A shouting match between San Francisco Giants reliever Hunter Strickland and Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez during Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night has a lot of people questioning whether Strickland’s animosity had anything to do with Perez being a Latin ballplayer.
During the 6th inning on Wednesday, Strickland came into the game in relief. His team was losing 3 to 2. He proceded to give up a two-run double to Perez followed by a two-run home run to Omar Infante, giving the Royals a five-run lead and effectively sealing the game and tying the World Series up at one game apiece.
The moment was enough to let Strickland’s emotions get the best of him. After the home run, Strickland got into a shouting match with Perez. A full video of the verbal confrontation is here.
A vine video, shows Strickland apparently telling Perez to “get in the dugout, boy.” That comment specifically set the Twittersphere afire.
Former Major League pitcher Duaner Sanchez told Fox News Latino on Thursday that while emotion clearly had a lot to do with the exchange, the bigoted implications in calling Perez a “boy” were clear.
“I say what I feel. I say what I see. Yeah, it’s a word, you know how they used that word back in the day… You know exactly what I’m talking about,” said Sanchez, who is part of the broadcast team calling the World Series on Fox Deportes. “[Washington's Bryce] Harper, [St. Louis' Matt] Adams hit homers [off Strickland this postseason]. Harper hit two. He didn’t say anything, he just yelled to his glove, and all of a sudden the Latino guy did it, and [Strickland] wants to fight and do all of that."
Sanchez went on, "If you cannot control your emotion, if you think we [Latinos] are less than you, I’m sorry we are here to stay. Throw better pitches in the big leagues. This is the big leagues, if you don’t throw better pitches, you don’t make adjustments, pack your stuff and go home.”
Infante’s homer was the fifth home run Strickland has given up this postseason - the most served up by a pitcher in playoff history. The 26-year-old rookie, who was pitching in Class AA just two months ago, after the game told took responsibility for losing control of his emotions and told reporters that Perez was yelling at him in Spanish, and he didn’t understand what he was saying.
“I haven’t done my job to the best of my ability. I let the team down,” Strickland said. “It was miscommunication on my part. It’s no hard feelings to anything, my emotions got the best of me.”
Perez said the incident is just part of the game and he’s just concentrating on Game 3 in San Francisco on Friday.
"He started to look at me, so I asked him like, 'Hey, why you look at me?'" Perez told reporters after the game. "He was telling me, 'Get out of here, whatever.' So I don't know. 'You don't have to treat me like that. Look at Omar. Omar hit a bomb. I didn't hit a bomb. I hit a double.'"
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Strickland is a “really intense kid.”
“He shows his emotions, but it's an area he probably has to work on because you're going to give up a home run occasionally," Bochy added.
Listen, I get emotions are high. But I watched the video, & I’m incensed Strickland called Perez “boy”. Racist overtones and wrong. #royals
— Chad Andrew Herring (@chadah) October 23, 2014
Hunter Strickland's post-game response about Salvador Perez: "I don't speak Spanish," sure sounds awful racist/ignorant to me.
— Dan Merker (@danmerker) October 23, 2014
— Mike Madrid (@madrid_mike) October 23, 2014
Looked line Strickland said "get to the dugout boy, wanna go?" Wonder what MLB thinks about racist verbal altercations
— Mark Two Wolf (@mmMOUF) October 23, 2014
So Tyler Strickland looked like just called Salvador Perez ‘boy’ in that replay and that, if true, is really inexcusably racist #WorldSeries
— That's Mr. Misander (@SKiNNYiLL) October 23, 2014