A's outfielder not buying Royals RP's postgame excuse, believes he, Ventura should be suspended
By Austin Laymance
While the A's and Royals were each preparing for new opponents on Monday, there was still a focus on their intense weekend series that saw numerous ejections and pitches flying at and behind hitters.
A's outfielder Josh Reddick offered his thoughts Monday on MLB Network Radio regarding Sunday's series finale in Kansas City that saw five Royals ejections and verbal exchanges between both clubs.
Reddick said he didn't understand why some Royals players were upset that Lorenzo Cain was hit in the foot by A's starter Scott Kazmir in the first inning. Later in the game, Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera was ejected after throwing behind Brett Lawrie, who ignited tensions between the clubs with a hard slide into second base Friday that injured Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar.
"I don't see how any part of them could think that was an intentional move on our part," Reddick said of Cain being hit by a pitch. "As a baseball player, why in the heck would you hit a 3-hole hitter who is as hot as Cain is, in the first inning, knowing that there's warnings out?
"Kazmir is not going to go out there and we're not going to hit somebody in the foot intentionally. If we're going to hit somebody intentionally, it's obviously going to be in the rib cage area, something where we're not going to have any broken bones, hopefully, much less throw at the guy's head. Kazmir threw -- I think he told us -- a cutter, down and in."
In the eighth inning, Herrera threw a 100-mph fastball behind Lawrie, who had previously been hit by a pitch from Yordano Ventura on Saturday. It came as a surprise to the A's dugout, Reddick said.
"I don't think any of us had in our minds that he was going to get thrown at again, especially in a 2-1 ballgame," Reddick said. "We're up, 2-1, why would you want to put somebody up that late in a ballgame, period? I think it just surprised us out of nowhere."
Herrera was ejected. He was seen pointing to his head and looking towards the Oakland dugout as he left the field. After the game, Herrera said he "just had a bad grip" on the pitch.
Reddick took exception to Herrera's actions.
"It shows that a guy has no feel for the game, and he's not professional," Reddick said. "You're throwing 100 at a guy's shoulder blade, and then you point at your head going off the field? What you said after the game of a ball slipping is a complete joke. There's no way that ball is slipping out of your hand. We all know that this guy has been dominant most of his career coming up, there's no way that ball is slipping any."
There is expected to be more fallout from the weekend series in Kansas City, including possible suspensions. Reddick said he believes Ventura should miss two starts and Herrera should be suspended at least 10 games.
Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.