As much as the MLB would hate to admit it, every baseball Fan loves a good fight once in a while on the baseball field. There is the unexpected thrill of it when the normally placid game of baseball is interrupted by a good old melee. Heck, that's why so many hockey fans go to games in the NHL. It's the same reason NASCAR fans love to see crashes. We're all sick, but that's for the anthropologists to figure out. The Yankees played the Blue Jays last night. Halladay wasn't great, but he was a darn sight better than Mitre (which is not hard to do). Then in the eighth inning of a game all but over, all hell broke loose.
The Fan has to admit being oblivious to the whole thing until he read Sports and the City's blog this morning. The Fan went to bed early. Blog buddy, eyebleaf, naturally had a Toronto slant to the proceedings, which is understandable. So the Fan had to check out all the highlights and watch the condensed game to see what it was all about. Here is hoping that a balanced view of the happenings proceeds from the rest of this post.
First of all, the Yankees have to get rid of Mitre. The guy just flat out stinks. Even though the Yankees have a playoff position pretty much wrapped up, wouldn't you want to go into the post season on a roll rather than a whimper? Why have a guaranteed loss every fifth game? To top it off, after Mitre gives up four homers, he decides to plunk Encarcion, who hit one of them.
Encarcion did not pose after his homer. He ran the bases at an acceptable speed and he smiled after crossing home plate and went into the dugout. He didn't kiss the heavens (which is getting real old in baseball) or anything. But Mitre decides to pull a Padilla and plunks the guy. Terrible. Release the guy. Release him right now!
Later in the game, the Yankees' young pitcher, Melancon, plunks Aaron Hill. This one looks more like an accident. Melancon was all over the place and it looked like one got away. This writer doesn't blame the Blue Jays for being sensitive to the deal though after Mitre's actions. It was one of the inevitable reactions after what Mitre did. That brought up the scenario of Jesse Carlson versus Jorge Posada.
Carlson, no doubt acting on orders, backed up his teammates by throwing at Posada. Don't blame him a bit. That's the way baseball is and that's the way you take care of your players. Posada reacted (even though Carlson failed to hit him) but did not charge the mound. The veteran had more brains than that, which is a good thing. And the game went on after the typical bunch of players mulling around on the field and the absurdity of the bullpens pouring onto the field.
There is nothing that irks this writer more than the bullpen thing. Those guys aren't even in the freaking game. What are they, the cavalry or something? Once nothing happens, all those guys have to go back to where they came from. Stupid. It should be outlawed or something. But things didn't end there.
Carlson wasn't sharp and the Yankees got some more base runners and after another hit, Posada starts chugging for home. This was the critical juncture of the event that next took place. Carlson, who should have been backing up the plate, instead decides to lallygag around the plate. That was the one thing that led up to what Posada did next. After he crossed the plate, Posada brushed Carlson slightly and no doubt said something as he did so. Carlson took a second to realize what happened and then turned around and started jawing at Posada. Posada charged him and the donnybrook was on.
This Fan's take? Carlson shouldn't have been standing where he was. He was out of position. Posada should have run by him without the (albeit harmless) brush when running past Carlson. So both are to blame. Don't blame Carlson for protecting his teammates. Don't blame Posada for taking exception to that fact. But Carlson should have been in position and Posada should have run past him without incident. So there is enough blame to go around.
For what it's worth, Posada got the better of the fight. Carlson had a gash on his forehead and Posada was pulled off after being on top of Blue Jay's catcher, Barajas. The Fan wouldn't want to tick Posada off in a back alley as the guy can obviously take care of himself. The bottom line is that Posada will get a few days off for his stupidity and Carlson will for taking one for the team. Heck, if Posada gets a few days off, A. J. Burnett might actually win a game.
It was a fun fracas, as these things go. It shouldn't have happened. But oh well. It was fun, wasn't it?