I think its fair to say the Royals and Blue Jays have each earned the “Bad Boys” reputation. For the Royals, it started early when it seemed like they were clearing the benches everywhere from Chicago to L.A. We saw Toronto and their fans turn Game 5 of the ALDS into a hooligan-style takeover that almost led to the Rangers and Blue Jays being ordered into their dugouts.
Before that, there was the four-game series in early August when the Royals went north of the border for a showdown. What the Royals did that weekend was wake a sleeping giant.
Tonight’s game one starter for the Royals, Edinson Volquez, hit Josh Donaldson with a pitch that the Blue Jays believed was intentional in the first inning, prompting home plate umpire Jim Wolf to warn both benches. Volquez kept pitching inside a couple of more times with Donaldson complaining. Madson even came up tight on Donaldson after hitting Troy Tulowitzki and he didn’t get tossed. Toronto retaliated as Aaron Sanchez hit Alcides Escobar in the knee leading Wolf to throw him out. That’s when the benches cleared.
The Royals lost that game 5-2 and dropped three out of four that weekend, but Volquez had some postgame words about Donaldson.
“He’s a little baby, he was crying like a baby,” Volquez said after the game, adding later: “He got mad at everybody like he’s Barry Bonds. He’s not Barry Bonds. He’s got three years in the league. We’ve been around longer than he has.”
Watch the bench clearing melee from that August 2nd game.
Royals ace Yordano Ventura, known for his outburst, laid into Jose Bautista in 140 characters on Twitter criticizing the All-Star for showboating and running his mouth. Pot calling the kettle black for sure, but we saw Bautista’s emotions on display when he hit a crucial three-run homer in the decisive win over Texas.
The Blue Jays took three out of four in that series and after the trade deadline acquisitions of Tulowitzki, LaTroy Hawkins, David Price, Mark Lowe and Ben Revere, Toronto took off, finishing 42-18 over the final 60 games. They entered that series with the Royals at 51-51 and seven games out of first place. Toronto went on to win the East by six.