Funny anthem standoff goes sideways when Mariners' Robbie Ray, Royals' Luke Weaver ejected for antics

A lighthearted pregame standoff between former teammates took a sharp turn on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium when they were both ejected ahead of first pitch. Seattle Mariners pitcher Robbie Ray won the standoff against Kansas City Royals reliever Luke Weaver.

Ray and Weaver were teammates with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2019 and part of 2020. After the playing of the national anthem, they both stayed on the field, hats held over their hearts, without any will to concede. Weaver looked as if he might fall asleep with his head to the side. Respective teammates brought over water, sweat towels and a Theragun for massages as the standoff continued, per MLB.com.

It obviously caused a delay and the umpiring crew wasn't happy. As first pitch ticked closer, the group huddled together at home plate for the usual exchanging of lineup cards. The teams took the diamond ready to start the game and Royals starter Max Castillo was ready on the mound.

And still, Weaver and Ray did not move. Home plate umpire Adrian Johnson jogged over and appeared to wave them off. He became more pugnacious and pointed for Weaver to leave the field. The time of first pitch was already three minutes prior.

Weaver did move first, eliciting a cheer from the Mariners dugout for their mini victory. Except Johnson had actually ejected them for delaying the game. Not a victory at all, it seems.

The Royals led, 2-1, through three innings before both teams escalated it into a football score. The Mariners scored eight in the fifth and two in the sixth. The Royals answered with an 11-run sixth-inning and ended up winning 13-12.

Ray is 12-10 in 2022 with a 3.6 ERA and last pitched on Wednesday. Weaver has a 6.43 ERA in 11 appearances since the Royals acquired him in a trade with the Diamondbacks in July. He was not available on Saturday, either, and has not pitched since a week ago.

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Robbie Ray sits in the dugout after being pulled from the game ahead of the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, in Seattle. The Braves won 6-4. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Robbie Ray sits in the dugout after being pulled from the game ahead of the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, in Seattle. The Braves won 6-4. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)