For anyone who likes a good mafia movie, tune in to today’s Rangers-Athletics game. A mob story is bound to break out.
Baseball is like the mafia. You did something to us we don’t like, so you need to be taught a lesson. And memories, apparently, are long.
Earlier this season, Adrian Sampson pitched his first and only complete game against Oakland at the Ballpark. In that game, he did the unthinkable. He stepped on Ramon Laureano’s bat after retiring him.
Oh, the inhumanity.
Apparently, that’s a sign of disrespect. And, in true mafia code, if you disrespect me, I must disrespect you.
So last night, Laureano took Sampson deep, then had words for him upon leaving the batter’s box, something like, “try to step on this bat.” If you say something like that to another man, you have just invoked war. And you have it coming to you.
That, of course, disrespsected Sampson. They exchanged words. Benches nearly emptied, which is baseball’s way of sending a dead fish to your rival. “Look, what you just did angered us but we don’t really want to expend that much energy on it, so let our nearly coming out of the dugout be a warning to you.”
The next time Laureano came up, the Rangers hit him. Benches cleared, they met at home plate for a gang war. Rangers manager/mafia don Chris Woodward and pitcher/hitman Rafeal Montero were both ejected.
To add to the tension, Elvis Andrus barreled over their catcher to end the seventh and kill the Rangers comeback rally. Knocking over their guy will have to be atoned for as well.
The Athletics have scores to settle. The Rangers have a series to settle.
And if you’ve seen any mob movies, you know one thing. Retaliation is baked into the code.
Pedro Payano (1-0, 1.50) vs. Mike Fiers (9-3, 3.57)
Game time: 3:07