The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Atlanta Braves had a little benches-clearing brouhaha in the first inning of their Monday night game, after Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove grazed the shirt of Braves batter Josh Donaldson and was assessed a hit-by-pitch. Donaldson seemed to smirk at Musgrove on his way out of the box; Musgrove chirped at Donaldson; Donaldson chirped back, and suddenly there were lots of het-up men on the field, performing anger at one another.
If you watch closely, you can see Donaldson shout what sure looks like, “What the fuck you lookin’ at, bitch,” at Musgrove right before things get overheated. This was all super, super dumb and avoidable. Where it gets especially funny, though, is in the aftermath, when all of Donaldson, Musgrove, and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle were ejected. The Braves will survive without Donaldson’s .773 OPS for a night, and a full half of a baseball manager’s job is knowing when to get ejected, but the loss of Musgrove really, really hurts for the Pirates. According to Pirates beat reporter Adam Berry, the Pirates don’t have a starting pitcher scheduled for either of their next two games, and the guys they’re looking to plug in for Thursday’s start are, well, they’re not so good:
So instead of getting a quality start out of Musgrove, the Pirates get an unscheduled bullpen game ahead of a stretch where they literally have no starters. All of which throws the stupidity of Monday night’s dick-measuring contest into hilarious relief. Musgrove and Donaldson have no particular history, and these teams are not rivals. And the ball that “hit” Donaldson didn’t actually hit him at all. There was no reason for anyone involved to feel proud or pissed or slighted or triumphant, at all. But because a couple steakheads couldn’t resist a momentary vortex of pure airborne testosterone, the Pirates are going to be auditioning Thursday afternoon starters in the parking lot before the game. Keep your cool, baseball fellows.