It’s a good thing that the Royals-A’s series ended yesterday, because if the two teams had to play again today, I fear that A’s third baseman Brett Lawrie would end up dead. Yesterday’s game brought an end to a three-day saga that featured a possibly dirty slide, an apparent case of mistaken identity, and some truly alarming head hunting.
Everything started on Friday night, when Lawrie injured Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar while making a hard slide into second base. Things got really weird after the game, when Lawrie claims he texted a long and heartfelt apology to Escobar only to get an angry reply from the still-fuming shortstop. But the next day, Escobar told reporters that he didn’t hear dick from Lawrie, which would mean that Lawrie not only texted the wrong person, but also got a reply from someone pretending to be Alcides Escobar. That would be very weird!
Of course, things didn’t end there. With Royals down 5-0 in the fourth inning of Saturday’s game, Yordano Ventura fired a missile into Lawrie’s elbow and proceeded to mean mug the hell out of him.
So the Royals got their payback and everyone was able to get on with their lives, right? Wrong! In the first inning of yesterday’s game, Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain took a fastball to the foot, which meant that it was once again time for Brett Lawrie to get his. In the eighth inning, Kelvin Herrera just missed Lawrie with a very high and very hard fastball, and then did the “I’m going to hit you in the head next time!” gesture during the ensuing fracas:
The weirdest thing about all of this is just how committed the Royals are to harming Lawrie. Yes, Lawrie is a bit of a knob and his slide into Escobar was sketchy, but he was also apologetic afterward and even handled his subsequent beaning as calmly as possible, heeding the Unwritten Rules and taking his base without even looking at Ventura. He didn’t even seem all that mad after the game in which Ventura hit him. Yet there was Herrera, throwing a very dangerous beanball—in a one-run game!—and completely losing his cool while Lawrie stood there and didn’t really say much. The Royals either really, really hate bro-ish Canadians, or Alcides Escobar is their favorite teammate. Either way, they need to chill a little bit.
For his part, Lawrie seems to have had enough of getting 100-mph fastballs fired at him, and he was not a happy camper during yesterday’s postgame chat:
The Royals and A’s start another series at the end of June. Here’s hoping that everyone will have calmed down by then, and that Brett Lawrie will have figured out just who the hell he was texting on Friday night.