Matt Kemp ran over Robinson Chirinos, setting into a motion a bench-clearing brawl between the Dodgers and Rangers. And while no one likes to be placed in a risky scenario where injury could occur, the fight was a bit unnecessary considering both parties were playing within the rules. Chirinos was blocking the plate properly and Kemp didn’t go out of his way to initiate contact.
Kemp said he ran into the catcher instead of sliding because of the play in Washington in 2013, when he suffered a career-threatening ankle fracture sliding late into the plate after not initially running hard from third base on a two-out slow roller, not expecting a throw home.
“I got mad,” Chirinos explained. “When he was starting to get up, he kind of leaned into me with his shoulder. That’s when I pushed him. Part of the game. Sorry for the fans that are watching that. It’s not supposed to happen, but it happens, man. I guess he got mad when I pushed him when he kind of went after me with his shoulder. After that, it was emotion and kind of happened.”
Great to see a catcher who will get into your grill and apologize to the kids afterward. That’s the duality of man on display.
Judging from the totality of postgame comments, this incident isn’t likely to spark a beanball war, but one can never be too sure.