If the great community of Reddit has taught us one thing (and it has taught the world many-a-things), it's that Australians are weird. They just are. And A's Australian-born closer, Grant Balfour, is no exception to that rule.
"He's always yelling – whether it's at himself or the hitter or the umpire; I never know," fellow A's reliever Sean Doolittle stated about Balfour.
A's first baseman Brandon Moss backed Doolittle's statement: “Honestly, I know Balfour is fiery on the mound. He’s yelling a lot and spitting everywhere. It’s who he is. You know, sometimes it can ruffle the feathers of other teams. Being a hitter, I can see where it’s frustrating and it can be in the moment; it can frustrate you a lot.”
In Monday's Game 3 of the ALDS, Detroit Tigers's designated hitter, Victor Martinez, found Balfour's shouting a bit more than frustrating: "I hit a foul ball, and I was looking at him (Balfour), and he said 'What the (expletive) are you looking at?,'" Martinez said. "I don't know what he wanted. I was looking at him, because I wanted him to throw the next pitch. Where did he want me to look? I don't know what he expected me to do."
However, on this particular night, Balfour found disagreement with the look Martinez sent toward the mound: "He gave me a death stare, and I asked him what he was looking at. If he's going to stare me down, come out to the mound. That's all I said."
At least, that is all Balfour said in very censored language. What Balfour actually said was "What the f*ck are you looking at?" - something the entire world had the enjoyment of being able to hear in the national telecast.
Victor Martinez was not about to be intimidated by Balfour's use of profanity, however: "I've played against the greatest closer in baseball -- Mariano (Rivera) -- and he's never done anything like that. (Balfour) starts screaming at me, but I'm not a rookie. I don't take that (expletive). I'm a veteran, and I'm a leader on my teams. (Expletive) him. He can't intimidate me."
Balfour professes that he was confused by the reaction from Martinez, stating "If I'd run it in there, I understand, but I didn't go in there the whole at-bat. So I was like, 'Why are you staring me down?' "
Even if there was confusion from both of the parties immediately involved, neither bench shied away from coming to their aid of their teammate. Following the intense verbal confrontation between Balfour and Martinez, both the Tigers's and A's benches cleared. Neither team was punished, though, seeing as the verbal showdown was all that occurred.
Tigers fans are hoping that the altercation gives the team the motivation they need to come from behind and win the series. However, Tigers's catcher, Alex Avila, believes their current plight is enough of a spark: "We're down 2-1 in a best-of-5 series. That's all the motivation anyone in this room needs. We don't need something like that to fire us up when our season is on the line."
Here is an uncensored NSFW version of the video:
The next game of the ALDS is currently airing on TBS.
Image via Wikimedia Commons