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Phillies news and rumors 3/30: Rhys Hoskins’ slide sparks benches-clearing incident in Queens

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Rhys Hoskins spent six seasons with the Phillies. (Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

While the Philadelphia Phillies were in the middle of their Opening Day game against the Atlanta Braves on Friday, it was a former Phillie making headlines and trending on social media.

Up at Citi Field, in an Opening Day game between the Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets, Rhys Hoskins made his Brewers debut, batting cleanup and playing first base.

Hoskins signed with the Brew Crew back in January, agreeing to terms on a two-year deal that includes an opt-out after 2024. Playing the Mets is nothing new to Hoskins, as he appeared in 83 games against New York as a member of the Phillies. And in the top of the eighth inning of Friday’s game, it was a slide by Hoskins that created a bit of a scene on the field.

With one out in the eighth, Hoskins drew a walk. The next batter, Willy Adames, grounded a ball to third base. New York’s third baseman, Brett Baty, fielded the ball cleanly, throwing it to second base where Jeff McNeil stood. Upon McNeil receiving the throw, Hoskins came into second sliding. And whether or not said slide was a bit too late is up for discussion. Upon review, umpires did rule the slide as legal.

McNeil took offense to Hoskins’ slide, which knocked him down to the ground. It didn’t take long for things to escalate.

The Mets’ second baseman stood over Hoskins and began pointing and yelling at him, clearly upset at what had just transpired. The former Phillie laid on the bag for a moment and eventually got up and started jogging off the field as second base umpire Jonathan Parra slightly held McNeil back.

Quickly thereafter, both dugouts made their way onto the field, with each bullpen following suit. McNeil and Hoskins engaged in a shouting match with each other, with the former standing in the middle of the field and the latter standing with his teammates around the third base line. Only words were exchanged, though, with no brawl ensuing.

After the game, both players were asked about the play.

McNeil responded to a question regarding whether or not something shouldn’t be done as a gentleman playing the game even though it’s legal under the rules by saying, “There’s dirty slides, there’s clean slides [and] there’s in-between slides.” He continued, “It [was] a play at second base… you do want to break up a double play, but right there, I think there’s no double play [to be had].”

Regarding Hoskins, McNeil said, “[Me and Hoskins] have a little bit of a past, so I knew there was a chance he’d be coming in like that and I didn’t like his slide.” He would go on to state, “[Hoskins] has had some pretty questionable slides at second base for sure… [I] definitely remember looking at some in the past that were definitely not okay.”

Meanwhile, in the visitor’s clubhouse at Citi Field, Hoskins fielded questions from the media. About the play itself, he said, “I didn’t think much of it, to be honest. I ended up hitting him, but that’s what happens with a slow-developing play when you’re trying to make sure he doesn’t turn the double play.”

Hoskins went on to add, “…I’ve played in this ballpark a bunch, and, [McNeil] just seems to be complaining when things aren’t going well. I think that’s kind of one of those moments. Maybe [we] got lost in the heat of the game a little bit… I think [I was] playing the game hard and playing the game the right way.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time Hoskins and the Mets have had issues at Citi Field. In an early-season series between the Phillies and Mets back in 2019 in Queens, Hoskins was nearly hit twice in the head by pitches thrown by Jacob Rhame. Hoskins seemingly being thrown at was a result of two Mets batters being hit the night before.

The night after a pair of pitches came a bit too close to his head, Hoskins faced Rhame again and took the right-hander deep to left field. He followed the long ball with one of the slowest home run trots you’ll ever see.

The left fielder for New York that night? Jeff McNeil.

It seems unlikely any discipline will be handed out because of the incident, given that the slide was ruled legal and no blows were exchanged between the Brewers and Mets.

The two clubs are set to continue their three-game series at Citi Field this afternoon.

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