LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers seem to have found a rallying cry for the stretch drive, and it was supplied by (and came at the expense of) the ace pitcher of their most bitter rival.
Some Dodgers players Tuesday were wearing blue T-shirts with “#DONTLOOKATME” written on them in white block lettering, and there were at least two social media posts about the subject on the Twitter accounts of Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez.
“What’s that referencing?” manager Dave Roberts said with a wry smile when asked about his players’ clothing choices.
As Roberts no doubt knew, the words came from San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, who appeared to shout them at Puig during Monday night’s game at Dodger Stadium. Bumgarner had just fielded a slow roller and thrown out Puig at first base to end the seventh inning when he seemed to take exception to Puig looking at him after the play.
Bumgarner appeared to say, “Don’t look at me,” to Puig, repeating it at least two more times and adding an expletive on the third refrain. Puig first appeared to shout back, “What?” and then seemed to say, “What are you going to do to me?”
The incident caused both benches to empty. No punches were seen, but Puig reached out in Bumgarner’s direction even though he was nowhere near him.
The Dodgers trailed 1-0 at the time of the incident, and Bumgarner was removed from the game by manager Bruce Bochy immediately after it went down. The Dodgers rallied to win with two runs in the ninth inning off the Giants’ bullpen and took a six-game lead in the National League West over San Francisco, while reducing their magic number for a division title to seven.
The teams still have five games against each other over the final two weeks, with another game Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. The season concludes with the teams playing three games against each other at San Francisco.
Roberts said he had no problem with his players having fun with the latest chapter of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry.
The photo on Puig’s Twitter account included him, Gonzalez and rookie Jose De Leon, wearing the “#DONTLOOKATME” T-shirt, with one hand over their eyes. The photo on Gonzalez’s Twitter account had him, Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner striking the same pose in the same shirt.
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) September 20, 2016
— Adrián González (@Adrian_ElTitan) September 20, 2016
“I think that you get two guys who are competing and obviously they know what is at stake,” Roberts said. “Emotions get in the way sometimes. I don’t think there is anything else to it.”
There is no review of the incident currently underway by Major League Baseball, according to a baseball source. That does not mean a review is out of the question.