Fun, food, and fights at the ballpark

The New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers brawl on Thursday. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Vicious brawl between Yankees, Tigers the likes of which not seen in years

As Haray Caray once said, “you can’t beat fun at the ol’ ballpark.”

And for once, there was a fight on daytime TV that didn’t involve President Trump or the Jerry Springer show.

Thursday’s game between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers turned into a series of bench-clearing brawls (yes, the Yankees are allowed to have a rivalry with a team other than the Boston Red Sox). The fun started in the fifth inning when the Yankees’ Gary Sanchez was plunked by Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer after hitting a home run earlier in the game. The next inning, Miguel Cabrera was hit and the Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle was ejected. Cabrera then punched Yankees catcher Austin Romaine, and it was on! The actions triggered a bench-clearing brawl between the teams which saw several players ejected.

The benches cleared again in the seventh when the Tigers’ James McCann was drilled in the head by Yankees pitcher Dellin Betances in a frightening moment. In the eighth, former White Sox player Todd Frazier was hit by Tigers pitcher Alex Wilson and – you guessed it, the benches cleared once again.

In total, five players and three coaches – including Yankees manager Joe Girardi and Tigers manager Brad Ausmus were ejected. The Yankees lost the game 10-6 – failing to expand their lead in the Wild Card race, which sits at 3.5 games as of this writing. With the Commissioner’s Office sorting out all this mess, it’s likely fines and suspensions will be handed down at some point. It has been noted both teams were involved in a beanball war at Yankee Stadium weeks prior.

The game was carried nationally by MLB Network, taking the Yankees’ YES feed (the Yankees are part-owners of the regional sports network.) The Tigers’ telecast was carried by FSN in the Detroit area. The Yankees’ surge in the standings coincides with an increase in ratings this season.

For yours truly, this brought back memories of the 2006 brawl between the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox involving Michael Barrett and A.J. Pierzynski, a year after the White Sox won the World Series (of course, animosity between the two crosstown rivals remains as illustrated in this year’s series.)

Of course, there have been wilder brawls – the July 7, 1987 dustup between the Cubs’ Andre Dawson and the San Diego Padres’ Eric Show at Wrigley was notable – not to mention several nutsy brouhahas between the Padres and the Atlanta Braves on August 12, 1984, seeing even fans getting into the act. The nastiest was a Seattle Mariners-Baltimore Orioles brawl at Camden Yards in 1993, the same year the Rangers’ Nolan Ryan took the White Sox’s Robin ventura to school.

And on April 22, 2000, the Tigers were invoved in two bench-clearing brawls with the White Sox at the then-called New Comiskey Park.

While violence in baseball has ebbed since the 1990’s, Thursday’s game was an eye-opener proving anything can happen. And this can qualify for the undercard of Saturday’s Floyd Mayweather-Connor McGregor fight, which is certain to be more of a ripoff than anyone imagined.

The Tigers play against the White Sox at Guarenteed Rate Field in a three-game series starting tonight. Neither team are involved in the playoff race – but at least you won’t get ripped off if a fight breaks out.



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