Ever since the Toronto Blue Jays expressed their outrage over “Shoutgate” more than two months ago, the team’s pitchers have skipped around in little pink skirts on the mound and refused to hit Alex Rodriguez in retaliation. But last night, finally, the Blue Jays showed they had some cajones—albeit small ones—when Toronto starter Josh Towers plunked A-Rod on his left leg with the first pitch in his second at-bat.
Rodriguez moved toward the mound and then Towers walked briskly toward A-Rod. The Yankees’ and Blue Jays’ benches spilled out onto the field. Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez stepped in between A-Rod and the pitcher. Toronto’s Matt Stairs had to be restrained by New York’s Andy Phillips as he tried to go after A-Rod at first base. Then the field cleared, Towers shouted at Yankee first base coach Tony Pena, A-Rod moved toward Towers and shouted “You talking to me? You talking to me?” and the benches cleared again. Finally, Canada had given us something entertaining to watch.
“I heard somebody chirping when I was talking to Lyle [Overbay] and I didn’t think it was Alex and I asked who it was,” Towers said. “Tony Pena is running his mouth off and I was like, ‘What’s this guy running his mouth off for?’ This dude is a quitter. He managed a team and quit in the middle of the season because he couldn’t hack it. He’s going to run his mouth off? So I ended up getting into it with Alex a second time.”
Pena, who quit as manager of Kansas City in May 2005, still seemed heated after them fightin’ words. “I don’t care,” Pena said when asked about the incident. “I have no comment. Let him talk.”
In the seventh inning, New York starter Roger Clemens retaliated by drilling Alex Rios in the back with a fastball. Both he and Joe Torre were immediately ejected and will most likely face suspensions. Nonetheless, the Yankees won 9-2 and moved within just five games of the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox.