Managers Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Andy Green of the San Diego Padres were at the center of a tension altercation that nearly led to a brouhaha on Friday night.
It happened immediately following the first inning after the managers had huddled with home plate umpire Greg Gibson to iron out developing tensions between Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood and Padres infielder Jose Pirela.
As was confirmed following the game, Wood believed Pirela was stealing and relaying signs during the first inning, which violates one of baseball’s countless “unwritten rules.” Gibson originally warned both benches, later telling Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times that fellow umpire D.J. Reyburn overheard Wood threatening to hit Pirela his next time up.
Both Roberts and Green were not privy to that information at first. That ultimately led to the between-inning discussion, and that’s where things turned hostile.
Benches clear in Petco after Dave Roberts and Andy Green get into it pic.twitter.com/2IiGGg3HIh
— Ozzie (@OldComiskey) July 1, 2017
For his part, Wood would deny that accusation. But nobody was buying it after the umpires gave their perspective. That’s especially true of Green, who shared his displeasure and some other “pointed” words with Roberts.
Dave Roberts said Andy Green made "pointed" comments about Alex Wood. That's what set Roberts off.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) July 1, 2017
Roberts then took exception to Green’s comments and charged towards him, leading to some minor contact and both dugouts and bullpens clearing.
The altercation was barely a scuffle, featuring more finger-pointing than anything else.
There was also a possible challenge.
Once order was restored, it was confirmed that both managers had been ejected. It’s entirely possible a fine or even a minor suspension could come for the contact and the managers playing a part in escalating the situation.
In the top of the second inning, Justin Turner was hit by a pitch from Padres starter Clayton Richard. That would be the last notable sign of tension. In fact, the next time Pirela came to bat there was no hint of retribution. Instead, Wood dispatched him by striking him out.
Perhaps the players all decided to let the managers blow their steam off for them, or maybe they realized getting that upset over an unwritten rule was a waste of energy.
Whatever the case, it was a wild scene that seemingly came out of nowhere.
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