It was like a scene from the schoolyard.
A petty argument becomes a mass brawl with bodies and fists flying everywhere. I’m sure if you really turn up the volume, you can hear someone shouting ‘BUNDLE.’
What’s unmistakable , however, is everyone who’s seen the quite stunning footage of the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers acting like kids at the end of a three hour fizzy drink binge knows just how stupid these alleged role models were.
Scraps happen all the time in most sports. Baseball at this time of year can be particularly spiky – the post season is looming into view. The pressure is on. The nation’s favourite pastime on a knife edge is brilliant sporting drama.
And while the Tigers are way out of the mix and having nothing to lose, the Yankees have everything to play for. The race for a wildcard is in their hands though many more stupid afternoon’s like this and it will be slipping through their fingers.
They are on the heels of the Red Sox in the AL East. It’s going to take one hell of a run to top them though it’s possible.
Well, it would have been more feasible if red hot Gary Sanchez was leading the charge instead of sitting out four games for needlessly getting involved in the MLB’s own version of WWE. The benches cleared three times in total in Detroit last Thursday.. That’s a lot of anger.
The catcher had just hit his 10th homer in the last 16 games. While Aaron Judge , who’s enjoyed a similarly brilliant rookie season to the one Sanchez wowed everyone with in 2016, continues to blow hot and cold, the Dominican Republic star has been the Yankees’ go-to man in recent weeks.
Now the only place he’s heading is home to contemplate his stupidity. At least he’s young enough to learn from his mistakes.
The bad blood between these two teams had been festering. During their clash in the Big Apple at the end of July, Detroit’s Mikie Mahtook was smashed in the head with pitches before Michael Fulmer responded with more fireworks. This time, Jacoby Ellsbury’s backside bore the brunt.
So it was boiling up for sure. Yet when Miguel Cabrera and Yanks back-up Austin Romine started exchanging pleasantries before engaging in the violent equivalent of disco dancing , all hell broke loose and then some.
The benches cleared . Players ran in from everywhere. Punches rained down. No-one came out of this smelling of roses but the video footage of Sanchez was particularly damaging and emphasised, if needed , just how hairbrained the 24 year-old was.
His cheap shots to the face of a grounded Cabrera and Nicholas Castellanos belonged in the Octagon, not the baseball field. Only MLB chiefs will know why he copped such a lenient punishment.
Though, as New York coach Joe Giradi , who had already been ejected for slaughtering the officials making it his FOURTH sending off this campaign , was at pains to point out afterwards, it shouldn’t have come to this.
Sanchez, bless him, had taken a few rough pitches in the match which eventually saw the stung Tigers eek out a 10-6 win in a three game series where he’d smacked four home-runs.
This is where the officials erred and were , in effect , guilty of sparking the madness which followed. Fulmer escaped scot free for throwing behind the batter instead of being dished out a warning which would have helped diffuse the situation and made the pitcher rethink his strategy. So when Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle was chucked out for something similarly wayward, Giradi went ballistic.
While the MLB were delivering their verdicts on the players , it’s hoped a dim view of the umpires – where was the home plate ref to stop it before everything started ? – was also taken although don’t hold your breath.
They weren’t mentioned on a naughty list which saw Romine banned for two, Cabrera for seven games, teammate Alex Wilson will miss four while coach Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was suspended for one game.
Eight players in total were ejected. As balls flew at batters , the dugouts rose as one , ready for war.
The Yankees will be praying it doesn’t stall their push.
“It is hard, because everything is happening very fast,” Sanchez said.
“I was in the dugout and I saw Romine rolling on the [ground] with the other guys.At that moment, just instincts take over, because you want to defend your teammate. That’s your family out there.”
The most functional families, however, need everyone pulling together – not needlessly lumping people in the face.
There’s political correctness gone mad. And then there is political correctness gone totally haywire.
ESPN conformed to the latter this week when dumping a college football commentator … because of his name.
Robert Lee was told he wouldn’t be required for the University of Virginia’s first football game of the season next month because he shares the same name as the Confederate general whose statue sparked scenes of horrific violence three weeks ago.
Charlottesville was the center of attention in the US after protests flooded to the city to show their disgust at a decision to remove a memorial to Robert E Lee.
Lee the sports caller is , ironically, Asian American and obviously has nothing whatsoever to do with the mindless idiots who shamed a nation.
“We collectively made the decision with Robert to switch games as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name,” ESPN said in a statement.
“In that moment it felt right to all parties. It’s a shame that this is even a topic of conversation and we regret that who calls play-by-play for a football game has become an issue.”
But didn’t ESPN make it an issue in the first place?
Sporting Kansas will be hoping their new kid on the block will fare better than the boy who last stole the headlines for being the youngest in MLS.
At the age of just 15 years and 89 days, Gianluca Busio is 10 months older than Freddy Adu who was 14 when he signed for DC United in 2004.
Yet while Adu’s career has been a nomadic, globe trotting failure, hopes are high for Busio who was born in North Carolina and tracked by a number of teams in Europe.
He is a versatile forward with an eye for goal and is certainly at the right club. Sporting KC had no hesitation in giving defender Erik Palmer-Brown his debut just nine months after penning a deal as a 16 year-old.
“Since I was a kid, I always dreamed of being a professional soccer player,” Busio said, missing the fact that he’s still a kid.
— Gianluca Busio (@gbusio10) August 25, 2017