Max Muncy Stares Down White Sox Dugout After ‘Disrespectful’ Intentional Walk Leads To 3-Run Bomb

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max muncy

Something about the date June 9th really gets Max Muncy fired up.

Flashback to 2019 on the same date: the Los Angeles Dodgers are playing a road game against the San Francisco Giants. Muncy wallops a home run into McCovey Cove. On the mound that day for the Giants was the always fiery Madison Bumgarner. After launching the home run, Muncy started his slow trot around the bases and Bumgarner voiced his displeasure.

It was a war of words that never turned physical, but still a notable moment from three seasons ago.

Now jump back to June 9th, 2022 but this time, the Dodgers are in Chicago facing the White Sox: It’s game three with the series split one game apiece. It’s the top of the sixth inning and Los Angeles is leading 7-5 with two outs and a runner on second. The count is 1-2 on Trea Turner before White Sox manager Tony La Russa opts to intentionally walk him to get to Muncy.

The move understandably drew some boos from White Sox faithful who have frustration built up from watching their team underperform this year. 

It proved to be a mistake as Muncy went deep and as the two-time all star took his lap around the bases, he stared down the White Sox dugout. He also yelled some expletives as he touched home:

The 10-5 score wouldn’t hold, but Los Angeles earned the series victory, winning 11-9.

Why Max Muncy was so animated

The Midland, Texas native is having a down year, batting a measly .159 with four home runs and 19 RBIs in 42 games.

This was Muncy’s first game back after spending the past two weeks on the injured list due to discomfort in his elbow. But it’s likely Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also wanted to give Muncy some time away from baseball to clear his head and come back with a more positive mindset.

So it’s easy to imagine Muncy feeling disrespected by La Russa, who decided he’d rather put men on first and second and give Muncy a crack at it rather than go after Turner who was already down in the count 1-2.

After the game, Muncy kept things short and sweet when commenting on the situation:

“I wanted to make them pay, I’ll just leave it at that.”

Remember this game as a possible turning point for Muncy this season, as he also hit a double and drove in five runs on the day.

Why Tony La Russa walked Trea Turner

The hall of fame manager pointed to the numbers as his reasoning for giving Turner a free pass to first base. He also felt going after the left-handed batter in Muncy was a more favorable matchup considering Chicago had lefty pitcher Bennett Sousa on the mound.

La Russa had this to say when asked if it was really the right move:

“I mean, is that really a question? Because it was 1-2? Now, if [catcher Will] Smith was hitting behind him, it would have been a different thing. But Muncy’s there — it’s an easy call. I mean, it’s an easy call for me. If Turner gets a hit there, I’d be walking into the lake or something, because that would’ve been stupid.”

La Russa will have plenty of time to spend in the lake if the White Sox can’t turn their season around.