Photo c/o: Kathy Willens/ Associated Press
On Wednesday September 2nd, the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays were warned to not throw pitches at one another. What a hot start to September.
This rivalry truly started over the past few seasons when hostile hit-by-pitches were exchanged by players on both teams. However, in early August, the Yankees made it clear that they were bothered by the Rays throwing inside “purposely” at DJ LeMahieu and Gio Urshela. To sum this up, Tampa Bay outfielder Kevin Kiermaier shared, “We don’t like them, they don’t like us… it’s the same people chirping and trying to stir the pot.”
That statement says it all about the heated series the two MLB teams have shared since August. So, on Wednesday evenings when Aroldis Chapman, closer for the New York Yankees let a 101-mph fastball come in close contact to infielder Mike Brosseau’s head, benches cleared. It seemed like this game was going to turn into a brawl until the MLB intervened and suspended Chapman for three games and fined an unsaid amount for what the league said of unintentional throwing at Brosseau’s head. If this was not penalizing enough to Yankee fans, manager Aaron Boone was also suspended for one game and fined for Chapman’s actions. Nevertheless, Aaron Boone was not the only manager who got disciplined. MLB had to deal with Tampa Bay Manager, Kevin Cash and the comments that he continued to make about the yankee teammates and management. With that being said, he was also suspended for one game and fined for running his mouth.
During the post game on FOX Sports & Fox Sports Go!, one of the announcers shared, “Fist of all Chapman that’s a 101-mph fastball at a player's head, you never do that, ever. I’m a former pitcher, I have had to go into situations where I have had to stick up for my team and if you read in-between the lines I have never thrown at anyone above the shoulder. That is so disrespectful, that’s so dangerous to do. The fact that he did that is ridiculous.” Contrasting this, Aroldis Chapman said that he had been struggling with his mechanics and Tuesday was just his fourth appearance of the season due to his positive coronavirus test in July. He shared that he would never intentionally hit another player and he had missed previous pitches on the batters before Brosseau.
The fact of the matter is, both benches are talking and it is not just the players anymore, it happens to be management too. Tensions begin to simmer when the Rays play the Yankees and it always seems to end in complete chaos. If you thought the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees were the biggest rivals in baseball, buckle your seatbelts. We have a long ride emerging with the Tampa Bay Rays and the Yankees.