Tim Benz: If Pirates, Reds weren’t so lame, they could have a decent rivalry | TribLIVE.com
Tim Benz, Columnist

Tim Benz: If Pirates, Reds weren’t so lame, they could have a decent rivalry

Tim Benz
Cincinnati Reds’ Eugenio Suarez, left, reacts after being hit by a pitch by Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Clay Holmes during the ninth inning Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell (25) is restrained by umpire Laz Diaz, center, after being ejected by Jeff Nelson, right, following an argument over Reds’ Eugenio Suarez being hit by a pitch by Pirates’ Clay Holmes during the eighth inning Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in Cincinnati.

Given all the attention on how the Pirates may retaliate against Derek Dietrich preening after his three home runs Tuesday, tempers were a little hot Wednesday afternoon in Cincinnati.

The Pirates beat the Reds, 7-2. But it wasn’t without incident.

Pirates pitcher Clay Holmes, not exactly renowned for his control (34 strikeouts vs. 30 walks in his MLB career), hit Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez late in the eighth inning with the Pirates leading 7-0.

Jameson Taillon broke Suarez’s thumb with a pitch last year. So he was a little touchy.

This time, X-rays were negative on Suarez’s hand.

Manager David Bell got ejected after arguing with the umpires. It appears he feels that they didn’t do enough to protect his players. Presumably, Bell was upset that Holmes wasn’t ejected or warned.

He claims the Pirates are known for throwing at batters.

The Pirates are right in the middle of the league — 16th out of 30 teams — in hit batters, with 22. The Reds are 18th with 21.

Bell also insists that Suarez was just sticking up for himself and that he was doing the same thing as a manager when he got ejected.

Suarez “protected” himself? How, exactly? By walking a quarter of the way out to the mound and saying “OK” before slinking to first base?

Yeah. That was awfully intimidating. Especially with his blonde, boy-band dye job. It looks like he combed Antonio Brown’s mustache through his hair.

Then — to be clear — Bell announced that he “protected” his player by getting ejected?

When did that occur? Did I miss it? Was it when he was having a slow-burn hissy-fit like a soccer mom at a Chardonnay lunch?

He didn’t get ejected so much as he got escorted out of the club by security at closing time.

It was almost as if the crew chief got bored and tossed him because he was taking too long to make his point.

Afterwards, Taillon got into a Twitter hissing contest with former Reds pitcher Jon Moscot.

So, to recap. Dietrich punked the Pirates two games in a row.

If the Bucs retaliated at all, they did so by throwing at the wrong guy.

Then the Reds responded with the weakest attempt at almost fighting in the history of baseball, followed by the most forced ejection of all time.

Finally, the fur ended up flying more on social media then it did on the field. And that happened between one guy who is retired and another guy who is on the 60-day injured list.

If only the Reds and Pirates weren’t both so lame, this would be one heck of a rivalry.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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