The health and safety protocols for the 2020 MLB season — and the world in general during the COVID-19 pandemic — were completely ignored after Oakland Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano was hit by a pitch from the Houston Astros’ Humberto Castellanos on Sunday.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Laureano was hit in the back on a breaking ball from Castellanos. It was the second time of the game that Laureano was hit by a pitch, and he exchanged words with Castellanos and Houston catcher Martin Maldonado while walking to first base.
And once Laureano got to first base, things really escalated. Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron taunted Laureano from the Houston dugout, and that led to Laureano charging the dugout. The result was a full-on brawl (and zero social distancing).
Both the Astros and Athletics benches clear after Laureano was hit by a pitch pic.twitter.com/vu9oJORSdk
— Dillard Barnhart (@BarnHasSpoken) August 9, 2020
Here we go… Astros were chirping the A's Laureano from the dugout and Laureano was having none of, dugouts empty pic.twitter.com/RRTEiyX1lv
— CJ Fogler (@cjzer0) August 9, 2020
Laureano and Oakland catcher Austin Allen were ejected. Somehow, Cintron was not ejected. The punishment for a coach playing a large part in instigating a brawl — during a pandemic — should be severe, and hopefully the upcoming suspensions reflect that.
And then Cintron hid behind players when Laureano charged. Laureano is obviously getting suspended, but Cintron, as a coach, yelling at a player and telling him to come get him shouldn't be allowed back in the dugout this year. https://t.co/u2lsIryQsp
— Matthew Pouliot (@matthewpouliot) August 9, 2020
And this isn’t the first time the Houston Astros — who have a big target on their back following the sign-stealing scandal — have been involved in a bench-clearing incident this season. Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly was suspended eight games after throwing behind Astros hitters and taunting them. But that incident didn’t turn into an actual brawl like Sunday’s incident in Oakland did.
As for the actual baseball game results, the A’s came away with a 7-2 victory for their ninth straight win.