Thursday, April 18, 2024
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WATCH: Blue Jays-Rays benches clear during odd confrontation at third base

Saturday marked the third game of the series between AL East rivals, and playoff hopefuls, the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays. Each team had won a game so far and the Rays held a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth in what would eventually be a 5-1 Rays win

Randy Arozarena — who homered earlier in the game — was on third base after a single and two stolen bases. José Caballero reached on an infield (bunt) single that plated Arozarena and eventually — there was a throwing error — ended the inning with Caballero tagged out at third. 

And then, an odd confrontation happened. Caballero had accepted he was going to be tagged out and allowed it to happen and then just kind of coasted a little past third, taking him into Blue Jays reliever Génesis Cabrera. They ran into each other, pretty slightly. Caballero seemed to wonder why Cabrera did something and then after some words were exchanged, Cabrera reacted with a two-handed shove to the face.

Obviously, then, the benches cleared.  

There was no further physical fighting, instead just a bunch of standing around and talking. No players were ejected. 

“It was more the heat of the moment. I think I kind of overreacted a little bit,” Cabrera said through a club interpreter (via MLB.com). “He looked at me and I just reacted.

“It was emotions. Emotions. The heat of the moment. It’s part of the game sometimes, but it’s over with. It’s over. That’s where it ends, right there.”  

“I’m just playing baseball,” Caballero said (MLB.com). “I try to have fun playing baseball. I enjoy what I do, and I don’t want any problem with anyone. But situations always come, and I didn’t want it to go farther than what it was. And unfortunately, he didn’t think the same way. But that’s all.”  

The two teams will square off again Sunday at 1:40 p.m. ET in Tropicana Field. It’s difficult to see this dust-up leading to further fireworks, given how odd and relatively harmless it all seemed, but you never know. These are likely two good teams, so there’s good reason to tune in anyway. 

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