Benches clear after Lake's homer vs. Marlins
Words exchanged, but no ejections; young Cubs outfielder apologizes afterward
MIAMI -- Benches cleared and heated words were exchanged in the sixth inning on Wednesday night in the Marlins' 7-3 win over the Cubs at Marlins Park. The dustup came after Chicago right fielder Junior Lake belted a two-run homer off Miami starter Dan Haren.
Emotions ran high for a couple of minutes, but order was quickly restored in a feisty game.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon immediately diffused the situation by informing Marlins pitching coach Chuck Hernandez that they would handle the incident internally.
"I just spoke to [Lake] and spoke to him during the game," Maddon told reporters. "We don't do that here and that will be the last time you see it. I did tell them at home plate during the scrum. I told Chuck Hernandez because that's who I saw. I said, 'It's our fault and we'll take care of it.'"
Lake flipped his bat after connecting on his first homer of the season. As he was rounding third, he put his right index finger to his mouth as if to quiet the Marlins' dugout. When he reached home, catcher J.T. Realmuto had some words with Lake, who was being held back by his teammate, Anthony Rizzo.
"I don't want us to take a page out of 'Major League' and flamboyantly flip a bat after a long home run," Maddon said. "I don't want that at all. That has nothing to do with us ascending. I would even like to use this moment for our Minor League guys, that [flipping the bat] doesn't play. For our kids watching, it doesn't play. Don't do that; that's not cool. It's very, very much not cool. If you're watching the game back home in Chicago tonight, don't do that."
Both benches cleared, as did each bullpen.
"I'm not like an old school-type, where you're not allowed to pimp any home runs or anything," Haren said. "The guy's hit like 10 home runs in his career. His team is losing, 6-0. I think if you were to ask his own team, they would probably be embarrassed by it. His own manager probably was embarrassed by it. Joe Maddon, he's one of the best. It's a little bit disrespectful to me. I didn't like it. The team didn't like it."
Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, on the disabled list, was among the crowd scampering to home plate. Fernandez and Lake shouted at each other as players were separating themselves.
Fernandez, who faces a likely fine for being on the field while being on the DL, noted that his emotions got the best of him.
"I'm not trying to fight somebody," Fernandez said. "I'm trying to win a ballgame here and help our teammates win a game. We're not trying to fight. We're not trying to be heroes. We're not boxing or UFC. I got caught in the moment."
Seeing their young ace in the middle of a potential scrum wasn't ideal for the Marlins. But cooler heads prevailed.
"We're all a team," Miami manager Dan Jennings said when asked about Fernandez's involvement. "Everybody believes in everybody. We're going to win as a team. We're going to lose as a team. We're going to be a team."
The incident settled after a couple of minutes, with no ejections.
Lake also let his temper get the best of him.
"Joe just said that it wasn't the right thing to do at the time," Lake said. "I recognize that it wasn't right. It was part of the emotions and part of the game and I want to apologize to Haren for that, because I respect him and didn't mean it."
In the fourth inning, Haren hit Starlin Castro with a pitch. Castro homered on Monday and took his time -- 24.1 seconds as tracked by Statcast™ -- rounding the bases.
"I don't know if you can put that together," Haren said. "I don't think Lake played that game, either."