It is a good thing Washington Nationals Manager Frank Robinson is not sitting around waiting for an apology from Anaheim Angels counterpart Mike Scioscia over their on-field confrontation here during a game last week -- because one is not forthcoming.
"What am I supposed to be apologizing for?" Scioscia said Wednesday, prior to the Angels' game against the Texas Rangers. "As for how I handled myself, there's nothing to apologize for."
Eight days had passed since the unseemly dust-up between the managers during a 6-3 Nationals victory, when Robinson got Angels reliever Brendan Donnelly ejected from the game after alerting the umpires to a stash of pine tar in Donnelly's glove, and Scioscia angrily confronted Robinson on the field and threatened to "undress" the Nationals' subsequent pitchers. Both benches emptied, and Nationals outfielder Jose Guillen, a former Angel, had to be restrained.
In the highly one-sided war of words that followed, Guillen called former manager Scioscia a "piece of garbage" and said he could "go to hell," and a disgusted Robinson said he would not accept an apology from Scioscia, even if the latter tried. Scioscia and Robinson each served one-game suspensions for the incident, while Donnelly is appealing a 10-game suspension.
Both sides insist they have moved on since the incident, and with no more head-to-head meetings in the future -- unless the teams, both of which lead their respective divisions, reach the World Series -- there is a good chance the bad blood between Scioscia and Robinson will dissipate.
Still, Scioscia clearly feels no remorse over getting in the face of a man 23 years his senior -- and a Hall of Famer with 586 career homers, to boot -- in front of all those people and television cameras.
"I've got respect for Frank," Scioscia said Wednesday. "I know what Frank accomplished in this game. I know how hard he played the game. I respect what he's doing with that club. I still have respect for Frank. If it's not reciprocal, I can't control that."
Donnelly, who remains in the Angels' bullpen as he awaits a ruling on his appeal, said there is "no question" Guillen tipped off Robinson about the pine tar, and he accused the Nationals of violating baseball's unwritten rules of decorum.
"There's etiquette," Donnelly said, "and there's lack of etiquette. And the other day, you saw the latter."
In Pittsburgh, where the Nationals beat the Pirates on Wednesday afternoon, Robinson carefully avoided mentioning Scioscia's name when he spoke briefly about the incident. "Do I think about it?" Robinson said. "No. Do I think about the [other] people involved? No. It's done."
The Angels' feelings about Guillen, on the other hand, are stronger and closer to the surface, given the tumult that occurred in 2004 during his lone season with the Angels. The team suspended him in September following a confrontation with Scioscia, after the manager lifted Guillen for a pinch runner during a close game.
"I think what you saw the other day," Donnelly said, "was Jose Guillen being Jose Guillen. There's a reason he's been with so many teams, and it's gone bad for him each time."
Reminded of Guillen's "piece of garbage" comment, Scioscia said: "We've moved on. I've moved on. The organization has moved on. And at some point, Jose is going to have to move on."
Staff writer Barry Svrluga contributed to this report from Pittsburgh.