That's how a memorably bizarre inning and a half in Baltimore got started tonight, with a shout from home plate umpire Bob Davidson into the Red Sox dugout at the beginning of the eighth. "Who you yellin' at?" was the full quote. "Go drink some decaf!"
Then, for a moment, things settled. Coco grounded out routinely to second base. Ellsbury hit a single to left center. Remy droned on, comfortingly, with Pedroia at the dish, Ellsbury stealing second as Brian Roberts dropped the ball. Sox up 6 to 2 in Baltimore.
Baltimore pitcher Lance Cormier fumbled on the mound, distracted by Jacoby. Then he finally came home with a pitch low and away. Pedroia checked his swing (or so it seemed) for ball four, and trotted toward first base.
And that's when the real shenanigans kicked off. First-base umpire Alfonso Marquez called it strike two, saying Pedroia had gone around. Pedroia, having ignored the appeal to first from the catcher behind him as he took his presumptive walk, looked at Marquez, deadpan, and then, tilting his head just so, mimicked Marquez's gesture.
It was a breathtaking moment of audacity, its acid calm a sharper insult than a shout would have been, and it left Marquez muttering. The ump returned the disrespect with a flip of his hand, waving Pedroia off.
"Right now, I'd get thrown out of the game if I was Pedroia," Remy broke in, giggling. "I would, honest to God, I don't think I could control myself."
Pedroia grounded out to shortstop, turned, and walked toward the dugout, not saying a word. "Well, that is clearly the difference between you and Dustin," Don Orsillo said. "Dustin just walks away."
Not two seconds later, just as he hit the warning track, a "FUCK!" that was audible on camera burst out of Pedroia. He turned back toward the field to puimp out more expletives like bullets.
The umpires fired back. Bob Davidson made the international sign for ejection from the ball game. F bombs continued launching themselves from Pedroia's mouth as Tito herded him into the dugout. Youkilis looked after him as he fled into the tunnel and shook his head.
Before things could get settled down again, a big white kid behind the dugout in a Cal Ripken jersey was heckling Coco. Coco seemed to take the bait, not something I'm used to seeing ballplayers do, and the two went back and forth until a Camden Yards security guard, much older than both ballplayer and heckler, stepped in to tell the fan to sit down.
The fan seemed incredulous, and gave his elder his own ration, to which the security guard responded sharply. All of a sudden, everyone was losing their minds for no apparent reason.
"Now everyone's getting hot, here," was Remy's call. He also remarked that the security guy had "gotten the last word. He just let him have it."
"A lot of action," Orsillo observed.
Momentarily the drama was interrupted by activity on the actual field, as Ellsbury slid home safe on a single by Kevin Youkilis, after an intentional walk for Papi. Reason to love NESN #24352: they went back and gave us a closeup on how Youkilis's hit sat Baltimore's Happy Heckler down and shut him up.
With Jason Bay at the plate, suddenly, everything quieted again. "Well Don, you underestimate those fiery little second basemen," Remy mused. "Pretty much know when they're gonna get thrown out of the game."
Bay grounded out, 6-5, ending the eighth before any more "verbal violence" broke out, but the Crazy spilled over into the ninth, when Ripken Jersey was shown surrounded by security guards and escorted from his seat, stopping to jaw with another Orioles fan on his way out.
Remy had questions as this scene unfolded. "Other than being intoxicated, I wonder what would make you, you know, like, sit in the front row at a ball game and make a complete ass of yourself."
"I see your point," Don said, in an ixnay tone of voice. "I don't know."
"He wanted to get into it with the players, the fans around him, the security people, and finally with the police."
"And now he's gone."
"So when do you think the suspension will begin?" Orsillo said at the mid-9th cut to commercial with sarcastic cheer. "When we get to Toronto?"
I feel my own ixnay coming on, because I know there are many like Ripken Jersey behind the bullpens and dugouts at Fenway every home game. I also want to note that to some extent, it makes me happy when I see other East Coast baseball fans getting into the game, even to the point of being obnoxious hooligans; the more intensity there is in baseball, the better.
But like Remy, I can't help but wonder. I'd like to know just what that guy said to Coco that got a response. It must have been something that would get anybody's attention, something that goes beyond being just enthusiastic or intense. Especially given how the kid acted toward the security guard and on his way out, neither of which I would defend, regardless of what jersey he was wearing.