Maybe I'm dramatizing this a little bit. I wasn't there. I haven't seen the tape. But whatever the intention may or may not have been, the result was awesome. Here's what happened.
With two outs in the top of the fifth, the Fort Myers Miracle were trailing the Palm Beach Cardinals 5-3. Cardinals pitcher Brandon Creath threw a pitch that appeared to be meant for Miguel Sano's body. According to Brice Zimmerman, play-by-play announcer for the Miracle, it looked like it was actually headed for Sano's head.
Sometimes baseballs get away from pitchers. Especially minor league pitchers. And for a guy who is walking 5.1 batters per nine innings this season, it's not like a lack of command is unexpected. So maybe he was throwing at Sano, and maybe he wasn't.
But Sano took exception. From Brice Zimmerman's Twitter account:
Creath's first pitch to Sano was at his head, but missed behind him. Sano then launched a 450-ft plus HR on a 3-1 pitch.— Brice Zimmerman (@ZimMiracle) April 21, 2013
Mientkiewicz wanted Creath tossed for throwing at Sano, but HP ump just warned him and both dugouts.— Brice Zimmerman (@ZimMiracle) April 21, 2013
Sano admired his HR, then turned to the Palm Beach dugout and pumped his fists, was tossed, Mientkiewicz and Baxendale tossed too.— Brice Zimmerman (@ZimMiracle) April 21, 2013
Sano felt he was being thrown at. Clearly manager Doug Mientkiewicz (I still don't have to look up how to spell that name) thought Creath had done it on purpose. So did D.J. Baxendale.
Usually I'm not a fan of players showing someone else up. I love seeing passion in our players, and I love that Sano punished Creath in the best way possible by launching a massive home run, but sportsmanship matters to me. So I also have no problem with Sano getting tossed for making so blatant a gesture.
Whatever Creath's actual intent, however events actually played out in terms of Sano's gesture and Mientkiewicz's belief of intent, two things are certain. Sano thought Creath was throwing at him, and Sano took him yard.
(Thanks to our own DavidRF for pointing this out in the comments of our Fast Reaction game recap.)
Update: For more info, check out this article at MiLB.com from Ashley Marshall. Seems Sano was too much for the Cardinals.