Following Game 1 of the ALDS, we are once again debating the unwritten rules of baseball.
This time, it was Gleyber Torres stealing second base with the Yankees up six runs in the top of the ninth inning.
While Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash did not take an issue with it, a familiar foe to Yankees fans did.
Pedro Martinez, on the TBS postgame show Monday, ripped Torres for swiping the bag.
“You respect the opposition, because you expect them to respect you,” Martinez said. “And what you do is you add fuel to the fire, and later on if they bust you back, don’t think that they don’t respect you or they don’t like you. It was just that, that was a terrible mistake. I hope you learn and the next time just don’t do that.”
Of course, Torres stealing second may have had something to do with the fact that Rays pitcher John Curtiss went up and in on him and Gio Urshela – the latter of which came on the first pitch after surrendering a deflating grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton.
The Yankees and Rays have had some bad blood boiling between them over the past few seasons over inside pitches and hit batters – which came to a tipping point in August when Aroldis Chapman threw near the head of Mike Brosseau and the benches cleared, although without further escalation.
The latest incident is just another layer to add to all that drama, although when Cash was asked if he a problem with it, he said, “None whatsoever.”
“We’d be doing the same thing, I assure you,” he said, per the New York Post.
Martinez built a reputation over his Hall of Fame career in sending messages to hitters and making them uncomfortable, and with all the bad blood between the Rays and Yankees, perhaps there is a pitcher whose feelings line up more closely with Martinez than Cash.
Regardless, it will be an intriguing subplot to follow for the remainder of the series.