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Ramon Laureano: ‘I regret charging him because he’s a loser’

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Alex Cintron takes a verbal beating after Sunday’s brawl

Houston Astros v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

If there was a Hall of Fame of baseball quotes, this one might just make the inner circle.

“I regret charging him because he’s a loser.”

Those words by Oakland A’s outfielder Ramon Laureano (via Jeff Passan, ESPN) perfectly encapsulate his altercation with Houston Astros coach Alex Cintron on Sunday. There’s the regret, an acknowledgement that he shares some fault in the incident, followed immediately by a blunt assessment of his instigator, who is shaping up as the villain in the story in the eyes of the national public. The speaker doesn’t let himself off the hook, but he doesn’t mince words either.

Laureano and Cintron clashed toward the end of their game Sunday, with the A’s two innings away from sweeping the defending AL champs out of town and into third place. Laureano, a former Astros prospect who unexpectedly blossomed into a star in Oakland, much to the chagrin of his former team, coincidentally or not was hit by pitches twice on Sunday and three times in the weekend series. On the third one, he took exception.

The walk to first base was full of taunting by Laureano toward the rookie pitcher who plugged him, but he did arrive at the bag. However, the Astros dugout continued barking, and Cintron crossed the line by saying something about Laureano’s mother. The outfielder snapped and charged toward the dugout. Click here for more details, or watch the video below.

Passan’s story also includes praise for Houston catcher Dustin Garneau, who wrapped up Laureano and stopped him from reaching Cintron or the dugout. The two were briefly teammates in Oakland last summer, and Laureano credits Garneau with helping defuse the situation and preventing him from doing anything worse after his charge.

“I really feel the respect. He’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had. He protected me,” said Laureano of Garneau.

The A’s star, who has been arguably the team’s best hitter so far in 2020 and has led them to an AL-best record and nine-game winning streak, knows a suspension is coming and calls it “understandable.” It remains to be seen how long the ban might last, and the baseball world will be watching to see if someone on the Astros (Cintron) finally gets serious punishment for a transgression, amid feelings that they got off light for their cheating scandal last winter.

In the meantime, from the man who brought us, “I told him ‘remember you stepped on my bat? Here. You can step on it again,’” in 2019 after homering off Adrian Sampson, we have another all-time quote. Don’t mess with Ramon.