It took less than a full inning until the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees to let the emotions of that tight race get the better of them, as respective managers Buck Showalter and Joe Girardi got into a shouting and posturing match around home plate that led to both benches clearing.
It all started in the top of the first, when Girardi walked to the end of his dugout and began barking at Orioles third base coach Bobby Dickerson. It’s suspected that the Yankees believed Dickerson to be stealing signs.
Per Dickerson after the game, Girardi was yelling at him “I know what you did” and pointing and gesticulating in his direction. It was enough to cause Showalter to fly off the handle at the end of the inning.
The Orioles manager stomped out of his dugout screaming in Girardi’s direction aggressively enough that he had to be somewhat restrained by home plate umpire Jim Joyce. In Showalter’s mind, the accusations directed to his first-year third base coach were uncalled for. It was reported that among those things he was screaming were “That’s not right, Joe!”, and Showalter felt compelled to defend his guy.
“Somebody’s wearing black and orange, I’m not going to let it happen,” he said when questioned about the incident after the game.
Both benches briefly (and slowly) cleared during the managerial standoff, but no further fireworks followed.
Girardi declined to expound on what his initial comments, directed toward Dickerson, pertained to. Neither manager indicated they would reach out to the other to make amends; instead both kind of iterated that the incident was over and they would leave it where it lied.
Here’s are video highlights of the incident, with feeds and commentary from both teams’ broadcasts.
The dust-up was more theatrical than anything – a mere exchange of words and emotion that doesn’t warrant punishment or reprimand on either side.
Down the season’s stretch run, both teams are fighting for one of the two coveted Wild Card berths, so it’s understandable that tensions are high and competitive edges are at their sharpest.
The Orioles edged the Yankees 4-2 in last night’s game, the first in a pivotal four-game series being played in Baltimore. The win moved the Orioles 1.5 games ahead of the Yankees and within 1.5 games of Tampa Bay for the second and final AL Wild Card berth.