Christian Colon, Cody Ross

Kansas City Royals second baseman Christian Colon (24) turns a double play over Oakland Athletics' Cody Ross, bottom, during the sixth inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, April 19, 2015.

Question: Did the Kansas City Royals react properly against the Athletics?

YES 

Sean Collins | @seanzie3

Unlike past years, the Royals have many positive things going for them. Some of that includes winning and having uncanny amounts of talent in every facet of the diamond and at the plate. Another is a sense of camaraderie within the dugout. This was shown in the Royals’ series against the Oakland Athletics.

Last Friday, Brett Lawrie of Oakland made a nasty slide into second base where he took out shortstop Alcides Escobar’s ankles. Escobar was injured on the play and had to miss the remainder of the three-game series.

In baseball, when a teammate is taken out, retaliation is a common reaction. To get even, pitcher Yordano Ventura threw a heated fastball right at the midsection of Lawrie to get even the following night. Ventura was ejected from the game immediately.

When a player on your team is on the other end of a nasty play or a wild pitch, many teams see it fit to get an eye for an eye, and that’s what the Royals did. Despite how it is seen through the media, the Royals had to defend their teammates, and Ventura’s pitch was not the final act of retaliation.

In Sunday night’s matchup, Oakland pitcher Scott Kazmir nailed the foot of outfielder Lorenzo Cain at the beginning of the game. This could be argued that it was an accident, but aside from this pitch, Kazmir’s accuracy was great the rest of the game. Both Royals’ manager Ned Yost and pitching coach Dave Eiland were thrown out of the game for yelling at the umpire about the incident. 

In the eighth inning, pitcher Kelvin Herrera threw another fastball at Lawrie, missing behind him. Of course, Herrera was ejected, as the peg was clearly intentional and in retaliation. Herrera then walked toward the dugout and sent a message to Oakland by pointing to his head looking at the A’s dugout – Don’t mess with the Royals.

The national media wrongfully blames Herrera and the Royals for taking things too far. Perhaps from the national perspective, it appears that way. But here locally it was just the Royals responding to the Athletics’ retaliation. In a fight, many believed was over. Herrera was just sticking up for his teammates. 

Not only was Herrera standing up for Cain and Escobar, but also for Yost. As a result of his players getting injured, Yost got heated and was ejected. Herrera’s action may have looked bad to the public, but it got the team pumped and the fans energized. It’s very possible their actions gave the Royals the momentum to win, as Cain was able to bring in a run to tie the game. The Royals eventually defeated Oakland 6-4, not to say it was because of Herrera’s actions, but he definitely had his team’s back.


NO

Amie Just | @Amie_Just

Everything was on the line in October. The Kansas City Royals hadn’t advanced to postseason play since 1985. The Oakland Athletics won the AL West just the year before. In the lone one-game series of either team’s season, emotions were running high. 

In a 12-inning thriller, Kansas City came from behind in the bottom of the 12th to snag Oakland’s postseason dreams out from under them. And Oakland didn’t forget.

Oakland found the Royals on its schedule early this season, and the first game set the tone for the series.

All was calm until the top of the seventh, when Oakland third baseman Brett Lawrie slid hard into second, and consequently kicked the left calf of Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar.

Escobar hobbled off the field with the help of team personnel, and the entire Royals dugout made its way on the field. 

This incident spurred insanity for the rest of the series. Umpires tossed Royal after Royal after Royal. The grand total of ejections summed up to six.

In game two, Kansas City pitcher Yordano Ventura served up some vigilante justice of his own, pelting Lawrie on a 99 mph fastball. Ventura was booted for his actions.

 The rest of the ejections came in game three.

The first ousting of the game occurred in the first inning. Umpires bounced Kansas City manager Ned Yost and pitching coach Dave Eiland after Oakland pitcher Scott Kazmir took a shot at Kansas City outfielder Lorenzo Cain. 

Things went from tense to nearly reminiscent of “Fight Club” in the eighth inning.

To no one’s surprise, retaliation was directed at Lawrie. Only this time, it was Kansas City pitcher Kelvin Herrera dishing out the justice. To Lawrie’s relief, the 100 mph fastball missed him, flying directly behind him. Umpires ejected Herrera for the pitch.

Kansas City bench coach Don Wakamatsu, the acting manager after Yost was tossed, was subsequently bounced after getting into an argument, as well as Escobar.

After the game, Herrera blamed the pitch on the inclimate conditions and said he had no intention of hurting anyone. 

Were the Royals right in their plight? Absolutely not. This isn’t hockey. Every time you feel slighted doesn’t mean carrying out vengeance is the way to go about things.

Six ejections? SIX? That’s almost record-breaking. When three coaches have been ejected, that is a clear sign that something is wrong. It’s unprofessional to get angry about calls that don’t go your way. 

Yes, I feel bad about Escobar’s injury, and I don’t believe that Lawrie was in the right. However, retaliating in the manner that the Royals did was childish and uncalled for.

Hopefully the toddler-like attitudes are at bay in June during the next series between these two.

— Edited by Mitch Raznick