Baseball brawls are very often more chest-out posturing, pushing and holding back teammates than actual fights. Last night’s fight between the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates, however, was the exception that proves the rule.
The wild brawl — the video of which you can watch above — started with a dramatic event: Reds Amir Garrett charging towards the bench with the apparent intent to take on the entire Pirates team.
ESPN’s David Schoenfeld reported the context:
The Reds-Pirates brawl was one of the nastier fights in a long time. The animosity goes back to April 7, when the Pirates took offense to Derek Dietrich taking too long to watch a home run and Chris Archer later hit him with a pitch. The benches cleared in that game, and Puig was one of the players ejected. In May, the Pirates hit Dietrich again — and then he hit three home runs the next day and admired each one.
So this has been a long time coming. Schoenfeld explained that the in Thursday’s game, a similar dynamic played out with Dietrich:
In Tuesday’s game, Dietrich entered in the seventh inning and Keone Kela promptly threw a pitch over Dietrich’s head. At the end of the inning as the Reds took the field, Joey Votto had words with the Pittsburgh dugout, motioning to his head as if to say “don’t throw it up here.” In the top of the ninth, Cincinnati’s Jared Hughes plunked Starling Marte in the rear end, earning an ejection and bringing Amir Garrett into the game.
All remained calm until the last out of the inning. Garrett had just retired Kevin Newman on a groundout, but as he returned to the mound, he had words with Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams and then charged toward the Pittsburgh dugout like Mel Gibson taking on the English…
From there the fight unfolded, all occurring with two out in the bottom of the ninth. The fight featured behemoth baseball player Yasiel Puig, who suited up and played the game for the Reds, despite having just been traded to the Cleveland Indians. Yup, he was no longer technically employed by the Reds but was still throwing joints on behalf of his now-former team.
Watch above, via ESPN.
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