The controversial series between the Orioles and Red Sox took another turn Wednesday night when Baltimore starting pitcher Kevin Gausman was ejected for hitting Xander Bogaerts with a 76 mph curveball.
At face value, the ejection would make sense with all that's been going on between the division rivals, not to mention a conference call before the game held by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and chief baseball officer Joe Torre with the managers and general managers of both clubs.
Manfred warned both teams that discipline is looming if the teams continue throwing at each other, Torre said told Fox Sports.
"Once something happens, then it just seems to grow and fester and all that," Torre said Wednesday. "Basically, in trying to keep score on who owes who what, we figured there was enough going on with both sides that we basically just had a phone call today to let them know we want to play baseball. We don’t want to get anybody hurt.
“Players deserve to be on the field. We appreciate your passion but we certainly need to have the focus on playing games instead of trying to get even, if somebody thinks they need to get even.
“Sitting in an impartial seat, you look at it and realize enough is enough. I know if you wear a uniform, you’re always feeling that you’re on the short end of it. I understand that feeling. But the commissioner made his point, without going into specifics, just about getting down to baseball. If this stuff continues, there will be some discipline.”
So, although Gausman ripped home plate umpire Sam Holbrook for the "bush-league" ejection, he was already given a short leash regardless of pitch type. Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, who is in the midst of his own controversy, also got ejected from Wednesday's game for arguing with Holbrook over balls and strikes.
The Orioles-Red Sox rivalry has been full of tension since Manny Machado's controversial spikes-high slide into second base that injured Dustin Pedroia in April. Add in a fastball to Mookie Betts, slow home run jogs from Machado and Boston fans' racial slurs directed at Jones, and it's easy to see the growing tensions between the two sides.
Don't expect the bad blood to go away soon.