On Saturday, following the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, two Major League Baseball pitchers engaged in a standoff on the field which was deemed unwise, resulting in their ejection and potential imposition of significant fines.
After the national anthem, Kutter Crawford from the Boston Red Sox and Matt Strahm from the Philadelphia Phillies, who were teammates in Boston last year and considered friends, engaged in a staring contest on the field at Citizens Bank Park. Both pitchers refused to leave, and it appears they instigated the stunt themselves.
Kutter Crawford and Matt Strahm were ejected last night for their standoff before the game, per @bradfo.
Softest thing I’ve ever seen.
Crawford and Strahm are legends for this.
— Tyler Milliken ⚾️ (@tylermilliken_) May 7, 2023
“Zero of it was planned,” Strahm told WEEI’s Rob Bradford. “Just, anthem was over, and I looked across, and Kutter kind of gave me a grin, and I knew exactly what that grin meant, so [I] just stood there.”
“If you know me, you know competition is everything to me, so kind of felt like I was being called out right there,” he continued. “Looking back on it, probably not the wisest decision I’ve made in my big-league career.”
Matt Strahm explains what happened in pregame standoff with Kutter Crawford: pic.twitter.com/sHWF6g4UBS
— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) May 7, 2023
According to Boston Red Sox Manager Alex Cora, both players disregarded instructions to leave the field.
“(The umpire) gave them a warning and they stayed there and they got thrown out of the game,” Red Sox Manager Alex Cora said later. “Both of them.”
In Major League Baseball, getting ejected from a game results in automatic fines. If a player on the injured list is ejected, the fines are even higher. Kutter Crawford, who is currently on the injured list due to a strained hamstring, is among these players facing potentially steeper fines.
“If you get thrown out and you’re on the IL, you get crushed,” Cora said.
The specific fines that the players will receive have not been disclosed at this time.
Kutter Crawford, who is currently in his third year, has a salary of $730,000 as listed on baseballreference.com. On the other hand, Matt Strahm, who is in his eighth season, earns over 10 times more than Crawford. Despite this, Boston Red Sox Manager Alex Cora anticipates that Crawford's teammate and fellow Florida Gulf Coast alumnus, Chris Sale, will provide him with assistance.
Cora emphasized the significance of the potential fines, particularly given Crawford's current injury status, stating, "It's a big one because you're on the IL." He also hinted that Crawford's fellow alumnus from Florida Gulf Coast University, Chris Sale, may step in to assist with the financial consequences, saying, "I know there's a guy that went to the same school as him that's probably going to take care of that."
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