It’s only June 12th, but we’ve probably already had the best baseball brawl of the season. In a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks in Dodger Stadium, the action started when D-Backs pitcher Ian Kennedy plunked Dodgers breakout star Yasiel Puig in the face.
You can watch the video of that first for some context:
If you haven’t heard Puig’s name yet, don’t forget it. In his first nine games, Puig is batting .471 with four homers and 10 RBIs. He’s slugging .882 and has hit multiple times in six of his first nine games. So the Dodgers certainly didn’t take kindly to Kennedy hitting Puig’s nose, which thankfully was not broken. Kennedy has had control issues this year, and hit seven batters before last night, so it most likely wasn’t intentional, but unwritten baseball rules are unwritten baseball rules. You know how it goes: “You hit one of ours and we hit one of yours.”
And that’s exactly what happened. In the top of the seventh, half an inning after the incident, Dodgers starter Zach Greinke threw at Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero. The benches cleared, but no punches were thrown. In the weird, quirky world of baseball, this should be where the two teams are even and everyone moves on with their day. But it seems that D-Backs manager Kirk Gibson felt that good old logic outweighed unwritten rules, and that an unintentional hit didn’t garner an intentional one.
So naturally, Ian Kennedy threw at Zach Greinke in the bottom of the seventh, and that’s when all hell broke loose. Take a look at the video first before we break down the absolute bedlam that ensued:
Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario is the first to throw a punch, and he didn’t throw just one, landing a few before he got pulled away. Soon after, Diamondbacks assistant hitting coach Turner Ward was thrown into the dugout railing by an unidentified Dodger, who may be reliever J.P. Howell, where the worst — or best — scrum of the incident took place.
You know it’s a good brawl when Mark McGwire got involved with a little shoving match, getting in Kirk Gibson’s face presumably because of his decision to retaliate after the Dodgers retaliation, but it was the 52-year old Don Mattingly that drew some attention when he threw Arizona coach Alan Trammell onto the ground before getting restrained, which you can now watch on repeat thanks to this GIF.
Clayon Kershaw threw a punch. Yasiel Puig did the same. Six players were ejected following the fight, including Kennedy, D-Backs manger Kirk Gibson, Ward, Puig, Belisario, and McGwire. When all was said and done, it lasted three minutes and change before it was finally broken up, and is about as good of a baseball brawl as you’re ever going to see.
While it doesn’t compare with most of these fights, it’s not every day that you get to see a legendary former player and manager like Don Mattingly doing a little wrestling on the field at the ripe age of 52. Oh, and how about [insert Mark McGwire roid rage joke here]?