By now everyone knows about or has seen the brutal right hook José Ramírez planted on Tim Anderson on Saturday night.

What you may not know is what actually sparked the heavyweight bout on the base path that night between the Cleveland Guardians third baseman and Chicago White Sox shortstop.

“I think he’s been disrespecting the game for a while,” Ramírez told reporters through Cleveland Guardians’ interpreter Agustin Rivero following the game. “It’s not from yesterday or from before. I even had the chance to tell him during the game, ‘Don’t do this stuff; that’s disrespectful, don’t start tagging people like that.’

“Because in reality, we’re here trying to find ways to provide for our families. When he does a thing like he does on the bases, it can get somebody out of the game. So for me, I was telling him to stop doing that, and then as soon as the play happened, he tagged me again really hard, more than needed, and then he just said, ‘I want to fight.’ And if you want to fight, I have to defend myself.”

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Prior to the hard tag, Anderson caught some backlash for a tag in Friday night’s game between the Guardians and White Sox. Anderson in the fourth inning laid down a tag on Brayan Rocchio, who was initially called safe. It appeared Anderson pushed his hand off the bag, tagging him in the process. New York reviewed the play and overturned it, calling Rocchio out.

“He’s been doing that, but also, yesterday was a reinforcement,” Ramírez added. “What bothered me, is he’s a younger guy, a rook, new to the league, recently called up, so he might not react like that. When he did it again, his first reaction is ‘I want to fight’; at that point, I have to defend myself.'”

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While it was Ramírez’s first ejection in his 11-year career, he said he appreciated his teammates and manager Terry Francona having his back — not just in that situation, but in every game. When asked how he felt about the fight, Ramírez’s response elicited laughter from everyone in the room.

“I felt that I was able to land one,” Ramírez said through Rivero.

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Featured image via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images