The Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals are fighting for first place in the NL Central – literally. After a verbal exchanged between Reds’ 2B Brandon Phillips and Cards’ C Yadier Molina, the benches cleared and pandemonium ensued. It started out pretty tame with some general yelling and name calling, but eventually the mass of people, which started at home plate, moved to the netting behind home plate.
There Chris Carpenter, pitcher for St. Louis, got pushed into the net by Scott Rolen, a former teammate. Johnny Cueto, red hot pitcher for Cinci got pushed into the net as well, where he proceeded to kick any and everyone around him.
Baseball “brawls” are notorious for being drawn out, machismo-infused staring contests. Most of the time both benches clear, everyone runs out onto the field in a rush of uncontrollable anger, tempers flare, and the tension crescendos into a wild fire culminating in … looking (albeit intensely and pointedly).
Standard operating procedure dictates that you take these steps:
- Yell at your opponent – usually a batter vs. pitcher in a “hit-by-pitch” situation.
- Point finger aggressively at said opponent.
- Charge at your opponent. (In the event that step 3 doesn’t occur, skip to step 6)
- Grabble with your opponent, maybe pushing back-and-forth in a forceful manner.
- Benches clear and begin to commence yelling.
- Everyone gets separated.
- Return to dugout.
Let’s face it. Basically, you get staring, glaring, some yelling. And if you’re lucky, you get some pushing and shoving.
That being said, every once in a while, we get to witness magical moments in baseball bickering, which typically turn out more comical than ferocious. Here are some of my favs:
- Pedro Martinez vs. Don Zimmer
- This one is my all-time favorite. The hilarity of watching Pedro sidestep the portly Zimmer and toss him head first to the ground is just priceless
- Nolan Ryan vs. Robin Ventura
- Another great one. Ventura charged at Ryan thinking he was going to put a hurtin’ on the hall-of-fame pitcher who was getting on in years at this point. Ryan put him in a headlock and punched him repeatedly in the head.
- Carl Everett vs. Ron Kulpa
- Classic crazy. Everett went on verbal tirade which ended in him head-butting umpire Kulpa
- Mike Sweeney vs. Jeff Weaver
- Sweeney got fed up with Weaver’s talk so he charged him, threw his helmet at him, then decked him with a hard right.
- Chan Ho Park vs. Tim Belcher
- Everybody was Kung Fu fighting is this pitcher v. pitcher bout. Park put down a sacrifice and Belcher fielded, tagging Park in a kind of bear hug thing instead of throwing him out. Park didn’t like it so he dropkicked Belcher.
- Izzy Alcantara vs. an Entire Team
- After a pitch was thrown inside (that didn’t hit him), Alcantara turned, kicked the catcher in the chest, then took off after the pitcher. Classic.