After Chris Johnson grounded out to Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins to end last night's game in Atlanta, the Braves third baseman got into a confrontation in Atlanta's dugout with first base coach Terry Pendleton.
The official word is that the confrontation was caused when Johnson threw his helmet in frustration after the game, and that it inadvertently hit Pendleton. The 1991 NL MVP then grabbed Johnson by his jersey and yelled at him, eventually shoving him. The two then nearly had another incident in the dugout, but manager Fredi Gonzalez was standing between the two at the time.
The Braves have been playing with a lot of fire this season, and this dust-up between Johnson and Pendleton is just another example of that fire. Since the Braves are heading to the playoffs, you can't claim that their emotions are leading to a disastrous season. But if the team falters in October, you best believe that there's going to be a massive media backlash towards them, whether or not its warranted.
As for the Johnson/Pendleton incident, the helmet tossing story seems a little convenient, but who am I to doubt the official word? Johnson is having a career year in 2013, hitting .321/.358/.457 in his first year with the Braves and has been a huge part of the team's success. If there was a sustained series of incidents with him this season, it's certainly not showing up in his play on the field.