The expectation coming into Saturday night's game between the Cleveland Guardians and Chicago White Sox was that controversy was behind them. That expectation ended up being wrong in the end. A benches-clearing brawl resulting in the ejections of three players, two managers, and a third-base coach was the end result of another series of events that be traced back to Chicago shortstop Tim Anderson.
Jose Ramirez slid head-first into second base after driving in Andres Gimenez for Cleveland's first run of the game and that is when the trouble started. Anderson applied a tag that was too forceful for Ramirez's liking and from that point, it was go time. Chicago’s shortstop decided that he wanted to escalate the situation by getting into a fistfight with Ramirez. Ramirez, clearly dissatisfied with how things got to this point, accepted his offer, did his best Tim Misny impression, and made him pay.
Anderson swung and missed as Ramirez ducked, countered, and connected with a right hook that promptly sent him to the ground. It was at this point that both benches fully cleared as the situation on the field was beyond the point of being settled quickly. After several attempts to calm the situation and having things re-escalate, clarifications were made on who was ejected. Anderson and Ramirez were clearly going to get tossed considering their mid-game rumble. Emmanuel Clase was also ejected for his participation in the events that transpired. Managers Terry Francona and Pedro Grifol in addition to Guardians third-base coach Mike Sarbuagh also saw their nights come to an early end.
It became clear after that game that it was not just the two incidents at second-base involving Anderson that were not the sole contributing factors to what transpired Saturday. Francona noted that Anderson was yelling at Guardians first baseman Gabriel Arias the entire game, with an umpire eventually having to step in to tell him to stop.
Ramirez took exception to Anderson and his approach to the game. Referring to it as disrespectful, noting that it was not just the incident involving Brayan Rocchio Friday, it was from before. Anderson was apparently not interested in anything Ramirez had to say as he continued his over-aggressive tagging even though Ramirez told him to stop that behavior. The fact of the matter is Anderson needs to be better. Displaying such a level of disrespect for the game of baseball in back-to-back days says a lot about his character, and none of it is positive.
Suspensions are coming and they will be lengthy. A long period of time without Ramirez would have a major impact on Cleveland's chances to make the postseason as they placed Josh Naylor on the injured list Friday with a potential return timeline of 3-6 weeks. Being without their two best hitters in addition to starting pitchers Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie could be the point where there is simply too much to overcome.