Wednesday, September 16, 2009


The Bronx is a-fightin'! Last night, after Mark Melancon stuck a high fastball in Aaron Hill's back, Toronto reliever Jesse Carlson threw a pitch behind Jorge Posada. The benches cleared, but no violence was meted out. Then Jorge got on base, was hit home, and managed to shove Carlson or elbow him or something (or did Carlson initiate it? We may never know. (He didn't.)), at which point they exchanged words, Carlson threw a punch, and Jorge quickly wrestled him to the ground while the dugouts emptied again. Afterward, Carlson had this to say:

"Once he crossed the plate and threw that elbow at me or whatever, I just said, 'Let's go.' I'm probably the smallest guy in MLB and we were right near their dugout, so I was just hoping I got out of there all right."

Unfortunately for him, he suffered a moderate bruise on the right side of his head, which should come as little surprise since he was basically engulfed by a Yankee swarm. Posada, on the other hand, was more contrite:

"I don't want my kids to see that. ... Fight in the middle of the field, benches clearing -- that's a bad example."

And Jorge left the field in this manner:

You can read the re-cap and watch the video here.

It's a lot to absorb. My main thoughts are a bit scattered, but here are some tentative conclusions:

1) I don't think Melancon hit Hill on purpose. He's a wild pitcher, and I can't imagine what motivation he, or Girardi, or any other Yankee would have to plunk someone at that stage of the game.

2) Carlson's beanball was clearly on purpose (duh), but he went about it the right way, throwing low and behind the batter. For whatever reason, the Blue Jays thought they needed to retaliate, which as I've stated in point one was unnecessary, but at least Carlson didn't go headhunting.

3) I can only imagine how personal and aggravating it is to have a baseball thrown at you on purpose, but I can't help wishing Jorge had handled it with a cooler head. His original words toward Carlson were no big deal, and didn't result in any fighting. But the half-elbow after crossing home plate was totally uncalled for. Before that secondary spark, the incident was over.

4) Some people may argue that team passion is a good thing, but in my mind this is the exact wrong time to be starting brawls. What if A-Rod or Teixeira or Jeter or anyone absorbed a cheap shot that sidelined them for two months? What if they gave a cheap shot that resulted in their suspension for the balance of 2009? What if they suffered a freak injury during the melee? There's no reason to risk that stuff so close to the playoffs, and as a veteran Jorge should know better.

The problem now is that we have another game left with the Jays, and they're now an angry team with nothing to lose. The risks of retaliation and further injury hang like a black cloud over tonight's contest. Let's hope we come out unscathed.

As a final note, I feel compelled to indulge a bit of masculine energy by way of my cousin Justin's official fight analysis. He sent an e-mail evaluating the respective merits of every Yankee combatant (Joba, Sabathia, Shelly Duncan, Burnett, and Girardi earned flying colors, while A-Rod, Jeter, and Ramiro Pena wilted in the heat of battle), and had this to say about Cano:

"Cano actually was great...he had a bat in his hand and was challenging the dugout about 3 mins after the fight was broken up...he tried to charge someone with the bat but Teixera basically tackled him."

As if I needed another reason to love this guy! The word is out to Major League Baseball: don't mess with Sweet Robbie. He gets a little nuts.

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