10/13/08 8:12 PM ET
Seven fined for bench-clearing incident
Kuroda, Manny, Victorino, Romero, three coaches blamed
By Jim Banks / MLB.com
Four players and three coaches were fined by Bob Watson, vice president of on-field operations for MLB. Dodgers players Hiroki Kuroda ($7,500) and Manny Ramirez ($2,500), Dodgers third-base coach Larry Bowa ($500) and Dodgers first-base coach Mariano Duncan ($1,000), all were fined, in addition to Phillies players Shane Victorino ($2,500) and J.C. Romero ($1,000) and Phillies first-base coach Davey Lopes ($500).
Both sides expressed their displeasure about the fines prior to Game 4.
"They want you to play with passion and don't want to see it," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "To me, the passion of the game is what you want people to pay to see. And the passion shows up and no blows were exchanged, and I'm not sure what kind of message this was."
Lopes echoed that sentiment.
"You do things instinctively," Lopes said. "Regardless of what rules they have, guys are going to react before they think about it. Depending on the situation, depending on the game -- and these games, there's a lot more intensity. I just don't understand what was so terrible about that. I just don't see it for the life of me."
The incidents leading to the fines occurred during and immediately following the top of the third inning of Game 3 on Sunday, but the animosity that led to the events began in Game 2 on Friday at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, when Phillies starter Brett Myers threw one pitch up and in on Dodgers catcher Russell Martin and another behind Ramirez.
Prior to Game 3, some Dodgers players expressed their dissatisfaction that none of their pitchers had retaliated for those pitches. In the third, Kuroda threw a pitch that sailed behind the ducking head of former Dodgers farmhand Victorino, one game after he drove in four runs.
"It slipped out of my hand," said Kuroda, but home-plate umpire Mike Everitt didn't see it that. He concluded it was retaliation for an inning earlier when Martin, who also was hit by two breaking balls in the game, was knocked down by a Phillies pitcher, this time by reliever Clay Condrey.
Kuroda's purpose pitch drew warnings to both benches from Everitt, while Victorino motioned to the Dodgers that the situation called for him to be drilled in the ribs, not the helmet. Moments later, a confrontation near first base between Kuroda and Victorino, who grounded out, emptied both benches and bullpens. Ramirez rushed in from left field and had words with Romero. Bowa and Duncan were involved in a heated exchange with Lopes near the end of the standoff, hence the fines for those three coaches.
"What's the big deal?" Lopes said. "That's what I don't understand. They're making this big deal out of nothing. Nobody got hurt. It was just talking. Maybe someone got their feelings hurt."
Jim Banks is a deputy managing editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.