There are plenty of reasons for teams to fight in baseball. But tonight goes under the category of “silly misunderstanding.”
After Torii Hunter was tagged out, he stumbled over Mike Napoli’s bat and bumped into Pudge Rodriguez. Pudge sort of shoved back at him and Hunter went all WWE, giving him a two-handed shove in the back.
“He pushed me pretty hard, like a fight in the ‘hood,” Hunter said. “The ghetto came out. I hate that.”
Next thing you know, the benches cleared and everybody was square dancing.
The odd thing about it is that Hunter and Rodriguez are two of the nicest guys in baseball. Hunter came over to the Yankees clubhouse after the game, asked to see Rodriguez and they met in the lobby. Handshakes, hugs and apologies followed.
But Joe Girardi was digging the brawl, smiling widely when asked about it.
“It’s Pudge showing emotion and I’m OK with that. Emotion is a good thing. It’s baseball, boys being boys,” he said with a chuckle.
The idea that the stolen bases in the inning had something to do with it is silly. It was 6-1 in an American League game. That’s not over.
“I like fight,” he said, sounding a little like Brick Tamland from Anchorman.
“Emotion is part of this game. I like players who show emotion. I don’t have a problem with it. I’m OK … don’t take it the wrong way, I’m just saying I like the emotion that happens in the game.”
Inside the clubhouse, some players seemed embarrassed that the benches cleared in a game that was so lopsided. Fight? The Yankees had another night of quick at-bats. They’ve scored one run in the last 16 innings.
“I have no idea what happened, you’d have to ask them. I don’t think that’s showing emotion. I think most of us are (mad) that we lost 12-1,” Johnny Damon said. “That’s what I’m thinking about.”
Brian Bruney: “Who cares about the fight? We got our butts kicked.”