Only in baseball can chewing gum create such controversy.
Tuesday night, the Giants had their way with the Padres, scoring five runs early off starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne before reliever Dale Thayer took the mound in the sixth and gave up a grand slam to Giants catcher Hector Sanchez.
Sanchez flipped his bat and gazed at the ball before running the bases.
So, was he taking a jab at the Giants for what happened between Norris and Pagan earlier this season?
According to Thayer, no. Not even close.
“I didn’t even remember that incident happened,” Thayer said Wednesday. “I wasn’t thinking about it. It has nothing to with that. It’s absurd that anyone even thinks that it had anything to do with that.
“It was emotion, frustration,” he continued. “Not wanting to give up a home run, obviously.”
It also had to do with Sanchez, who took a few moments to admire his grand slam.
“I just feel like he took a longer time than most people,” Thayer said. “I’ve given up a bunch of home runs and no one’s really done something like that. It wasn’t even the fact that it was a grand slam, it was just the way he went about it.”
The Giants were up 9-0 at that point.
In the ninth inning, fellow Padres reliever Shawn Kelley jawed with Sanchez after he grounded-out, which prompted both teams to clear the benches.
After the game, Kelley told reporters he felt Sanchez’s stare was disrespectful to Thayer, who was “working hard out there.”
Thayer said that was just his teammate having his back.
“You never want to see people in the bullpen have that happen to them, people that you’ve been with the whole year,” he said. “Once again, it’s just emotion.”