The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays handed suspensions for contentious game Tuesday
If Tuesday night proved anything, the New York Yankees vs the Tampa Bay Rays is the new heated rivalry of the AL East.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, a fast ball from Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman almost struck Rays infielder Mike Brosseau in the head, which irked the team and manager Kevin Cash. Following the game, Cash called out Aaron Boone’s “poor coaching” and basically threatened retaliation against the Yankees.
Prior to the expected-contentious Wednesday matchup, reports indicated that Chapman is being suspended for three games, while Cash and Boone are receiving a one-game ban each. All three individuals have been handed an undisclosed fine in addition to their respective suspensions.
Bad blood between Yankees-Rays has been boiling for two years
The rivalry between both AL East clubs has heated up over recent years, especially after Tampa Bay rose up the MLB power rankings. The drama all started over a year ago, where former Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia turned down the opportunity to cash in on contract-incentive to retaliate against the Rays for plunking former catcher Austin Romine.
Things only got uglier this season, especially during their series down in Tampa Bay last month. The Yankees accused the Rays’ pitchers of throwing up-and-in, which was met with chirps from Tampa’s dugout after they won the series.
On Tuesday, Masahiro Tanaka plunked Rays second baseman Joey Wendle in the back during the top of the first inning. But as baseball fans saw in the ninth, both teams cleared the benches at the conclusion of the game after a 101-mph fastball almost hit Brosseau in the back of the helmet.
After the contest, Cash bragged that he has “a whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98-mph,” implying that he intended to retaliate on Wednesday evening. Boone called Cash’s comments “scary,” while Chapman refused to comment on the whole ordeal.
Chapman was bound to face a lengthy suspension, especially since his pitch could have caused serious injury to Brosseau. But Cash only receiving a one-game suspension for threatening the Yankees through the media seems a bit light. Controversial suspensions are a normality in Rob Manfred’s MLB.