Tempers flare, benches clear in White Sox-KC
Salvy, Anderson at odds over leadoff HR, shake hands following fracas
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' frustration from a terrible start to 2018 boiled over in the first inning of the second game of Saturday's doubleheader with the White Sox, a game the Royals won, 5-2.
It all seemed to start when White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson led off the game with a home run. Royals catcher Salvador Perez objected to the way Anderson celebrated the home run and let him know that when Anderson reached home plate.
In the bottom of the inning, Perez, who had reached base on an error, advanced to second base after a walk to Lucas Duda. Perez and Anderson began chirping, and soon players from both benches and dugouts reached the area. No punches were thrown.
"A tea party," Royals manager Ned Yost called it.
But the Royals were clearly not amused with Anderson's antics.
Asked about it after the game, Royals starter Eric Skoglund said, "Next question," and sternly looked away.
About Anderson's home run, Skoglund said, "Lucky. He got lucky. I needed that. Thank you." (Skoglund retired the next 15 hitters in a row.)
Perez, though, was full of explanations.
"I don't have any problems with the guy hitting a homer, taking a couple steps, walk two steps and keep running," Perez said. "But when you start to get loud, to say some bad words like '[Expletive] let's go' and all that [expletive], I don't like that. He has to respect my team and my pitcher. We're professionals in here.
"I don't like that, and he told me at second base, 'I like to have fun Salvy, what do you want me to do?' I was like, 'OK, we like to have fun, too. I like to have fun. You see me every day out there, laughing and having fun every day. But I don't disrespect your team.'"
Anderson said he didn't feel like he had to apologize.
"I led off the game with a home run and got excited," Anderson said. "They didn't like it, but it's not about them, it's about my teammates. I play the game with a lot of energy and confidence. I'm not going to change. It's not the first incident and it won't be the last."
That may not sit well with the Royals.
"As soon as he scored, I was like, 'Hey, bro, that was the second time,'" Perez said. "He did that on Opening Day. He did the same thing, said a bad word. He don't even play a [expletive] playoff game. He don't know about getting excited or not. He got to be in playoffs to be excited, like us. We got a World Series."
Eventually, though, Perez shook hands with Anderson at second base and the situation calmed down.
"Jerry [Layne], the umpire at second base, said, 'Hey, please, can you guys shake hands? It's a game. Be a professional,'" Perez said. "I don't have any problem with him. Just respect the game, respect my team and that's it."