Ausmus Chooses Sides In Orioles-Red Sox Controversy

By: Will Burchfield
@burchie_kid

Anyone following baseball recently and/or not living beneath a rock has likely caught wind of the ongoing feud between the Red Sox and the Orioles.

Things took a turn for the bizarre on Wednesday night when Orioles starter Kevin Gausman was ejected for plunking Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts in the hip…with a 77 mph curveball.

The O’s, understandably, were incensed.

The topic was discussed on the Jamie and Stoney Show on Thursday morning, with Stoney defending Gausman and Jamie defending umpire Sam Holbrook.

When Tigers manager Brad Ausmus joined the show later in the morning, he was asked to weigh in.

So — with whom did he side?

“I hate to say it, but I agree with Stoney,” Ausmus said with a laugh. “If you’re gonna hit somebody it’s not gonna be with a breaking ball, that’s not how the system works. And I think you gotta have enough sense to recognize that.

“I know there’s been a lot of back and forth between these two teams but you’re costing the Orioles their pitcher, and that can not only hurt the team for the game it can hurt them for a number of days because now you gotta use your bullpen and you gotta use multiple pitchers that you might not have used. So I’m with Stoney on this one.”

There were no pregame warnings issued before Wednesday night’s game between Boston and Baltimore, although it bears mention that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told both teams earlier in the day to expect discipline if the shenanigans continued.

Holbrook defended his decision to eject Gausman in an interview with MassLive after the game.

“Just given the situation and the tension between the two clubs and all the stuff that’s gone over the past few weeks, we’re all on high alert with anything,” he said. “I know that the ball was a curveball. But it hit him square in the back and just making a split decision at that point right there, there needs to be an end to this stuff, and I felt like an ejection was the right thing to do at that time, and that’s what we did.”

Gausman obviously felt differently.

“Just complete bush league, to be honest. To throw me out in that situation after what (Chris) Sale did yesterday, throwing 98 (mph) behind a guy, on purpose, everybody knew it. And you’re going to throw me out for hitting a guy on a curveball, no outs in the second inning. It’s pretty bush league,” he said.

***

In other news, Ausmus provided an update on Ian Kinsler who left Wednesday night’s game versus the Indians with left hamstring tightness.

“Talked to him last night after the game. He didn’t pull it or strain it, it just kinda tightened up on him his first at-bat when he was running down the line,” Ausmus said.

Had the Tigers-Indians game not been rained out on Thursday, Ausmus said Kinsler wouldn’t have played.

“But we expect it to be short term,” he said.

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