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Boiling over: Sergio Romo's feud with Francisco Lindor goes from "little words" to clearing the benches

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins
Sep 11, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians benches clear after an altercation during the eighth inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS — Whatever started between Sergio Romo and Francisco Lindor during the Twins’ series in Cleveland in late August, nearly ended up being finished in the top of the eighth inning on Friday night in the Twins’ 3-1 victory at Target Field.
Lindor made the third out of the inning when he hit a fly ball to left fielder Eddie Rosario, but as the Cleveland shortstop ran down the first base line, he began exchanging words with the Twins reliever. Lindor, one of the more popular players in baseball, appears to be laughing at Romo.

As you can see, Twins first baseman Miguel Sano made sure that Romo couldn’t get to Lindor but the benches did empty and the bullpens came toward the infield on a rainy night in Minneapolis.
“I’m not sure exactly the whole history behind it,” Twins rookie catcher Ryan Jeffers said. “I don’t want to comment a ton on that. He’s a fiery guy and that’s what makes him good. He’s a really, really good pitcher for us. He pitches with passion. I don’t want him to change. I don’t want him to throw the ball any other way.”
In the Twins’ 3-2 victory on Aug. 24 in Cleveland, Romo also worked the eighth and then had some words for the Cleveland dugout. This included pointing at Cleveland players after he struck out Greg Allen, who is no longer with the team. Romo then exchanged words with Lindor and third baseman Jose Ramirez as they warmed up between innings. Two nights later, in Cleveland’s 6-3 win, Romo gave up three runs, two hits and a walk in one-third of an inning to take the loss.
“It’s a situation that’s been brewing for a while,” acting Cleveland manager Sandy Alomar Jr. said. “Romo likes to dish it, our guys were dishing it back. The whole thing about this situation (is) Romo has been animated his whole career and (he has) been in the National League. We don’t know much about him. But that’s the way he is, and if he’s going to dish it, we’ll dish it back. You have to take it, that’s the bottom line. His little words there …”
Following Friday’s incident, television cameras showed Marwin Gonzalez and then Ehire Adrianza in the Twins dugout talking to Romo about what happened. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said he didn’t know exactly what led to the incident.
“I can kind of add some things up from the last time we saw these guys,” he said. “First and foremost, the last thing that we want is any sort of confrontation. We don’t want to see it. We don’t want our benches and our bullpens clearing and there was a warning at the end of the game. We don’t have any desire to deal with any back-and-forth from our pitchers and the opposition’s pitchers, either.
“So, first and foremost, I think that’s something to be clear on. But I think it’s basically to the point where it’s just a couple of players that continually interact with each other when they probably shouldn’t. I think it would probably be better if they didn’t. I think a lot of the interaction is … some of it’s subtle, some of it’s not so subtle. But I think if we just all went out there and played the game and tried to ignore what was going on on the other side, we’d be in better shape.”
This isn’t the first (or second) time Romo has found himself the center of attention from an opponent this season. He ticked off the Kansas City Royals in mid-August after he told Jorge Soler to “keep talking,” following a called third strike that ended the game.
Given what Baldelli had to say on Friday night, you have to wonder if Romo is going to be told to do less talking and just focus on pitching.