Sports

A Rays player ‘stole’ the Blue Jays’ scouting report card, and got beaned for it

There’s nothing that gets Major League Baseball teams more hot and bothered than a competitive advantage and the unwritten rules meant to keep those advantages out of the game. From the Houston Astros’ massive sign stealing controversy a few years back to the endless discussion about banning ‘sticky stuff’ from pitchers this season, baseball often feels like an endless war of one side trying to break the rules and the other side making accusations of wrongdoing. This gets particularly heated when it happens between division rivals.

The Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays have been going at it all season in a historically strong AL East. Tampa Bay has been on top of the division most of the year after winning the AL last season, and on Wednesday they clinched a spot in the MLB playoffs for the third straight year. Toronto, meanwhile, has been red hot to close the season and is now is a dead heat with the Yankees for the final AL wildcard spot. The series between Tampa and Toronto this week had major playoff implications.

Tensions were raised on Tuesday after a strange incident after a play at the plate. As Tampa outfielder Kevin Kiermaier was thrown out at home in the sixth inning on a play at the plate, a play card reportedly filled with scouting report information fell out of the wristband of Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk. Kiermaier picked up the card and went on his merry way.

Here’s video of the incident:

Kiermaier said he thought it was his own card that he keeps with scouting information. He said he never really looked at the card, and handed the card to the Rays’ clubhouse manager.

Here are Kiermaier’s comments after the game on the incident:

Tampa manager Kevin Cash apologized to Toronto after the game, and Jays manager Charlie Montoyo called the incident “agua under the bridge.”

Story over, right? This is baseball, so of course not.

On Wednesday, as the Rays led Toronto 7-1 in the bottom of the 8th inning, Kiermaier was beaned with a fastball in the back. The benches promptly cleared, and pitcher Ryan Borucki was ejected.

All of this is kind of silly, and distracts from the fact that the AL has an awesome playoff race going on. Is Borucki going to get suspended as the Jays play their final 10 games of the season to try to get into the playoffs?

Some people are arguing that Kiermaier was in the wrong to pick up the card. Personally, it seems like the Jays are being losers by beaning him for it after it looked like the issue was settled. Regardless of what you think, let’s all agree the playoffs need to get here soon so we have something better to talk about.


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