The Red Sox and Orioles have engaged in quite the skirmish over the past week and change, repeatedly throwing baseballs at each other and glowering just enough to get Rob Manfred to step in and tell them to cool it. By the time the commissioner gets involved in a confrontation like this, it’s usually good sign that the beef is done. Everyone on both teams knew that MLB brass wanted them to stop fighting, and that if they tried to reignite tensions, they would be swiftly ejected.
As Buster Olney noted, umpire Sam Holbrook had license to kick anyone out if they tried anything. Unfortunately, he took his duties too seriously and booted Kevin Gausman after he unintentionally hit Xander Bogaerts with a tame pitch in the second inning.
Unlike the 98 mph rocket that Chris Sale lobbed at Manny Machado yesterday, which was an obvious shot across the bow, Gausman hit Bogaerts with a hanging curve that clocked in at 76 mph. Despite animated protests from Gausman and other Orioles, Holbrook tossed Gausman without a second thought. He repeatedly yelled at Holbrook that he was throwing a curve, and announcers even noted the unintentionality of the pitch before Holbrook pulled the trigger.
Buck Showalter let Holbrook have it, and was eventually forced to replace Gausman with Richard Bleier. If this truly is the end of this beef for now, at least it was a suitably dumb end.