Familiarity often breeds contempt and thanks to the unbalanced modern-day baseball schedule division foes play each other 19 times over the course of six months. If you’ll recall earlier this year the Giants and Padres got mad at each other when Angel Pagan appeared to flip gum at San Diego catcher Derek Norris in the batter’s box. Norris called him a “dickhead” after the game. Very mature on all sides.
Gum caused another tiff Tuesday night at Petco. Hector Sanchez crushed a grand slam off Dale Thayer and did a very mild bat flip. Thayer didn’t like it and threw gum in Sanchez’s direction when he circled the bases. Later on in the ninth another San Diego reliever, Shawn Kelley, threw some inside pitches at Sanchez before he grounded out to first. This led to the benches clearing — and the bullpens.
Sanchez, via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, said he didn’t notice the gum.
“Oh really? I didn’t notice that,” said Sanchez, asked about the gum toss. “I’m just trying to enjoy the game. It’s a grand slam. You don’t hit them every day. If someone gets mad, I don’t know the reason. I’m just enjoying the game.”
Kelley, for his part, was sore about the bat flip.
“I guess that’s part of the game now. To me, that’s a little disrespectful, especially to Dale (Thayer). I don’t think there’s a place in this game for that, but it’s part of it. Guys admire what they do, and when you get one, sometimes guys watch it. But that’s between him and his teammates and the Giants. That’s not our business.”
As always, this sort of crap in baseball and its numerous (every-changing) unwritten rules are massively confusing to anyone outside the dugouts. Maybe you truly have to be a pitcher to be offended by a bat flip, because it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal from the outside looking in. Sometimes I wonder what there is even left to say about them, but that doesn’t stop the takes and whatnot. Oh well.
In this case the Padres, or specifically Kelley, is probably mostly upset the team is 44-50 and going nowhere this season.
[Feature image via USAT]