When Yankees reliever Thomas Kahnle fired a pitch behind Miguel Cabrera last night, fireworks ensued. The skipper of the Yankees came storming out of the dugout to protest. I personally don’t blame Joe for that, being that Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer had plunked Sanchez in the hip. How can you toss out Kahnle and not Fulmer for essentially sticking up for his team mate? Needless to say, the spark was lit.
What took place after got intense, fast. Miguel Cabrera decided to get into it with Yankees catcher Austin Romine. What started out as a jawing match, quickly turned into a full on fight with Cabrera. Cabrera shoved Romine, and the benches cleared. Relievers came storming in from the outfield bullpens, lost in the shuffle was Yankees slugger Gary Sanchez, who took some cheap shots at several Tigers players. I would be shocked if that doesn’t end in some kind of suspension.
As the game progressed, the tensions only festered, until, in a straight-up punk move, Yankees reliever Dellin Betances hitting Tigers player James McCann in the head with a 98 mph fastball. Tigers head coach Brad Ausmus took exception to that, arguing with the umpire, which resulted in Betances getting kicked out. This part puzzled me. Did the coach really have to come out to argue this point? I think most baseball fans would agree that the umps clearly lost control of the game. So much for those wristbands that the umps want to wear.
The craziness going down in Motown continued into the eighth inning when more when Wilson hit Todd Frazier and tossed. Ausmus was then tossed, and the benches cleared again. There was some shoving between players this time, but no punches were thrown. Ausmus was said to have yelled an obscenity at Yankee outfield Brett Gardner.
What a wild ride, wouldn’t you say? The tension got so heated that longtime Tigers players Justin Verlander and Victor Martinez got into a shouting match in their own dugout. With players on their own team jawing at each other, it’s clear this game got beyond out of hand. In all, five players and three coaches were ejected from the game.
So who is at fault for this? I place the blame on the umpires for losing control of this whole fiasco. This could have been avoided if they’d have been able to get the teams under control, but they failed to do so. When tensions run high, the umpires have to settle things down instead of letting it get to the point of no return. Three bench-clearing balls is way past that point.
What does everyone think about this particularly crazy game? Where does it rank among the rest of the baseball brawls? Thanks again for the support from the WTPsports writers, and the many people behind the scenes working. We all appreciate the support and feedback we get.