“I joked around with [Tigers catcher Alex] Avila and the umpire [Dan Iassogna],’’ said the Red Sox first baseman. “I said, ‘Should I be scared now?’’’
The laughter died on Gonzalez’s lips when Coke’s next pitch drilled him in the ribs. The umpires weren’t amused either. Mindful that Boston reliever Matt Albers had hit Prince Fielder the day before with a pitch that struck him in the calf after Fielder had homered in his two previous at-bats, umpires issued warnings to both benches after Coke hit Gonzalez, who had homered in his previous at-bat.
“I’m not a big fan of warnings because you take away the immediate retaliation of it,’’ Gonzalez said. “You know it’s going to happen. We've all got seven more years here. It might not happen the next series, but eventually it’s going to happen.’’
The Tigers and Red Sox meet again in a four-game series in Fenway Park on May 28 to 31.
Did Gonzalez think Coke was retaliating for Fielder getting hit by Albers the day before?
“There were two strikes,’’ he said. “[Albers] just yanked a fastball. It didn’t even cross my mind.
“I just think it’s a bad call on their end because now it’s putting Miggy’s and Prince’s careers at risk. You know it’s going to happen eventually.’’