Sports Yadier Molina explains why he nearly got into a fight with Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, and he may have had a good reason

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Yadier Molina isn't one to stand down when challenged.

Yadier Molina play

Yadier Molina

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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  • Benches cleared during Sunday's game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Arizona Diamondbacks after a confrontation between Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo.
  • Lovullo initially came out to argue balls and strikes but, after a few unwise words, found himself face-to-face with Molina, causing the dugouts to empty.
  • Lovullo was ejected from the game for coming out to argue balls and strikes, while Molina was allowed to return once both sides had calmed down.

The Arizona Diamondbacks and the St. Louis Cardinals nearly brawled Sunday after Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina confronted Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo.

The dispute began when Lovullo came out to argue balls and strikes with the home-plate umpire Tim Timmons. After A.J. Pollock struck out looking, Lovullo came out to confront Timmons, but his discussion with the umpire was cut short by what may have been a few unwise comments directed toward Molina.

Molina took issue with Lovullo's words and immediately stood to meet him, leading the benches to clear and the two to be separated. When the dust settled, Lovullo was ejected, while Molina returned to his post behind the plate.

You can watch the scuffle unfold below.

After the game, Molina explained in precise terms just what he heard Lovullo say that set him off.

"He called me a m-----f----- twice," Molina said. "If you're going to call somebody that, you better be ready to fight. You can't talk to a player like that. Or an umpire. You've got to be professional."

Lovullo attempted to walk back his comments but came up short of explicitly apologizing for them.

"The first thing I want to say is I have the utmost respect for Yadier Molina," he said. "He's one of the best catchers the game's ever seen. I just was going out there to talk about something with the umpire and was referencing something and used a poor choice of words, and he took offense to it. I wish I could take back what I said, but it really wasn't really directed at him."

The Diamondbacks went on to win the game, 4-1.