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Sergio Romo Sparks Bench-Clearing Scuffle at End of Nationals-Rays Game Stemming from a Stolen Base Three Weeks Ago

Benches cleared at the end of Tuesday’s matinee between the Washington Nationals and Tampa Bay Rays. The incident came about when Rays closer Sergio Romo struck out Nats outfielder Michael A. Taylor to end the game.

As Taylor headed back to the dugout, Romo celebrated emphatically while chirping at Taylor. Once Taylor realized what was going on he stopped to stare down Romo. Some fellow Nationals, including Daniel Murphy, didn’t take kind of Romo’s chirping and had to be held back. Umpires and players from both sides tried to intervene to calm matters before both teams were eventually separated.

The Rays completed a two-game sweep by shutting out the Nationals in both games. However, it appears Romo’s motives stemmed from a Jun. 6 game played between the two teams. Then, Taylor stole third base off Romo and catcher Wilson Ramos in the sixth inning while the Nationals led 9-2. Taylor would then score on a throwing error by Ramos to extend the Nats lead.

Following Tuesday’s incident, Taylor explained the situation but said he was more upset Washington lost than the vents that transpired at the end of the game.

“They’re upset I stole a base at home in the sixth… you saw how many runs they scored with nine outs yesterday. So the game’s not over,” Taylor told reporters per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. “Obviously, they think differently, but I’m not worried about that. We lost the game. That’s the only thing that upsets me.”

Romo said there was no disrespect to the team or the coaching staff of the Nationals, however, he wanted to be clear to Taylor, who he felt disrespected him and his team.

“I think I said enough out there. Self-explanatory, I think,” Romo said per Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times. “No disrespect to that team, no disrespect to their coaching staff, no disrespect to anybody on that team other than the person I felt disrespected me and my team.”

Of course, Romo added the baseball lingo of the game governs itself.

“Don’t know him personally, nothing against him off the field, Romo added per Topkin. “Just let you know that this game is very unforgiving. The way I was taught to play this game it governs itself, and just had to let him know I didn’t like it.”

Nationals manager Dave Martinez said if Romo was upset that Taylor ran on him then he should be mad at Martinez not the players.

Thankfully, no punches were thrown. The two teams will not play each other again this season unless in the unlikely event of meeting in the World Series. Both split the season series 2-2 with the home team winning each game.

For the Nationals and Taylor, their worries go beyond any beef with the Rays. They have now lost 11 of their last 15 and now have been shut out (eight) more times in this season than they have all of 2017 (seven).

 

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