Scene: The Rays are trailing the Tigers 2-1 with no outs in the bottom of the seventh inning on Tuesday night. Sean Rodriguez is up facing Brad Penny. Rodriguez hits a routine flyball to left fielder Delmon Young during which Rodriguez made it nearly to second base by the time the ball was caught.
Then this happened…
It was a little unclear at the time what Penny was bitching about. However, looking at the replay, it appears that Penny says something along the lines of “What the f*** are you doing? Get off the f***ing bases.”
Needless to say, this not only angered Rodriguez, but seemed to confuse him as well.
Last night, Joe Maddon was asked about the incident. And the manager that has never said a bad word about any player, friend or foe, let it be known that he wasn’t happy…
“For anybody to bark at another player for … hustling is absolutely insane, ludicrous,” Maddon said. “And if Sean had just charged the mound, I’d have been fine with that at that particular moment…I think that’s ridiculous, and then he shows them (Wednesday) what that means to play hard. So any time a guy gets on another guy because he’s going to show him up by playing too hard, I have a hard time with that myself, personally.”
Maybe if Penny was trailing 7-2, and he was frustrated, this entire situation might at least be explainable. But unless there is something we are missing here, this is one of the most asinine perceived slights in baseball history.
[UPDATE] Penny offers his side of the story and says he only yelled at Rodriguez because the Rays shortstop was “screaming and cussing” as he rounded the bases. Of course the irony here is that Penny clearly drops at least to F-bombs on Rodriguez.