A batter took a baseball to the ass, the benches cleared, and both managers got in each other’s faces in today’s Royals-White Sox game, all because a pitcher was irritated that the batter celebrated his sweet home run.
In the bottom of the fourth, White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson crushed a two-run shot off Royals pitcher Brad Keller, and flung his bat toward his own dugout before he ran the bases. It was a quality tater, and there was nothing antagonistic about the flip—Anderson’s reaction was directed at his teammates.
Maybe the Royals saw the bat toss as the last straw for a beef that had been simmering since last season. Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez had been miffed that Anderson cursed on two separate occasions after hitting home runs in 2018, although it seemed to be water under the bridge when the pair shook hands after the second instance. Here’s what Perez said to the Kansas City Star at the time:
As soon as he scored, I was like, hey bro that was the second time. He did that in opening day. He did the same thing, said a bad word. He don’t even play a ... playoff game. He don’t know about getting excited or not. He gotta be in playoffs to be excited, like us. We got a World Series. To get excited like that. That’s a game. That’s a simple game. That’s the second time, so I said something to him.
Back to today: When Anderson was at the plate again in the sixth, Keller planted the first pitch directly on the infielder’s buttcheek. Royals catcher Martin Maldonado tried to keep the peace, but the two dugouts emptied so that everyone could look very tense. Just as it looked like the sides had settled down, White Sox skipper Rick Renteria and Royals manager Ned Yost yelled at each other, and everyone went back to shoving and complaining. Here’s a helpful seven-minute recap of everything after the plunk:
In the end, umpire Joe West ejected Keller, Renteria, Royals bench coach Dale Sveum, and ... Anderson? The White Sox player already took a baseball to the rear; wasn’t that punishment enough? Maybe West, like the Royals, also has a long memory.