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The Sunflower Seed Incident Has Been Addressed

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 07, 2022: Ke'Bryan Hayes #13 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the field during the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 7, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

If you thought the Sunflower Seed Incident was going to go unaddressed, you were wrong.

On Friday evening, the Mets’ Eduardo Escobar scored all the way from first on a single to right, thanks mostly to Pirates OF Ben Gamel taking too long to throw and airmailing the cut-off man when he did. Watching that video clip, nothing appears to rise to the level of capital-I Incident. Ah, but watch more closely:

The content maw must be fed, especially when it is as malnourished as “the Pirates beat in mid-September of another last-place season.” So, Saturday’s clubhouse media access was all about Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh’s would-be star third baseman, and the Sunflower Seed Incident.

“I just went to my pocket and grabbed seeds,” Hayes told reporters, accurately describing the Incident. “Nothing really to it other than that.”

“I eat seeds the whole game,” Hayes told reporters Saturday afternoon at Citi Field. “I’ve been doing it, so I guess it just happened to be on camera. … There’s no play at third. The ball was all the way in right field, so I can see how someone would say something, but I don’t really care. I’m ready every pitch. I don’t have anything to say, to be honest.”

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The Incident, in which a player not involved with the play ate sunflower seeds, threatened to be a season-defining moment for the Pirates, which is why manager Derek Shelton had to nip this scandal in the bud right away. He said, no, he didn’t consider pulling Hayes from the game, and no, there wouldn’t be any future disciplinary action. The Sunflower Seed Incident was “an unfortunate situation,” Shelton said, but also “an outlier.”

There has as yet been no word on what brand of sunflower seeds were involved in the Incident, nor if they were flavored or seasoned in any way.

“We moved on from it,” Shelton added. “We had a conversation about it and we move on.”

There you have it: The Sunflower Seed Incident has been addressed, and it is time to move on.