brian Butterfield and starter Brandon Workman all got ejected. Workman also received a six-game suspension that he has since appealed, while Price got off with just a fine.
“I think something should’ve been done league-wise,” Millar said. “When you suspend Workman, you have to suspend David Price. The only thing at the end of the day is you’re asking it to be fair. Major League Baseball, you have to be fair. I know there’s a fine in it, an undisclosed amount. David Price got fined, but we know the intent was to hit David Ortiz with that pitch, and once the league looks at it, he’s got to go for six games also. Not just Workman.
“[MLB] dropped the ball in the situation with David Price. … It’s a unique situation. Rarely do we see two stars going at it like they have, and this is a great rivalry. It’s turned into one of the great rivalries in baseball.”
The Red Sox and Rays will renew their rivalry July 25 at Tropicana Field.
Photo via Twitter/@IntentionalTalk