Donnelly-Guillen feud rekindled
Sox pitcher, Mariners outfielder exchange words at Fenway
BOSTON -- Unless you are a fan of the Angels or the Nationals, the exchange of words that took place between Red Sox reliever Brendan Donnelly and Mariners right fielder Jose Guillen on Tuesday afternoon was probably a bit of a mystery. But then you connect the dots, and it starts to make sense.
Donnelly struck out Guillen on three pitches in the eighth. Then, Guillen and Donnelly had some words. Guillen took a few steps toward the mound and was ejected. Donnelly then hit the next batter -- Kenji Johjima -- and was also thrown out of the game.
Guillen and Donnelly were teammates in Anaheim in 2004, the same year the former was suspended late in the season for a clash with manager Mike Scioscia.
One season later, Donnelly was thrown out of a game against Guillen's Nationals for using pine tar on his glove.
"There's some history there," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "And we were warned in Spring Training and warned before the game, 'No shenanigans.' And there wasn't. We told Brendan when he was pitching, 'Just let it go. Whatever happened in Anaheim, just let it go.' And he struck him out, and then there was some words. And they ejected Guillen."
Donnelly didn't appear to hit Johjima on purpose.
"From where I sit, it was horrendous timing," said Francona. "I think it was just a mistake, but it was bad timing and it didn't look good. But it wasn't on purpose."
Trying to make a good impression on his new team, Donnelly said that he wouldn't put a personal agenda above the team. Especially not on a day they were in control throughout, going on to win by a score of 14-3.
"I didn't hit him, I was pitching to him," Donnelly said. "I'm not going to take a personal grudge and then make it a team's grudge. The 25 guys are more important than me and Guillen. If I can get him out, I mean, that's what I want to do."
"It goes way back to when I was with the Angels and got traded," Guillen said. "He got cheating once and unfortunately he keeps running off his mouth. I was surprised that I was the one who got ejected. I wasn't the one that started it."
Guillen also didn't appear to be giving Donnelly the benefit of the doubt on the intent of his pitch to Johjima.
"If he's going to hit somebody, hit me, not our catcher," Guillen said. "He's not man enough to do it."
Donnelly wasn't in the mood to elaborate much on his feelings for Guillen. What was their relationship in Anaheim?
"We were teammates," said Donnelly.
Needless to say, Donnelly didn't argue when the Angels suspended Guillen right through the postseason. The Angels were swept in the American League Division Series by the Red Sox that year.
"I supported the decision the Angels made at that time," said Donnelly.
Don't look for any apologies from either side during the remaining two games of this series.
"I don't need to talk to him," said Guillen. "He doesn't need to talk to me either. We are grown-up people here. If he wants to settle something, he can send a bat boy over here to get me and we can settle it like men. That's all I have to say."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.