For a whole lot of something, Avisail Garcia wants everyone to know it was because of a whole lot of nothing.
CC Sabathia struck out Garcia looking to end the top of the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s 8-3 Yankees win at the Stadium, but the Rays were ahead 3-1 at the time.
Sabathia and Garcia appeared to exchange words as Sabathia walked back toward the Yankees dugout, resulting in the clearing of both benches and bullpens. No punches were thrown.
Didi Gregorius — who later delivered the metaphorical knockout blow with a grand slam to put the Yankees ahead 8-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning — restrained Sabathia and escorted him to the dugout.
The 40,401 in attendance were invested in the potential scuffle, but Garcia insisted it was nothing.
“I don’t know what was happening,” he said. “I don’t know.”
He added: “I’m that guy that, I don’t like problems. I respect everybody. I didn’t say anything, so let’s keep it like that.”
Garcia said that it’s “part of the game” when asked if he was surprised benches cleared over what he repeatedly categorized as “nothing.”
“When I’m talking, I’m talking to myself,” Garcia said. “I’m not talking to anybody.”
Sabathia and the Rays have history, as last year the lefthander retaliated after Andrew Kittredge threw a pitch near the head of Austin Romine. Sabathia was ejected and served a suspension at the start of this season.
“It was for no reason,” Garcia said of Tuesday’s incident. “When I face him again, I’ll try to do my job and he’ll try to do his job. No problem at all.”