By John Hickey
Monday, October 7th, 2013 at 3:21 pm in 2013 regular season.
There’s something about seeing the benches clear that elevates baseball.
Or at least it seems to elevate interest in baseball, which isn’t exactly the same thing.
The question is – should it?
When Victor Martinez, who is a fiery guy, took exception to the nonstop chatter put forward by A’s closer Grant Balfour in the ninth inning, it made for great theater.
Players, coaches and managers from both benches swarmed the field. Umpires tried to get between Balfour and Martinez. Members of the bullpens, always late to this kind of party, jogged in. A’s starter Jarrod Parker, on his way from the clubhouse to the field just so he could watch the last couple of outs, had to have somebody tell him what happened.
As it turned out, not much did. Martinez was ticked off. Balfour Rage is not a concept he’s familiar with, apparently, but the A’s clsoer is always yelling, mostly at himself, and most of the time opponents don’t give it a second thought.
This time they did. Did it matter? No. The A’s were ahead 6-3 with three outs to go and Balfour on the mound. After things settled down, Balfour got the three outs and the game went in the books as a 6-3 A’s win.
Will there be any carryover? It seems unlikely. Torii Hunter, one of the Tigers’ leaders, has known Balfour as an opponent for years. He said that the talk was just the way Balfour is and there wouldn’t be any carryover.
But it’s a good bet that the first clip on ESPN will be the benches clearing.
Like we said. It’s great theater.