When the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees meet, even in Spring Training, there is always a buzz around the game. Tuesday’s showdown between the two arch-rivals, their first meeting of 2014, was no exception. Except this time, the buzz was a little too real.
The Red Sox Spring Training showdown with the hated Yankees was heading into the bottom of the third inning Tuesday at the Yankees home Spring Training ballpark, George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida, when Boston left fielder Mike Carp heard a loud buzzing right behind him.
Carp immediately abandoned his position and made a beeline for the infield, where he pointed umpires in the direction of the gathering swarm.
”Just a strange little delay of game,” said the Red Sox outfielder.”They kept coming towards me and I wanted no part of that. I didn’t want a couple thousand bees on me.”
A very understandable sentiment. But Yankees first baseman Mark Texeira, in his team’s dugout, had his own brilliant idea of how to deal with the sudden insect infestation.
”What I thought is, if you just do a line of honey out to the parking lot, the bees would maybe follow it and then leave us alone,” the Yankee slugger said.
”It was hard to see,” said Carp. ”I guess they were honeybees, so it wasn’t anything that was too dangerous, but nevertheless, it’s still shocking to see a swarm of bees flying around you in the middle of a baseball game.”
Umpires immediately called out the stadium ground crew, who braved the swarm, bombarding the bees wit insect repellant until they finally dissipated. In all, the bee delay set the game back about seven minutes.
‘I’d never seen that before. I’d never had that,” umpire Tom Hallion said. ”I asked the grounds crew, ‘What do we do?’ They told me that kind of honeybee wasn’t indigenous to the area. They didn’t know why they were there. They sprayed out there, and we were OK.”
As soon as the bees were gone, the first New York batter, catcher Francisco Cervelli, stung Red Sox lefty Felix Doubront for a triple to left field, where Carp has resumed his duties.
“Right back at it,” Carp said.
The New York Yankees ended up defeating the Boston Red Sox in the bee-delayed contest, 8-1.