Grant Balfour likes to get pumped on the mound. The stereotypical flamethrower Balfour always speaks of his ability to feed off the crowd noise and atmosphere. Never before had we seen something quite like what Orlando Cabrera did though.
Balfour entered the game to face Juan Uribe with the bases loaded and one out. Balfour launched four straight fastballs and Uribe would strikeout swinging. Up stepped Cabrera. Balfour promptly missed outside on his first pitch, another fastball. Rather than merely a repeat of the thousands upon thousands post-1-0 interactions Cabrera said something and kicked a group of dirt towards the mound.
Balfour did not take too kindly to this and was encroaching to receive the ball anyhow. Dioner Navarro and home plate umpire Joe West quickly wedged between the two as Balfour said something that looked to be "What's your ___ problem?" After a mini-meeting with West on the mound the at-bat resumed like normal.
Balfour would force his way into a 2-2 count after a questionable check-swing call and blew a fastball by Cabrera for strike three. While walking to the dugout Balfour fist-pumped and extended his arm towards Cabrera while saying something similar to "Sit the ____ down!" Both managers would take the field to prevent more altercation, and smartly Navarro would step in front of Cabrera, acting as a shield to Balfour as Rays players, including the ready to spring Jonny Gomes, watched intently.
It's interesting to note that in the five pitches prior to Cabrera's gestures Balfour averaged 95.04 miles per hour on his fastball, but in the proceeding four Balfour averaged 95.525. Pissing Grant Balfour off has now been quantified: 0.485 miles per hour and one insane Australian with an anti-tank rifle attached to his right shoulder.