Terry Pendleton made his discontent with Chris Johnson extremely obvious by shoving the Braves third baseman in a bizarre dugout altercation Saturday night.
Hardball Talk reporter Bill Baer gives some context of the situation:
Johnson hit a 1-2 grounder in the hole, but shortstop Jimmy Rollins dove for it and snagged it with just enough room to spare. He got to his feet quickly and fired across to first base to narrowly get the force at first base. Johnson slid head-first into the bag in an attempt to keep the inning going, but he was a few inches behind.
...As Johnson returned to the dugout, he received some consolation pats from his teammates. Out of nowhere, first base coach Terry Pendleton came up to Johnson and grabbed him and shoved him. Johnson didn’t react with any surprise, so it appears as if he did something wrong.
Hardball Talk shows exactly what happened:
Sliding headfirst or not, Pendleton's reaction is sure to raise some eyebrows. It's one thing for a player or coach to lose his temper during the game, but altercations such as this are extremely rare.
The Braves are currently battling the St. Louis Cardinals for the No. 1 seed in the National League playoff bracket, so emotions are running high in Atlanta. Perhaps that extra adrenaline is what pushed Pendleton over the edge here.
Johnson's slide into first base seemed like a hustle play in live action, but Pendleton didn't see it that way. He took immediate exception to Johnson's failure to run all the way through the bag and made sure the entire world knew exactly how he felt about it.
It's hard to say how something like this will impact the team as it makes its playoff push, but these aren't emotions anyone wants to see in their dugout. It's one thing to get after each other, but physical confrontations like this one aren't usually seen as a good thing.
Once Johnson and Pendleton tell their side of the story, the situation may be perceived differently, but this is nothing but a strange scenario at this point.