Clayton Kershaw calls Rockies starter Tyler Anderson 'disrespectful' after game delay

When you think about teams that have beef with each other, there are some obvious ones that come to mind. The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. The Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. The Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. But how about … the Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies?

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It seems unlikely, but it’s actually happening. The Dodgers and Rockies just finished a two-game series in Los Angeles, and both games seemed to get everyone riled up.

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw winds up during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
You may not be able to tell, but Clayton Kershaw was very annoyed with Tyler Anderson when this photo was taken. (AP)

The first sign of potential beef between the two teams came on Wednesday night, and from an unlikely source: Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers ace isn’t known to air his grievances like this, so when he does, you want to pay attention.

Rockies starter Tyler Anderson was a little late finishing his pre-game throws in the bullpen, which very slightly delayed the game, and Clayton Kershaw called it “disrespectful.” That seems like a slight overreaction, but pitchers are creatures of habit. Anderson gave his take to Patrick Saunders, Rockies beat writer for the Denver Post.

“I was just throwing a little bit extra down (in the bullpen) today,” Anderson said. “It wasn’t intentional at all. Actually, I was surprised … We were in foul territory and I was surprised that they wouldn’t let him pitch. So we started jogging.”

Pitchers may be creatures of habit, but they’re also human. Anderson did a little extra work and lost track of the time, so he wasn’t in the visitors dugout when the game started. That’s why the game was delayed, and when he realized he was the cause, he probably thought “Oh crap” and started running. Anderson probably didn’t mean any disrespect, but Kershaw certainly took it that way. (It didn’t seem to affect Kershaw’s performance, though: he pitched seven innings, allowed two runs on five hits, and racked up 10 strikeouts.)

This nascent feud isn’t one-sided, either. Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig did something that annoyed the Rockies a full day earlier.

What Saunders is talking about is Puig’s ninth-inning fly ball from Tuesday’s game. The Rockies were up 4-2, and Puig was batting with two runners on in the bottom of the inning.

Puig unleashed a mighty swing and certainly gave the ball a ride, but it stayed in the park. But Puig — and the fans at Dodger Stadium — immediately thought he’d hit a walk-off home run. So Puig stood there and watched it.

Again, it all comes down to perceived respect between baseball players. Rockies players thought Puig was being disrespectful by watching his fly ball, and Kershaw thought Anderson was being disrespectful when he didn’t finish his pre-game routine on time. But neither of these actions were meant to injure anyone. And the Rockies could even get a laugh from Puig standing there, admiring a fly ball that wasn’t even close to a home run.

But baseball isn’t really about logic. And that’s why the Dodgers and Rockies have a feud. Well, a baby feud. From what I can tell, no one on either team said anything directly to each other, they just aired their beef through the media. To find out if this feud will mature into an adolescent feud or even a full-blown adult feud, we’ll have to wait and see. The Dodgers and Rockies play each other again May 11-14 in Denver, so we won’t have to wait long.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher