Cubs, Braves benches clear as catchers argue

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It might be a first in baseball: The benches clearing because of an argument involving pitch framing.

It came after Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras homered in the second inning off of Atlanta Braves starter Julio Teheran in the Cubs’ 8-3 win on Monday night. Contreras was upset that plate umpire John Tumpane was giving Braves catcher Tyler Flowers a few calls — and he let him know it after a homer to right field.

“To be honest, those pitches weren’t even close to the strike zone, and [Flowers] got mad because I was talking to the umpire about that,” Contreras said after the game. “He jumped into the conversation.”

Contreras was asked what he said to Flowers as he began his jog around the bases.

“‘You do your job I’ll do mine,'” Contreras recalled saying. “He got pissed off.”8

As he rounded first base, Contreras also gave a look inside the Braves dugout. By the time he crossed home plate, Flowers was waiting for him, and the two exchanged words before the benches cleared. No punches were thrown, and the altercation subsided.

“I got no problem with him saying anything to me, but when it starts to reflect on our pitcher on the mound and our team, that’s more of an issue for me,” Flowers said.

Flowers also said he believes the 27-year-old Contreras has a reputation for instigating matters with his complaints.

“I know I think he does that from time to time. I don’t know. It was all very unnecessary in my opinion,” Flowers said. “The guy is a decent hitter, he doesn’t need to complain about every call. We won’t get into that aspect of the game we just finished. He got plenty of calls for his guys, too. Sometimes you need to pick your battles, and that’s hopefully something he will learn as he gets a little bit older.”

On the Braves’ broadcast of the game, former outfielder Jeff Francoeur added fuel to the fire when he said he should have thrown a “haymaker” at Contreras in 2016 when the teams had a similar issue with each other. Contreras caught wind of Francoeur’s comments.

“That made me laugh,” Contreras said. “He’s a poor guy. If he’s behind the screen [on the microphone], he should be a professional. He knows better.”