Oh no he didn’t! Oh yes he did! Yordano Ventura, ace fireballing right-hander for the Kansas City Royals got himself tossed out of another game last night. KC Manager Ned Yost has got to feel something like a citizen of Pompeii, looking up at Vesuvius and wondering if he’s going to get buried every time Ventura goes out to pitch.
The specifics are short and rather uneventful. It was a cold contest on the south side of Chicago, the game was tied 2-2 with two out in the bottom of the seventh when Pale Hose outfielder Adam Eaton hit a comebacker to Ventura. They appeared to exchange opinions as Mr. Eaton made his way to first base. The umpires wisely intervened by placing their large bodies between the two. This should have ended the deal but then, all the other players, bored and numb with cold, came onto the field because they too wanted to mingle.
At this point it was still one of those baseball fight/cocktail parties where everyone mills around. And, again, it should have ended there. But Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija decided to go after Royal outfielder Lorenzo Cain since, of course, neither was involved in the play that started these things. (Unless you consider back on Opening Day when Samardzija plunked Cain after Mike Moustakas took him deep.) Some say punches were thrown but others say that Edinson Volquez was really just acting out Billy Idol’s old song “Dancing With Myself.” In any event, Volquez punched like a pitcher and never came close to actually hitting anything.
After the dust settled, five players had been ejected and KC eventually won the contest in extra frames.
Ventura admitted that he had let his emotions run wild. And so the Big Question is ‘what to do?’ from this point on, for the Royals at least. They need someone to pull in on the reins a bit. Unfortunately, I don’t know who that will be. James Shields woulda done it but… Ned Yost should do it and he’s probably tried in his way but he seems to me to be more of a sweet-tea-have-a-chew calm-to-the-point-of-dull kinda guy instead of a kick-ass ‘follow me boys!’ type. And maybe that wouldn’t work anyway in this situation. I mean, can you even tell when Ventura’s upset? His face shows about as much expression as the Mona Lisa or the Sphinx or Jason Vargas. He looks either thoughtful or bored, and next thing you know, he’s getting sent off for conduct unbecoming.
But they must get ahold of the reins. Ventura’s the ace and, as such, whether it’s fair or not, he’ll set the tone for the staff. And it has to be done quickly. The team has seemingly morphed from a silly, lovable group of young guys goofing around and having fun and playing exciting winning baseball to a group of obnoxious sixth graders who are running unsupervised through a museum. If a grown up doesn’t intervene soon, things are going to get broken and somebody is going to get hurt.