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The benches emptied during Friday night’s Nationals-Phillies game

May 2, 2014, 10:00 PM EST

Denard Span Denard Span

With runners on second and third with one out in the top of the fifth with his team down 3-1, Denard Span was in the mindset of tying the game for his team. Span requested time from home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was not granted. Lee continued with his wind-up and fired an inside fastball that nearly hit Span.

Span was upset that Lee threw inside, as he could clearly be seen saying “c’mon man” after the pitch. Lee shrugged it off and threw a low fastball for ball two before Span slapped an RBI ground out to the right side to cut the Phillies’ lead to 3-2. As he jogged off the field, it appears Lee said something to Span, which caused Span to stop dead in his tracks and turn back towards Lee. The two exchanged barbs and the dugouts and bullpens emptied. No punches were thrown and the situation was deescalated. Amid the crowd, Lee seemed bemused by the whole situation.

Watch the benches clear:

  1. wetmorepsu12 - May 2, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    Whatever.

  2. dickkimble - May 2, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    “Lee seem bemused by the whole situation.” By the situation he instigated by jawing at Span as he was jogging off the field? Lee seems like kind of a d*ck to be honest.

    • wetmorepsu12 - May 2, 2014 at 10:13 PM

      You do realize Span is the one who did exactly what they tell you not to do, when he have up and stepped out of the box without being granted time? And then he says something to Lee. That’s on Span, not Lee.

      • dickkimble - May 2, 2014 at 10:33 PM

        he didn’t step out until the pitch was on its way, and that was because the pitch was coming at him

      • gothapotamus90210 - May 2, 2014 at 11:12 PM

        @dick: you don’t have to be a lip reader to see Span said “time” while Lee was in his windup, which Lee probably heard.

    • clydeserra - May 2, 2014 at 10:36 PM

      while I don’t think lee is a dick, he did escalated the situation by saying something.

  3. burm61 - May 2, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    Wonder what the Nat’s manager has to say about the hustle out of the dugout…

  4. gothapotamus90210 - May 2, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    One does not simply step out on Cliff Lee.

    However, that doesn’t stop anybody from abusing the Phillies’ bullpen.

  5. sfm073 - May 2, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    Pitchers just need to learn to keep their mouths shut. It should have been over at that point but lee just had to get the last word.

    • gothapotamus90210 - May 2, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      Whether or not you believe in unwritten baseball rules, stepping out late is one of the bigger offenses. Pitchers take umbrage to that since stopping their windup and releasing the ball can cause injuries.

      • clydeserra - May 2, 2014 at 10:39 PM

        so can being hit with a baseball thrown by a profession pitcher can cause injuries.

        Whatever you think about stepping out, throwing at a guy is not the answer. (I don’t think lee threw at him on purpose)

      • thetoolsofignorance - May 2, 2014 at 10:40 PM

        And hitting a batter doesn’t cause injuries? That ball was within a hair of Span. Lee didn’t have to do that. He started it. That pitch could have been anywhere. Instead he had to escalate by running his mouth at Span who was leaving.

      • gothapotamus90210 - May 2, 2014 at 11:02 PM

        Tools – it can’t be assumed he threw at Span intentionally. It happens all the time when batters step out late, pitchers are usually caught off guard and lose their bearings, and the pitch ends up far from the originally intended location.

        But in all honesty, I don’t see a problem with a pitcher getting in a player’s kitchen for breaking this unwritten rule, whether it’s on that specific pitch or later on. The batter is showing disregard for the pitcher’s well being by making him stop his forward momentum, while his arm is still coming through with full force.

        Professional baseball players well aware of this indiscretion and if they choose to still do it, they deserved to get plunked. Buy the ticket, take the ride.

      • thetoolsofignorance - May 2, 2014 at 11:31 PM

        He’s a professional pitcher with excellent control and lucky for all that pitch went right where he was aiming. If it was an accident he says “Sorry” and does not start trouble. He meant to do it.

        I’m a Dodger fan. I could care less about either team. The end result is I see this from the perspective of who really came the closest to intentionally harming the other. This is on Lee. He was being a jackass and if he’d missed by only a fraction, then what? “Gee, sorry Warren. It was uh, erm, uh, unwritten rules and stuff and I sure hope your broken arm/jaw/ribs heal up ok”?

        There’s a WRITTEN rule known as “assault”. More pitchers should be made aware of that one.

      • gothapotamus90210 - May 2, 2014 at 11:38 PM

        You mean you couldn’t care less …

        … and for having the moniker “thetoolsofignorance”, I would’ve expected you to understand the game. Catchers wholeheartedly understand and endorse this unwritten rule: they protect their pitchers.

      • thetoolsofignorance - May 3, 2014 at 5:39 AM

        the everloving Appeal To Authority. I always know the other half of the argument has nothing when they resort to that. “protect the pitcher”? In this case protect the pitcher from being a total fool? Lee needs his ass kicked but good for that move. That’s what I’d do if I was his catcher. his ego is bigger than his team is it? A suspension for him or being tossed from the game at a minimum is The Right Way, is it?
        Weak

  6. DelawarePhilliesFan - May 2, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    I’m a Nats fan – Lee started it!!

    I’m a Phillies fan – Span started it!

    Everyone get over yourself. The real story is the Phillies F’ing blew a game they should have won.

    • gothapotamus90210 - May 2, 2014 at 11:15 PM

      One thing not mentioned is Utley stepped out on Clippard in the 8th. I didn’t see any of the game until the 7th and was unaware of the Lee/Span incident at the time, and my first thought was Clippard is going to throw at Utley. He didn’t, but if he did, I wouldn’t have taken offense to it as a Phillies fan.

  7. 1harrypairatesties - May 2, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    bush LEEague.

  8. phillysports1 - May 2, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    @delawarephilliesfan

    Totally.

  9. bricktop02 - May 2, 2014 at 11:30 PM

    Lee seems like kind of a kimble to be honest.

  10. username5891 - May 3, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    Instead of throwing at him throw a strike right down the middle that would have been more effective and may have led to him getting a strikeout not a RBI groundout.

  11. johnnycantread - May 3, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    Pay attention, Span!

  12. realgone2 - May 3, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    Oh no comments about benches clearing and how unsavory it is? Oh it wasn’t the Braves. I get it. Does HBT only employ jerk offs?

  13. paul621 - May 3, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Do the people commenting on here realize that a batter “stepping out” means nothing unless the umpire grants him time? Or that saying “time” means nothing unless the umpire grants it? If Lee suddenly stopped just because Span said “time” or stepped out, that would be a balk. If time had actually been granted, I’d say Span has a case. But it wasn’t, so what was Lee supposed to do?

  14. 700levelvet - May 3, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Hands down… Willie Mays is the greatest 5 tool player who ever lived…

    • sportsfan18 - May 3, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      Mike Trout will surpass him…

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