MLB Pitchers Ejected For National Anthem Standoff

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A friendly stare-off over the national anthem resulted in two surprising ejections before Saturday’s game between the Phillies and Red Sox.

Red Sox’s Kutter Crawford and Phillies’ Matt Strahm were booted before the contest after they stayed on the field far past their ‘allotted’ time after the national anthem.

The optics looked frivolous, but the umps took the small bout of competition (and delay of game) seriously.

Jokes Go “Too Far” Between Red Sox and Phillies

Strahm played with Crawford in Boston last season. As former teammates, the stare-off was pretty jovial, and according to the players, “unplanned,” but the umps did not hesitate as they kicked them both out for the hijinks. Crawford’s case is interesting considering he wasn’t even playing in the game due to being on the 15-day IL. Both players were also fined an undisclosed amount of money for the ejections.

Fans called the move “soft” by the officials (which is true).

Strahm spoke ahead of Sunday’s game, giving more insight on the scene. He said that he engaged in the stare-off for the sake of competition, admitting it wasn’t his career’s “wisest” decision.

Strahm joked that given the stringency of the pitch clock this season, the umps were eager to keep the game running on time. No B.S. allowed.

“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 added, “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. … I guess I should’ve known better with how strict they are with pitch clock.”

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Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.

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