Here we are at Al Lang Field for the Yankees vs. the Devil Rays. It’s 71 degrees and there’s a sellout crowd on hand.
I have three stories to write (Andy Pettitte, Billy Crystal and a notebook) but I’ll update this post from time to time.
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.
I’ll have to head down to the clubhouse soon to get the players. Still 2-0 Rays.
Just back from the clubhouse. All very predictable quotes. The Rays are mad at Shelley and Shelley swears he was just playing hard and meant nothing by it.
Iwamura has a cut on his thigh from Duncan’s spike. “Duncan himself knows it wasn’t a fair play,” he said.
Johnny Gomes: “It was premeditated on his part. … I know it’s not the Yankee way. You rarely see the Yankees do stuff like that.”
Duncan: “I just went hard into his glove. I was just going in hard. There was no malicious intent.”
Meanwhile Tampa leads 4-3 in the top of the 8th.
The Yankees scored three runs in the top of the inning to take a 6-4 lead. The Rays have since scored three off Jon “See you in Scranton” Albaladejo. It’s now 7-6 Rays.