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Jonny Gomes on bench-clearer: ‘I figured a hands-on approach was a little more appropriate’

05.25.14 at 10:52 pm ET
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The fallout from the bench-clearing incident between the Red Sox and Rays was somewhat predictable.

Both sides were unapologetic.

What happened in the seventh inning of an 8-5 Red Sox loss to the Rays was this: Tampa Bay’s Yunel Escobar stole third (later ruled defensive indifference) with two outs and the hosts leading by five runs. He then started hearing it from the nearby Red Sox dugout.

After a few back-and-forths, Escobar left the bag and started walking toward the Sox side, resulting in both benches clearing.

The most notable physical contact came when Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes raced in from his position and pushed Escobar in the face. Gomes, Escobar and Tampa Bay’s Sean Rodriguez were ejected.

Here are what some of the particulars had to say.

JONNY GOMES

— “[Escobar] was yelling at our dugout a whole lot and then kind of kept yelling and then kind of took his helmet off and continued to yell. I don’€™t know. I don’€™t have much patience, nor do I have much time right now to be in an arguing match. That’€™s why it happened.”

— “He can have the bag if he wants the bag. I’€™m not concerned about the bag at all. I don’€™t think it is a stolen base. Scorer’s discretion. I wouldn’t have done it, but I don’€™t have a problem with him taking the bag. He can take the bag all he wants, but yell in my dugout and point in my dugout and take your helmet off and basically challenge our whole dugout, I’€™ll have a problem with that.”

— “As a grown man, I didn’t say one word from the start until the end. I’€™m not one to have an arguing match with anyone. What really has to be said? I figured a hands-on approach was a little more appropriate.”

DAVID ROSS

— “No. It wasn’t me. That’€™s what I was yelling at the ump: ‘Don’€™t yell at me, it’s not my fault.’ I think the whole team took exception to the stolen base with two outs. That’€™s neither here nor there. I think we’re just tired of getting beat.”

— “I think that’s what the final exception was. It got a little more heated as we got attacked back. That’€™s what happened. We play these guys a lot. They like to beat us, we like to beat them. We’re not playing well right now. There’s some frustration on our end, wanting to win and not lose and trying to find any way to beat them. They come back with a big homer from Rodriguez after Jonny, we had gotten some life. They kicked our butts.”

— “We play these guys again in four days. We’re excited about that. We have to go Atlanta and try to get off this losing train. That’€™s a good team. We’ve got to go there and be focused.”

RAYS MANAGER JOE MADDON

— “Last year in the playoffs, they had an 8-2 lead in the eighth inning, [Jacoby] Ellsbury led off with a single and stole second base, beating us 12-2. That was a little bit more egregious than their interpretation tonight.”

— “Our goal is to not permit them scoring runs. Their goal is to score runs — the whole game. Apparently some of the guys on their bench did not like that. I really wish they would roll back the tape and look at that more specifically. You have to keep your personal vendettas, your personal prejudice, your personal judgment components in your back pocket.”

Read More: David Ross, Joe Maddon, Jonny Gomes, Yunel Escobar
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