The NL East rivalry between the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies got some added fuel when Phillies manager Rob Thomson took what appeared to be a shot at Ronald Acuña Jr. and Marcell Ozuna for their home run celebrations. However, Thomson insists his comments were not intended to be swipes at the Atlanta sluggers.
During an interview on 94 WIP in Philadelphia, Thomson was asked whether he was bothered by the celebrations of Acuña and Ozuna, in which they flap their arms like wings as they go around the bases. Thomson said he prefers that his players "to act like they've been there before."
"I'm kind of old school. I like guys, and I think our guys do a good job, to act like they've been there before," Thomson said. " ... Does it bother me? Well, I can't control it, so it is what it is. I certainly try to temper that with our guys."
Prior to Wednesday night's game against the Braves, Thomson clarified that he wasn't necessarily taking a shot at Acuña or Ozuna. Thomson said he was simply stating his own personal philosophy on the matter.
"That was nothing to do with the Atlanta Braves and what Ronald does, or Ozuna," Thomson said, per the Associated Press. "They can do what they want. I can't control that. I just mentioned that I preferred people act like they'd been there. I wasn't trying to start a controversy or anything like that."
Atlanta did not do much celebrating on the base paths Wednesday night, but they did plenty of celebrating in the bowels of Citizens Bank Park. The Braves did pull out a 4-1 win to clinch their sixth consecutive NL East title, and they might be on a collision course with the Phillies in the MLB postseason.