Edinson Volquez hit Josh Donaldson with a pitch in the first inning of Sunday’s Royals-Blue Jays game, threw a high-and-inside pitch near Donaldson’s head in the third and then blasted the Toronto third baseman after the game for complaining about it.
“He’s a little baby,” Volquez told the Kansas City Star. “He was crying like a baby.
“He got mad at everybody like he’s Barry Bonds. He’s not Barry Bonds. He’s got three years in the league. We’ve been around longer than he has.”
After the hot-hitting Donaldson was hit in the first inning, home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams.
“Guys get hit all the time. You don’t see warnings thrown out all the time, but the reason (Wolf) did it is because he knew just as well as I did, he hit me on purpose,” Donaldson said. “He could’ve thrown him out immediately right there, which I didn’t want him to do. I thought he was pretty good hittin’, so I don’t want him out of there.”
Tensions escalated in the seventh, when Royals reliever Ryan Madson hit Troy Tulowitzki in the arm before brushing back Donaldson with a pitch.
At that point, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons had seen enough and was ejected after arguing with Wolf.
“When you give a warning like that and you see balls continually thrown around the head area, and then a ball that hits Tulowitzki in the chest, pretty much, it’s one of those things where you can’t question intent anymore,” Donaldson said. “There has to be repercussions for you giving a warning at the beginning, and I think that’s where he went wrong at it.”
Madson said Donaldson overreacted.
“For him to get upset, I don’t think he fully understands the game, or he just let his emotions get the best of him,” Madson said. “He thought that a warning means you can’t throw inside.”
In the eighth inning, Blue Jays reliever Aaron Sanchez hit Alcides Escobar and was promptly tossed, along with bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who disputed the rookie’s ejection. Benches cleared during the incident, but no punches were thrown and Toronto went on to a 5-2 win.
“Our guy loses a two-seamer and hits a guy in the knee when we’ve had four balls thrown at our neck the entire day and our guy gets ejected,” Donaldson said. “It just doesn’t seem proper.”
After the game, Royals manager Ned Yost denied his pitchers threw at anybody on purpose.
“None of (the inside pitches) were intentional on our part. It’s part of the game,” Yost said. “I thought Jim Wolf did a tremendous job understanding the game, understanding what’s intentional.”
Yost’s comments drew the ire of Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista, who posted on Twitter, “Just heard #NedYost comments about the game. Lost a lot of respect for that man today.”
Bautista’s comments didn’t sit well with Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, who posted several tweets in Spanish that were translated as “We’ll meet again later and if you do that with me, you’ll see what I’m about. I don’t care about anybody. I used to respect you, but you’re a nobody. You got lucky this time, but MLB doesn’t get canceled after this season. Keep running your mouth. You need to stop giving signs. You’re gonna get it from me for being fresh and you really are a nobody.”
Toronto pitcher R.A. Dickey, who earned the win Sunday, compared the Royals to bullies after the game.
“I think they’re used to pushing people around,” Dickey said. “So when they come onto the playground and there’s a kid that’s bigger than they are for a day, I think it probably pisses them off. And I can’t blame ’em.”
We can only hope these two teams meet in the playoffs.