DETROIT – Lance Lynn avoided talking about his confrontation with third base coach Joe McEwing in the visitors dugout at Comerica Park Monday by cracking a joke about about food choices.
“I thought he handled it perfectly,” McEwing said Tuesday. “In today’s day and age everything is magnified because you’re on camera. I thought he handled it amazingly.”
McEwing and almost everyone else assumed Lynn, who gave up 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings in his first start of the season coming off knee surgery, was upset about how Sox fielders were positioned during the Tigers’ base hit barrage. But McEwing and others in the Sox clubhouse are saying that wasn’t the case.
“And that’s the miscommunication part,” McEwing said. “That’s what I assumed. And it was more or less about him not making pitches. He wasn’t making pitches, he was leaving balls in the middle of the zone and that’s what he was feeling internally. My assumption was that it was about something else.”
Words were exchanged, and Lynn’s big personality and mound presence came out in the dugout.
“That kind of stuff is going to happen here and there,” Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito said. “Guys are going to get fired up. But it’s a good thing for everyone to be honest. The response was good. We played hard for nine ininngs and after a shaky start Lance started to really get into it. Saw his velocity climbing. That’s just part of a bunch of guys being together for 162 games.”
McEwing and Lynn talked it out later and hugged, McEwing said.
“Let it be known I love Lance to death. Love him,” McEwing said. “We have the same personalities.”
Lynn’s personality was welcomed to a team that entered Tuesday’s game against the Tigers three games below .500.
“It’s fantastic having him back,” Giolito said. “On his start days when he takes the ball he brings that energy and that fire. That’s something to look forward to every five days having him on the mound. And in the clubhouse, very wise. Just a very good calming presence for our team. Someone me and the other starters can look to for advice at any point. He’s a part of what makes us whole.”
After the Sox’ 9-5 win Monday, Lynn was asked about the exchange with McEwing.
“He was trying to get me going,” Lynn said. “He kept telling me that filet is better than ribeye. I’m more of a ribeye and potatoes guy. He’s a filet and like, Caesar salad. I just told him he was wrong, and then he went back to coaching third.”
McEwing took the gag and ran with it.
“Well, I’m a pescatarian so I don’t eat meat,” McEwing said. “I don’t eat ribeye or filet, I’m a pescaterian. I eat fish.”
For general manager Rick Hahn, it was “two competitors having a conversation. I didn’t make much of it.”
“Now the fact that Joe doesn’t eat meat makes me a little dubious of the explanation that you all reported that the conversation was about, but I’m not going to question your sources.
“No, that’s a nothing-burger. No pun intended.”