Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier says Yankees’ 3rd base coach Phil Nevin nearly started brawl

New York Yankees, Phil Nevins
Feb 23, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin (53) at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays game on Tuesday evening ended in chaos. After closer Aroldis Chapman threw a 101 MPH ball at Michael Brosseau’s head, the two sides begin chirping at one another. While there are split perspectives on whether Chapman’s ball was intentional or not, the Rays certainly think it was.

Immediately following the game, Tampa Bay’s manager Kevin Cash took significant shots at the Yankees for their lack of coaching and leadership. After seeing a display of Chapman’s fastballs this year, he has been erratic, to say the least. I don’t believe this pitch was intentional, but things are starting to boil over into the post-game press conferences.

It’s ridiculous. Enough is enough. … It was mishandled by the Yankees.”

“Poor judgement. Poor coaching. Poor teaching.”

“I can assure you, other than three years ago, there hasn’t been one pitch thrown with intent from any of our guys. Somebody has to be accountable and the last thing I’ll say is I have a whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98 mph.”

Ray’s Kevin Kiermaier blamed Yankees’ 3rd base coach Phil Nevin for instigating a more serious situation:

“The chirping afterward, it was Phil Nevin,” Kiermaier said after a 5-3 Yankees victory. “Once again their third-base coach was just always being that guy. It is what it is. I’ve said it before: We don’t like them, they don’t like us.”

“It’s the same guys over there chirping, always trying to be all macho, get attention, whatever you want to call it,” Kiermaier said.

It’s no rarity to see the two sides talking smack throughout games this year, but Kiermaier believes it’s getting ridiculous and could cost someone their health. He’s not wrong, especially if this pitch was intentional, which we will never know. However, Chapman not looking apologetic and staring down Brosseau after striking him out didn’t give the Rays any comfortable feelings.

“We all know with the protocols and whatnot this year, there’s not supposed to be any bench-clearing brawls or benches clearing by any means,” Kiermaier said. “The umpires voiced that when they were in between us.

“The way I saw it, Brousseau struck out and the game was over, and once again it’s just the same people over there chirping just trying to stir the pot.

“I just think it’s a tired act, a couple of their guys over there are just nonstop. But like I said, I’m gonna say it once again: They don’t like us, we don’t like them.”

While Kiermaier didn’t provide any names on the Yankees’ side, besides Nevin, who is known for his intensity, Wednesday’s game should be an exciting one.

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