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MLB Pitchers Tossed, Fined After National Anthem Standoff Gets Out of Hand

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

You just can’t have fun anymore! An old-fashioned national anthem standoff between Boston Red Sox reliever Kutter Crawford and Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Matt Strahm resulted in the ejection of both players and also fines.

Crawford and Strahm, former teammates and current friends, were both trying to be the last player off of the field after the anthem. Childish, of course, but also fun. Not according to Major League baseball!

MLB instituted a pitch clock to help move games along this season, and both players had to be off the field in order to accommodate the clock and start the game. After numerous warnings, both players were tossed. They likely didn’t mind the ejection, as one player was already injured, and the other wasn’t pitching, but that didn’t stop MLB from hitting the two in their wallets.

Strahm, who used to be a Boston Red Sox, explained to WEEI’s Rob Bradford. Via Breitbart, Strahm had this to say:

“Zero of it was planned,” he said. “Just, anthem was over, and I looked across, and Kutter kind of gave me a grin, and I knew exactly what that grin meant, so [I] just stood there. 

“If you know me, you know competition is everything to me, so kind of felt like I was being called out right there. Looking back on it, probably not the wisest decision I’ve made in my big-league career.”

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Considering Strahm is closer to the MLB minimum salary than he is to the maximum, he is probably right. However, the fine for the injured Crawford is much higher, and he isn’t a superstar either. He does, however, have a benefactor likely to assist with his fine payment.

Being that Crawford is on the 15-day injured list at the moment, his fine for being ejected is much higher than Strahm’s, but Red Sox manager Alex Cora said that he’ll be getting help from a certain teammate.

I know there’s a guy that went to the same school as him that’s probably going to take care of that,” he said.

Chris Sale and Crawford both attended Florida Gulf Coast University, so that’s where the help could be coming.

Chris Sale is the superstar pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. The former All-Star can certainly afford to kick in a few extra bucks to assist his friend with the fine.

Yes, both pitchers violated the new rule that the MLB instituted to help facilitate gameplay. So by the rules, both players should have been fined and ejected. That being said, a harmless prank between friends is a welcome change in a sport decidedly lacking in color and personality.

Most professional sports are devoid of personality. Many players prefer to pout or preen instead of expressing any sort of personality. Baseball should be happy. Considering both players could have been kneeling or sitting for the Anthem, it could have been a much worse look for baseball than two goofballs trying to one-up each other after the song.

Let’s just take a minute and enjoy two grown men having fun playing a child’s game and not taking themselves too seriously for a change. It is kind of nice to see in an age of LeBron’s.