Davey Johnson must be having flashbacks to his days as a major league manager in the heat of a pennant race. For the second time in three games, the U.S. baseball team was involved in a little brouhaha. In the middle of the Americans' 9-1 win over China, things got heated after a hard slide by Matt LaPorta in the fifth knocked out China's starting catcher, and top player, Wang Wei.
According to the AP report, the following events transpired soon thereafter:
After (Nate) Schierholtz made a hard slide (above) home against backup catcher Yang Yang on a sacrifice fly in the sixth—and Yang had to be held back from Schierholtz by teammates—China manager Jim Lefebvre was ejected for arguing about the rough play. Chinese reliever Chen Kun and pitching coach Steven Ontiveros were tossed soon after when Chen plunked LaPorta in the head to start the seventh.
That's not all ...
Yang homered with one out in the ninth for China’s lone run and raised his right arm in the air the entire way around the bases. After the final out was made, the teams finally came together and shook hands.
This comes just a few days after Johnson accused Cuban pitcher Pedro Lazo of throwing at one of his players in the 11th inning of the Americans' 5-4 loss to Cuba. Lazo threw up and in on U.S. second baseman Jayson Nix, leading to a foul ball that opened up a cut on Nix's eye and landed him in the hospital. Johnson was convinced the Cubans were intentionally throwing at the second baseman's "coconut," because he had already homered earlier in the game, and the Cubans had to "do something crazy" to get an out.
I'm not sure what is going to happen tomorrow when the U.S. faces Chinese Taipei, but I'm not going to miss it ... everything gets a little more exciting when the Americans take the field.
Photo via Getty Images