After last week's brouhaha between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox that began when David Price plunked David Ortiz, Red Sox pitcher Brandon Workman threw behind Evan Longoria and was suspended six games. Price, however, escaped any suspension.
Yet, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, Price did not escape a fine for his actions:
According to an industry source, David Price was fined by MLB for his role in last Friday's Red Sox-Tampa Bay dust-up.— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) June 4, 2014
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has confirmed the report. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times is also reporting Price may not have been the only one fined:
Price later hit Mike Carp with a pitch, leading to the benches clearing, but Price wasn't ejected, seemingly because it was determined he hadn't hit Carp intentionally.
The rivalry between these two teams is no secret, but the rift between Price and Ortiz dates back to Game 2 of the 2013 ALDS, when Ortiz homered off Price and took his time getting out of the box after doing so.
That didn't sit well with Price, and Evan Drellich of MassLive.com quoted the player's reaction to Ortiz's home run last October:
"He steps in the bucket and he hits a homer, and he stares at it to see if it's fair or foul—I'm sure that's what he'd say. But as soon as he hit it and I saw it, I knew it was fair. Run."
That was then. This time around, it was Ortiz who spit fire through the media, via CSNNE.com:
You can’t be acting like a little girl out there. You’re not going to win every time. When you give it up, that’s an experience for the next time. If you’re going act like a little [expletive] when you give it up, bounce back and put your teammates in jeopardy, that’s going to cost you.
He knew he screwed up. He did that on his own. No manager sent him. No player was comfortable with the situation. He did that on his own. Which is (expletive). He can get somebody else hurt. You can't be doing that (stuff).
It's on. Next time [Price] better bring the gloves. I have no respect for him no more.
This seems like another case of baseball's "unwritten rules" being broken and blown out of proportion. Ortiz took too long to leave the box. Price plunked him seemingly for an incident months ago. Both have gone out of their way to rip the other in the media. A lot of feelings have apparently been hurt.
But this also will make the remaining games between these rivals this season truly interesting. Both teams are struggling, with the Red Sox fourth in the AL East and the Rays fifth, but both clubs have enough talent and enough history of success to reverse their fortunes and play meaningful baseball down the stretch.
You can bet the stadium will be charged the next time they play or, even better, the next time Price faces the Sox. A heated rivalry added a few more coals to the fire. Whether a fine for Price is enough to cool the flames remains to be seen.