ST. PETERSBURG -- One day after Yankees manager Joe Girardi insisted his club would not retaliate for a violent home-plate collision in Saturday's game against the Rays, both clubs spilled onto the field at Progress Energy Park in a bench-clearing incident Wednesday. In the first inning, Yankees starter Heath Phillips was ejected for throwing an up-and-in fastball to Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, grazing the batter and earning an immediate thumb from home-plate umpire Chad Fairchild.
Girardi vehemently protested Phillips' ejection, at one point raising his hands to the air. Right-hander Steven Jackson relieved Phillips with two outs in the first inning.
In the home half of the first, the Yankees' Shelley Duncan escalated the incident by sliding hard into second base, clearing both benches. Play halted for several minutes as the two clubs engaged in shoving, and at least one punch appeared to be thrown.
Duncan, Yankees third-base coach Bobby Meacham, Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long and Rays right fielder Jonny Gomes were ejected following the incident.
Tensions ran high between the Yankees and Rays on Saturday, when 22-year-old catcher Francisco Cervelli was hit hard by Rays infielder Elliot Johnson while blocking home plate. Cervelli fractured his right wrist and was scheduled to have surgery Wednesday in New York.
Girardi strongly criticized Johnson's play, calling it "unnecessary" for a Spring Training game.
Phillips was starting Wednesday in place of left-hander Andy Pettitte, who was scratched with tendinitis in his pitching forearm.
FIRST INNING Heath Phillips just got ejected for hitting Evan Longoria. But get this: There were two runs in and two runners on when he came up and in and barely brushed him across the chest. Umpire Chad Fairchild immediately ejected Phillips.
It was a total overreaction. But Phillips was about cooked anyway. Hopefully that settled this whole silly issue. 2-0 Rays.
WE HAVE A BRAWL
Shelley Duncan (of course) started the top of the second with a single. He tried to go to second as the ball rolled behind third base and was out by five feet. Duncan slid in with his spikes exceedingly high at Akinori Iwamura and was tagged out. He was immediately ejected.
Tampa Bay right fielder Jonny Gomes raced over and tackled Duncan and the benches cleared. There didn’t seem to be any punches thrown.
Gomes has been ejected as well. So were Bobby Meacham and Kevin Long.
I would think Duncan would get suspended for what he did. It was pretty blatant.
UPDATE: Just to make it clear, Duncan slid in with his right spike high in the air. Whether you think it was right or not is your call, but that’s what he did.
These teams play two more times in spring training and 18 times during the season. I suspect we’ll see plenty more fireworks.
Slightly more details. This is more or less what I expected to happen today.
This is about what I expected today. I think the ump was way too fast with the thumb on Phillips though. He just grazed Longoria, but I guess the umps knew the situation before hand and weren't going to let anything get started. Gomes was already a huge fan favorite in Tampa, but I think his stock with Rays fans just went even higher. Hopefully it is on video somewhere, because I would love to see Gomes run in from RF to tackle Duncan. I guess the ole fire is starting to burn now between the Rays and Yanks.
raiders_umpire wrote:This is about what I expected today. I think the ump was way too fast with the thumb on Phillips though. He just grazed Longoria, but I guess the umps knew the situation before hand and weren't going to let anything get started. Gomes was already a huge fan favorite in Tampa, but I think his stock with Rays fans just went even higher. Hopefully it is on video somewhere, because I would love to see Gomes run in from RF to tackle Duncan. I guess the ole fire is starting to burn now between the Rays and Yanks.
Its on Bay News 9 at 11 PM on the Rock Riley show, for those in Tampa you can see it.
Is there anyway for me to Tivo it and put it on my computer? Just in case we can't get it somewhere else?
Last edited by deerayfan072 on Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Russell James wrote:Nobody cares about a Rays/Yankees rivalry folks.
This is an interesting story and I am glad to see that the Rays look competitive, but nobody cares about a rivalry. Yankees/Red Sox is the rivalry.
Yet interestingly enough, here we are 8 pages into this thing. I'll watch a Yanks/Rays game over any Sox game pretty much any day of the week. And I'll watch any 2 teams in the NL play over the former.