Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
1. The Umpiring Crew during the Royals-A’s series
It appears as though the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland A’s are developing a fairly intense rivalry. What is unfortunate is the way this has come about.
Let us review the steps. Brett Lawrie slid late into second base on a force out, seemingly targeting Alcides Escobar. Fortunately, Escobar only suffered a minor knee injury and is day to day. However, as Lawrie was not ejected for what was obviously an intentional slide, with cleats up, into Escobar, retaliation would be coming.
It came in the form of a Yordano Ventura fastball to the elbow the next afternoon. As Ventura had just given up a home run to Josh Reddick, he was ejected. Warnings should have been issued, but fine. This should have been the end of the situation.
Instead, Scott Kazmir hit Lorenzo Cain with a pitch in the first inning, right after the A’s proclaimed that everything was not over. Kazmir was issued a warning, which prompted an ejection spree as Ned Yost and Dave Eiland were tossed from the game. This likely fueled Kelvin Herrera’s fastball behind Lawrie in the eighth, leading to three more Royals ejections.
The shenanigans on Sunday could have been nipped in the bud if the umpires began the game by warning each dugout. They could have been avoided if something had been done about Kazmir, as unintentional as his hitting of Cain seemed to be. They could have been avoided if Ventura was issued a warning. Instead, we had a terrible throw by Herrera close to someone’s head and the continuation of the bad blood. Just a bad job by the boys in blue all around.