Courtesy of StepOutside.org

Wait, was David Bell about to cry?

CINCINNATI -- How high did emotions run at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday night?

Enough to make a grown man apparently almost cry.

That's the Reds' manager, David Bell, after the Pirates' 11-4 win over his team Tuesday at Great American Ball Park. And this is what had him so worked up:

"Yeah, yeah, he threw it up at his head," Bell said of Keone Kela's pitch to Derek Dietrich after the game. "It didn't surprise us, because that's kind of been going on all year. I say it didn't surprise us, but I can't tell you how disappointing it is that it's still going on and nothing's been done about it ... It's a shame that this is allowed and that they're able to get away with it. They celebrate it. They support it. They clearly allow it — I don't know if they teach it, but they allow it. It's dangerous."

Kela going high and inside on Dietrich? Yeah, that didn't slip. Dietrich has given the Pirates fits this season, and he hasn't been shy about letting them know he has their number. So when that one sailed into the netting past Dietrich's dome, you just knew things were about to get heated.

And they did.

First, it was Joey Votto and Kela barking between innings:

 

"We understand policing," Votto said of that incident embedded above. "I understand that fans in general don't like it. I understand that the league in general doesn't like it. But I get it. However, I think there's a dangerous way to do it, and I think there's a safer way to do it. Ultimately, Derek's on my team, and I'd like to think I stand up for my teammates. Today was a good example of all of us standing up for each other."

Then came the main event. After Jared Hughes was ejected for hitting Starling MarteAmir Garrett came on to pitch in the ninth inning and reportedly hurled a fat "Fudge You" — only he didn't say "fudge" — toward Josh Bell, who was next to hit. This stoked the flames and sent the Pirates' dugout into a frenzy, leading to...

There it is. The main event of the evening. Reds players loved it.

"I have a lot of respect for Amir Garrett," Yasiel Puig, who was actually traded mid-game before this all went down, said. "He's doing what he's supposed to do for his team. We don't want to throw at nobody. They threw at Dietrich. Amir did what he should do."

"You know it's on purpose," Garrett said of Kela's pitch to Dietrich. "We have a history with them. You know, it just gets to the point where ... nobody's protecting us. I can't really tell you much of what happened. I was angry. Today, it wasn't about baseball. It was about protecting my teammates, protecting this brotherhood. I'm gonna accept any punishment that I have. As a man, I take on that responsibility. I apologize for my actions. It was just in the heat of things."

The Pirates' players weren't quite as sold.

"It seems like every time Amir gets on the field he's looking to fight, not play baseball," Joe Musgrove said after the game. "That's extremely uncalled for. The way he went about it, I think, was extremely wrong and I don't really have a whole lot to say on it other than that."

But none of this is really about the players. Not when you have that Bell reaction up top. Let's listen in one last time:

"It's just bigger than baseball at this point, when people you care about are ... their careers are put ... their health is put in jeopardy like that," Bell said, responding to a question asking if he was pointing the finger at Clint Hurdle at all. "And just nothing, nothing is done about it. Nothing has been done about it. And it just continues to happen. We suffer for it. But I don't really care. At some point, we gotta do what we gotta do."

The shaky vocal cords and misty eyes suggest Bell does, in fact, "really care." You know what else shows he "really cares"?

The fact he was ejectedearlier in the game and charged back onto the field anyway to partake in the chaos. Just so we're clear, the timeline goes something like this:

  • Kela throws high and inside to Dietrich
  • Votto and Kela jaw between innings
  • Bell is ejected
  • Hughes hits Marte with a pitch
  • Garrett takes the mound
  • Fight breaks out
  • Bell re-enters the game and the field to fight
  • Bell pins all wrongdoing on the Pirates and Hurdle

In the end, really, it was just baseball. Even Dietrich knew it at the time. He returned to the batter's box and did his job, eventually getting struck out by Kela to end the inning. Tensions flared a bit from there, but all that? It was unnecessary, and it was only made more unnecessary by Bell's overly dramatic retelling of the night's events.

To reiterate: That's baseball.

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