On Sunday, Oakland Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano charged the Houston Astros' dugout after a confrontation with hitting coach Alex Cintron. Both are expected to receive lengthy suspensions from the league. Before Major League Baseball could announce the punishments for either, Laureano explained his acts to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Laureano's temper was up in part because he'd been hit in consecutive plate appearances, first by Brandon Bailey (whom he was once traded for) and then by Humberto Castellanos. Upon reaching first base, Laureano exchanged expletives with Cintron. Cintron then escalated matters with his body language and by saying "in Spanish something you don't say about my mother," according to Laureano.
The Astros denied to ESPN that Cintron said something about Laureano's mother, but did not explain what his comments were.
"They made the tough decision to let their own kid go to the States by himself and follow his own dreams," Laureano said about his family. "I've been away from my family for 10 years. It's tough to be away from them. Any chance I have to be with them, I feel like I'm in heaven. So for him to say that to me about my mom, it doesn't sit well. I've got a fire inside me right away in that second."
Cintron may have ducked behind Astros players as Laureano made a beeline for him, but he didn't escape unscathed. "I regret charging him because he's a loser." Laureano told Passan, connecting with a quality zinger before acknowledging that a suspension would be "understandable," even if he hopes it's "not that many games."
Laureano exited Sunday's game hitting .278/.406/.519 (168 OPS+) with three home runs and a stolen base over his first 69 plate appearances. For his career, he's now hit .287/.350/.509 with seven Wins Above Replacement.
The first-place Athletics have won nine consecutive games, including three consecutive against the Astros. As a result, the A's now have a five-game lead over the Astros.
The A's are next scheduled to play the Astros for three games in Houston beginning on Aug. 28.
Earlier this season, Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly was suspended for eight games after spurring a benches-clearing incident with the Astros. Even if Laureano receives a suspension that's twice as long as Kelly's, meaning 16 games, he'll be back in the lineup by then.