Oct 7, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Home plate umpire Gary Darling (37) gets between Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) and Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Grant Balfour (50) in the ninth inning in game three of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game at Comerica Park. Oalkand won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland’s Grant Balfour needs to chill out


Driving back from Indiana today, I was unable to catch the baseball game on television, but from what I heard it seemed like the Oakland Athletics out-played the Tigers today. They played better defense, ran the bases better, definitely had better pitching, but all of their efforts will probably be lost because, like me when I got home and ran to the internet, saw a video of Grant Balfour acting like a four-letter word that starts with “D” and ends with “K” (…yes, mom, “Duck.” He was a major, apocolyptic, throbbing duck).

His behavior was completely uncalled for, and it really cast a black shadow over the fantastic play of the A’s today. A lot of people on Twitter and in sports media initially brushed it off as Balfour being “a gamer,” and being “a very intense player,” and often “yelling to pump himself up.” Well, here’s a video of the exchange, with NSFW language, and you can hear Balfour basically picking a fight with Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez:

You can obviously hear Balfour screaming at Martinez, who, after fouling the ball off and noticed Balfour shrieking at him, had a look of, “What is that guy yelling about?” plastered on his face. Balfour, Bro’ing out as much as anyone has Bro’d before, startings with the “F*ck you” and the “b*tches” and just in general carries himself like a completely unhinged lunatic.

Martinez, as a veteran known for being affable, fun-loving, and just in general a great ambassador for the game of baseball, took deserved umbrage towards Balfour’s nonsense, per Mlive:

“I mean, (expletive) him,” said Martinez, who needed to be restrained by first-base coach Rafael Belliard. “I don’t take that (expletive). Not even the greatest closer in the game, Mariano (Rivera), will tell you stuff like that. I’m not a rookie. To intimidate me with the little (expletive) like that? I don’t take that (expletive).”

And he’s right. Balfour came off as completely classless, in direct opposition with the rest of the A’s, who have been a joy to watch this season, and who really seem like a bunch of guys any sane person would want in their clubhouse. Balfour has been known to be intense his entire career, from the Twins to the Brewers to the Rays to the A’s, but this is bush league, amateur stuff.

Honestly, I hope he just woke up a sleeping giant, because quite honestly the Tigers need it. I won’t say they’re the better team, because that’s what the playoffs are for, but I will say that they have been under-performing at an inexplicable level. Outside of Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Jose Alvarez, and Joaquin Benoit, they’ve looked lost and helpless, and if it takes a psychopath to knock them out of their doldrums, well, I hope it does the job.

It’s a shame a great series might not be remembered for the two talented teams who battled it out, but instead for the raving ass goblin who can only be good if he’s deranged or cheating.

 

And seriously, dude, you’re giving all your fellow Grants a bad name.

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Tags: ALDS Detroit Tigers Grant Balfour Oakland Athletics Victor Martinez

  • raiden

    Classless? Like…..kissing the ball before you throw to first base “classless”? Actually, if you REALLY look at the replay, you’ll see that Martinez is glaring at Balfour the second he fouls off the pitch which is BEFORE Balfour says a thing. In fact, Balfour actually said after the game that what set him off was Martinez glaring at him from home plate. You can even see it in your own replay. Balfour yells and breaths and curses on the mound, but it’s not directed at anybody, certainly not Martinez. Martinez may have taken umbrage to that, which is understandable. But, saying that Balfour was classless or a d*&k is pretty ignorant. If you stare at somebody, expect the person you’re staring at to ask you what the f8&k you’re looking at. Anybody from Detroit should be able to see that.

    • Anthony

      Last time I checked, hitters stare at pitchers the entire time they’re at the plate. That’s kind of how they see the pitches, bro. I think anybody from Oakland can see that Balfour should have kept his stupid mouth shut. Al Al is an idiot. I’m not disputing that fact.

      • Eric Espejo

        ….they don’t mean mug in between pitches like they want to fight. Here’s a note for you kitties in Detroit, if you mean mug someone from Oakland they’re gonna come at you.

        • gstoye44

          Especially if they’re from Oakland via Australia, right?

      • raiden

        Maybe you should recheck how hitters conduct themselves at the plate, then. Hitters stare at pitchers while waiting for the pitch to come in. That’s clearly not what Martinez was doing. Again, from the second he swung and fouled that ball back he never stopped glaring at Balfour. In fact, Martinez continues to glare at Balfour from his follow through. That had nothing to do with “seeing pitches”. You’re being pretty biased and blind if you can’t see or admit that Martinez is clearly staring Balfour down in that situation, which is cool. We’re all entitled to our own opinion. Do I think that Balfour should have started yelling at Martinez like he did? Meh……probably not. I know I probably would have. Doesn’t make it right. But, he also wasn’t the one who started it and was well within his rights to do what he did. Problem is, sometimes being the bigger man makes you look like a pussy which, understandably, some of these guys won’t have. Personally, I don’t think either of these guys was wrong…..but, I don’t think either of them were right, either. I can dig why both did what they did as I’d have probably done the same as both. But, saying Balfour is an a-hole because of his reaction and refusing to see that Martinez was the catalyst for that situation is pretty homeristic. But, again, we’re all entitled to our opinions

  • Mj

    @Grant Stoye.. You must be a Detroit fan… figures…. I love that Balfour Fire… Killer Instinct

  • chrisHannum

    Deranged AND cheating. We need more fighting in baseball anyway. What I find amusing is that Balfour is on the job market and the Tigers would have been a potential employer.

    • gstoye44

      Loath though I am to admit it, I would have LOVED to have him here. A low-cost option who averages over 10 k/9? Awesome.

  • MD

    Sounds like sour grapes to me. This isn’t new. He yells at himself. Been doing it his whole career. And look at your video again. You must be seeing things. First thing is Martinez yelling F U.
    After working the count to 1-2 against the left-handed hitter, Balfour did what he always does: walk off the mound towards the catcher to get the ball back while swearing up a storm. This cadence is typical for the 35-year-old Australian, and it’s been remarked upon and noted frequently around the league.

    The A’s and the Tigers played nine times in the regular season, and Balfour appeared in three of them. It’s not as if this is a new thing for him, and Detroit has seen it before. So that made it that much more curious when Martinez barked back at Balfour and sparked a benches-clearing altercation between the two teams.

    • Anthony

      Seriously? You can clearly hear Balfour say “what the fuck are you looking at?,” and then, Martinez replies. Pretty sure they played seven times not nine.