Stroman-Anderson altercation clears benches

Stroman-Anderson altercation clears benches

CHICAGO -- There's no rivalry to speak of between the Blue Jays and White Sox, but that did not stop a war of words from breaking out between Marcus Stroman and Tim Anderson on Tuesday night.

Anderson and Stroman exchanged words on the field which led to the dugouts emptying during the seventh inning. If that wasn't enough, the two players then traded barbs through the media after the game in a feud that could extend beyond Toronto's 8-4 victory.

The incident began when Anderson called for time during his at-bat in the seventh. A couple of pitches later, Anderson struck out and stared toward the mound on his way back to the dugout. Stroman and Anderson then got into an argument as their teammates spilled onto the field.

"It seemed like he wanted to talk the entire way back to the dugout after striking out," Stroman said. "I got the ball back from [Josh] Donaldson after throwing the ball around, and he was still continuing to talk. So, I asked him what he was saying and he continued to talk more so I walked to the dugout. I thought he had a problem. I mean, I don't understand why he would be running his mouth, walking back to the dugout. It made zero sense to me."

Anderson clearly didn't see it the same way. The shortstop said he felt "disrespected" because of the way Stroman carried himself on the mound. He also accused Stroman of talking to him during the at-bat and following the strikeout. Anderson added that he had no regrets over the way he handled the situation and that he "stood up like I was supposed to."

At the core of this dispute is Stroman's delivery. He frequently uses quick pitches and long pauses in his mechanics to upset hitters' timing. It's all within the rules but some have taken exception to the strategy in the past and it appeared to happen again Tuesday.

Earlier in the at-bat, Anderson called time after Stroman had started his delivery. That upset Stroman and set in motion a series of events that led to the dugouts emptying.

"He's going to try to throw me off, so why not step out and try to throw him off?" Anderson said. "It was one of those things. I stepped out and he just complains and cries like he always does. That's what it led to."

Stroman has spoken out before about the lack of clarity from umpires surrounding what he is and is not allowed to do with his delivery. He was called for a balk earlier this year and there have been several instances where time was granted to a hitter after his delivery started. Stroman declined to speak about the issue Tuesday and instead said he was focusing on his next start.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons had a conversation with home-plate umpire Dave Rackley about the issue during the first inning.

"My understanding, when a guy is in his delivery, and there's nobody on base, not in the stretch, once he starts his delivery you can't call a time out," Gibbons said. "Maybe I'm wrong but that's kind of what we all feel. But he's the umpire. I don't know."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.