In the seventh inning of the Rays’ 8-5 win over the Red Sox, some on Boston’s bench took exception to Yunel Escobar stealing third base with a 5-run lead. This led to the benches clearing and several ejections (see video here).
Let’s ignore for a second that 99% of baseball’s “unwritten rules” are actually “dumb rules” and let’s ignore for a second that Grant Balfour actually had to save this game in the ninth inning of a game in which the Red Sox had apparently already given up in the seventh inning.
Instead, let’s let Joe Maddon explain just how dumb the Red Sox were for being upset.
“They took umbrage with the fact that Escobar had stolen third base with a five-run lead in the 7th. That’s not even nearly as egregious as last year in the playoffs—last year in the playoffs when they had an 8-2 lead in the 8th inning, Ellsbury led off with a single and they stole second base, beating us 12-2. I think that was a little bit more egregious than their interpretation tonight…While we’re on the subject, I want to take this moment please regarding this crazy stuff about leads and teams trying to not score runs. I didn’t take any exception when they stole on us last year in the 8th inning in the Division Series, 8-2 lead, Ellsbury on, they steal. I didn’t take any because our goal is to not permit them scoring runs. Their goal is to score runs. The whole game. That’s always been the goal within the game of baseball. Apparently some of the guys on their bench did not like that. I really wish they would roll back the tape and look at that more specifically. You have to keep your personal vendettas, your personal prejudice, your personal judgmental components in your back pocket. So before you start screaming regarding any of that, just understand what happened just last year and also understand in this ballpark, 5-0 leads can evaporate quickly.”
Of course, the last part refers to just the game before on Saturday in which the Red Sox jumped out to a 5-0 lead and by the fifth inning the game was already tied.
Joe Maddon and his verbal sledge hammer, telling it like it is since 1954.