Those two words were among a slew of carefully chosen, yet clearly focused, words used by Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon following their Friday night win against the Boston Red Sox. While the game included three home runs by the Rays, including Matt Joyce's second grand slam of the week, it will be remembered for what won't show up on the box score.
The benches-clearing scrum.
For no apparent reason, Red Sox pitcher Franklin Morales hit Rays designated hitter Luke Scott in the knee after throwing a pitch behind him earlier in the at-bat. Both benches cleared, and there was a scrum on the field with pushing and shoving from both sides.
Joe Maddon wanted to know who put out the hit on Scott and tweeted after the game, "What occurred in the 9th reeked of intent. Was ridiculous, absurd, idiotic, incompetent, cowardly behavior." If this was the movie A Few Good Men would be searching for who ordered the code red.
There is no other rhyme or reason for the hit. Even Maddon was confused after the game. From Mark Whitmer of the Boston Globe:
I didn't understand the situation whatsoever. It wasn't called for at all. It's the kind of behavior that gets people hurt. Pedroia gets hit, not because we're trying to hit him. That's truly somebody flexing their muscles on the other side and they need to put it in their back pocket.
Yes, Dustin Pedroia was hit earlier in the game by Burke Badenhop. That hit clearly wasn't intentional, as only a fool would hit a batter to bring David Ortiz to the plate. The only possible motive to hit Scott was his comment earlier in the year, calling Fenway Park a "dump."
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine made mention of those comments during his postgame remarks, saying, "Maybe it was the ghost of Fenway past remembering that he bad-mouthed all our fans and our stadium or something, just directing the ball at his leg."
So where do we go from here? I believe Maddon gave us a pretty good indication when he said after the game, "We will respond, I promise you."
Stay classy Boston.
Jamal Wilburg is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.
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