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Joey Votto: Benches-clearing incident vs. Brewers a ‘misunderstanding’ (vid)

Joey Votto’s antics during his second at-bat of Thursday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers led to the benches briefly clearing, although it ultimately was a rather tame affair. The Cincinnati Reds star defended his actions while insisting the the entire situation was spawned by a “misunderstanding.”

The incident began with Votto confronting home plate umpire Roberto Ortiz after a called strike. After stepping back into the batter’s box, Votto appeared to turn back towards Ortiz, which inspired frustrated Brewers catcher Erik Kratz to run some interference.

Kratz stood up and soon enough, he and Votto were face to face exchanging pleasantries. That’s when the benches cleared.

“There was just a little bit of a misunderstanding at the plate and other than both of us standing our ground, there was really nothing to it,” Votto said of the incident after the 6-4 loss, via

It turned out to be much ado about nothing outside of a brief delay. Players even engaged in some lighthearted antics afterward, with relievers laughing during their return to their respective bullpens.

Even Votto and Kratz interacted at first base after the latter drew a walk later in the game. Kratz joked about the incident after the game and called the situation “completely blown out of proportion.”

Votto, one of the more eccentric personalities in baseball, concurred.

“I think it escalated into something that wasn’t necessarily … that’s pretty standard for ball,” Votto said. “Two players have a disagreement and both sides kind of get in the middle of it. But really it was nothing.”