Just as the confrontation between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers appeared to be winding down, manager Dave Roberts took exception to what he perceived as a staff member attempting to further incite matters.
Roberts began to stalk the person he spotted wearing a Diamondbacks pullover and shorts, yelling for him to get off the field and asking who he was. Roberts was diverted by Dodgers and Diamondbacks personnel, and both teams walked off the field.
Unbeknownst to Roberts until after the fact, he had engaged Robbie Ray in a shouting match. Although Ray questioned if Roberts actions were a fake act of toughness, the left-hander received an apology from the usually even-keeled manager.
“The thing is, to be clear, I didn’t know it was Robbie Ray,” Roberts said Saturday. “I’ve got no problem with players being emotional and being in the middle of a scrum.
“What I do have a problem with is staff, so when I see a person in shorts and a t-shirt and kind of instigating, being a part of that, I didn’t know it was Robbie. I’ve got nothing but respect for Robbie.
“I just assumed it was a staff member, so my apologies to Robbie. I’ve already reached out, so we’re good. I love the way he goes about things.”
Roberts’ actions were certainly out of character but reminiscent of an exchange he had with San Diego Padres manager Andy Green in 2017. Roberts was suspended one game after their confrontation, while Green was fined.
Although there wasn’t any recourse between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks in Saturday’s game, which Roberts predicted would be the case, there was a disagreement over who was responsible for both benches clearing.
Archie Bradley asserted it was former teammate A.J. Pollock protesting an out call that had been upheld by the MLB replay center rather than walking off the field in a timely manner. That prompted Bradley to shout at and gesture his former teammate to get into the dugout.
Roberts explained the Dodgers took exception to that, along with Bradley turning and having more words for the dugout. Bradley maintains he was responding to jeers that continued to be lobbied in his direction.
After Sunday, the two teams won’t meet again until Aug. 29 for the start of a four-game series at Chase Field.