National Anthem 'Standoff' Leads to Ejections and Fines for 2 MLB Pitchers
Two pitchers who indulged in a bit of childish behavior on Saturday have learned that Major League Baseball was not amused.
Kutter Crawford of the Boston Red Sox and Matt Strahm of the Philadelphia Phillies were each thrown out of Saturday’s game for not leaving the field at the conclusion of the national anthem, according to NBC. Strahm is a former Boston teammate of Crawford’s.
Bother players will also be fined, although the amount of the fines was not announced.
Rob Bradford of WEEI-TV posted a clip to Twitter, calling the incident an “old fashioned standoff.”
We have an old fashioned standoff between Kutter Crawford and @mattstrahm … pic.twitter.com/InglMFjufR
— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) May 6, 2023
The clip shows the players standing more or less still for about two minutes, casting glances at each other to see if either was giving up.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said both players were warned, but remained on the field, leading them to be ejected, according to Boston.com.
In an interview, Strahm chalked it up to a bit of competitive childishness.
“Zero of it was planned. Just, [the] anthem was over, and I looked across, and Kutter kind of gave me a grin, and I know exactly what that grin meant, so just stood there,” Strahm said.
He said that as the anthem ended, each stood with their hats over their hearts, just waiting for the other to move.
Matt Strahm explains what happened in pregame standoff with Kutter Crawford: pic.twitter.com/sHWF6g4UBS
— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) May 7, 2023
“I’ve never done anything like that in my life,” he said.
“If you know me, you know competition is everything to me, so kind of felt like I was being called out right there. Looking back on it, probably not the wisest decision I’ve made in my big league career. But, yeah, moving on.”
“I didn’t even realize I was thrown out, either,” he said. “The first base umpire came over to me and said, ‘You gotta get going,’ and alls I said was, ‘OK, well, it’s our home field, so he should go first, right?’ And he said, ‘OK.’ And when I looked over Kutter was leaving, and I walked down the steps, and then they told me I was thrown out.
“I guess I should’ve known better with how strict they are with the pitch clock,” he joked, referring to baseball’s new rule intended to speed up the game.
He referred to the incident as “not my brightest” moment.
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