The Baltimore Orioles-Boston Red Sox series has been full of drama, from Adam Jones getting called a racial slur to plenty of heated exchanges after pitchers threw at and behind batters. Earlier today, Ken Rosenthal reported that Joe Torre and Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the GMs for both teams. According to Torre, “the commissioner made his point, without going into specifics, just about getting down to baseball. If this stuff continues, there will be some discipline.”
However, the teams were issued no formal warnings and thus we weren’t in a situation where a hit batter could result in an automatic ejection. Nevertheless, Kevin Gausman hit Xander Bogaerts in the backside with a breaking pitch that stayed inside, and was immediately ejected.
Normally, that wouldn’t be the type of pitch that would be thrown if the goal was intentionally hitting a batter. Gausman pleaded his case that it was a curveball, to no avail. Unless he’s the type of man who would hit a player with a curveball to have plausible deniability that he wasn’t actually trying to hit the player, that wasn’t intentional.