The benches cleared in the sixth inning of the Rays and Red Sox game after John Lackey appeared to intentionally hit Matt Joyce with a pitch. No punches were thrown and order was quickly restored.
But the ugly situation could have been avoided all together if not for another one of baseball’s dumb “unwritten rules.”
After hitting a home run earlier in the game, Joyce hit a long foul ball that he thought was another home run. He dropped his bat on the follow-through and this allegedly upset Lackey . The Red Sox studio analysts described the play as “pimping” his home run and said Joyce was in the wrong for doing that.
After the game, Rays manager Joe Maddon said there was no doubt the pitch was on purpose and called Lackey a “bad teammate” suggesting that play could get one of his own teammates hurt later.
There are some important “unwritten rules” in baseball. This is not one of them.
Here is the video of the incident, starting with Joyce’s home run earlier in the game. The benches clear at the 0:58 mark…