Fireworks were not advertised for the Fourth of July game between the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins. Rays outfielder Carlos Gomez provided some anyway after unleashing a wild and destructive dugout meltdown that conjured memories of other epic meltdowns we’ve seen in MLB.
Gomez was very angry following his second-inning strikeout against Marlins starter Jose Urena. Earlier in the at-bat, it appeared Gomez was hit on the right hand by one of Urena’s pitches. However, Gomez was not awarded first base because home plate umpire Chris Segal ruled that he’d made an attempt to bunt the pitch.
Tampa Bay would have had a bases loaded, nobody out situation had Gomez been awarded first base. Instead, he eventually struck out. Willy Adames followed by grounding into an inning-ending double play. It would prove to be the Rays best scoring opportunity in a game they’d lose to Miami 3-0.
Tucked in the middle of the Rays lost opportunity was Gomez’s meltdown. First, he relentlessly bashed one Gatorade cooler with his bat. Then he launched a forearm attack that sent another tumbling onto the field.
Amazingly, Gomez was not ejected for his antics. He stuck around to go 0 for 3, which dropped his season batting average to .195.
Knowing that, you begin to get a better understanding of his frustration. And knowing us, you know we can’t help but wonder where Gomez’s destructive dugout meltdown ranks among others we’ve seen in MLB’s recent past.
Here are a few others that certainly rank near the top of the list.
Who could ever forget Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano going nuts on a Gatorade dispenser in the home dugout at Wrigley Field?
The incident happened on May 27, 2009, after Zambrano vehemently disagreed with umpire Mark Carlson’s call on a tag play at home plate. Zambrano went nose-to-nose with Carlson leading to his ejection. Then he motioned to eject the umpire, before heading to the dugout to do some damage.
As we learned this week, Zambrano might be looking at a comeback. Let that be a warning to dugout equipment everywhere.
This one tends to get overlooked.
Following a strikeout and ejection during a July 27, 2013 game in Baltimore, David Ortiz proceeded to bash and destroy the phone in the visitor’s dugout.
The meltdown itself was quite destructive. After all, that’s the Orioles property he destroyed there. But the Orioles apparently didn’t hold a grudge. When Ortiz retired in 2016, the team presented him with the dugout phone he destroyed as a parting gift.
This one got a lot of attention because it happened in the postseason.
During the 2015 National League Wildcard Game, then Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Sean Rodriguez essentially got into a boxing match with a Gatorade cooler in Pittsburgh’s dugout.
The meltdown came after Rodriguez had been ejected during a seventh-inning benches-clearing incident that came after Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta was hit by a pitch. It was part of a long, frustrating night that saw Pittsburgh’s thrilling season come to an end.
After cooling down and sleeping off the frustration, Rodriguez actually tweeted an apology to the Gatorade cooler. We don’t know if all was forgiven, but we do know that meltdown is one for the ages.
Perhaps there’s another destructive dugout meltdown we’ve failed to mention here that you believe deserves some recognition. If so, we’d love to hear about it. Otherwise, feel free to weigh in on which meltdown is your favorite to watch over and over again.
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