John Farrell on Red Sox-Rays tensions: 'We'll see what evolves here tonight'

May 31, 2014 - 1:09 pm
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The day after four Red Sox were ejected in a game that featured multiple benches-emptying incidents between the Red Sox and Rays, Sox manager John Farrell acknowledged the charged atmosphere that surrounds two teams that have now seen the benches empty twice in the span of a week and numerous times over the years. "I think it's clear that there's a lot of emotion that plays out in these games and in series with Tampa. We'll see what evolves here tonight," said Farrell. "But our focus and my focus particularly is how do we go about and execute tonight to win a ballgame. My concern is with our players and making sure that we protect one another." Farrell said he wasn't sure whether or not there would be warnings issued to both sides prior to Saturday's game. "We'll find out once lineups are exchanged at home plate. I don't know if anything happens prior to that. I'm going forward assuming that nothing will be said," said Farrell. "[Pregame warnings have] happened, I know that. I don't know that I've been involved in too many games where it's been issued before the first pitch is thrown." With the benefit of hindsight, the manager expressed some surprise that Rays starter David Price wasn't ejected immediately in the first inning for drilling David Ortiz in the back with a pitch, particularly given how quickly home plate umpire Dan Bellino moved to issue warnings to both benches following the catalytic event and the fact that umpiring crew chief Jeff Kellogg explained after the game to a pool reporter that his crew had received a "heads up" from the league office about the benches-clearing incident between the Red Sox and Rays the previous weekend. "The operative word is to what extent was the intent viewed by the umpire. It's interesting to read the comments postgame where they were made aware of tension and given a head's up by the league. That would indicate that there's something already existing and as much intent as was behind that pitch that hit David Ortiz, you can make the case that the ejection should have happened immediately," said Farrell. "There's been ejections even before warnings have been issued. That has happened. I've seen games where that's happened immediately. That's upon the umpire behind home plate to determine if in fact there was intent. I read into the way the warning was issued and the emphatic nature that Dan Bellino used, I think he pretty much felt there was intent behind the pitch."

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