Last night, the Yankees found themselves in their biggest brawl since
2004 2003's Zimmer-Martinez, or maybe even 1998's classic Graeme Lloyd–Armando Benitez bout. After Edwin Encarnacion and Aaron Hill were hit by pitches, Jays pitcher Jesse Carlson responded by throwing behind Jorge Posada. Benches halfheartedly cleared, but once play resumed, Posada scored on Brett Gardner's double, and brushed Carlson on his way back to the dugout. He was ejected immediately, and moments later, it was on. Five thoughts about the brawl, after the jump.
1. One gets the sense Shelley Duncan's been waiting all year for this. Anyone who's seen him celebrate his own team's home runs knows the damage he's capable of inflicting. He got into a scuffle with catcher Rod Barajas, and as far as we know, Rod Barajas is still alive today, so let's all be thankful that we dodged that bullet, at least.
2. Jorge Posada further solidified himself as the "old-school" Yankee. He's long been the spokesman for the remaining no-nonsense, Torre-era Yanks and all that those teams supposedly stood for, but he'd fit in just as well back when men were men and proved it by firing baseballs at each other without having to worry about it being dissected for an hour on Baseball Tonight. Just a hunch that things wouldn't escalate like that if it were Mark Teixeira who was thrown behind.
3. You can't say the Yankees are going through the motions to finish the regular season. We could see why the Blue Jays would be looking to rumble last night: They're out of contention, so all they have left is their honor. But the Yankees have a postseason to look forward to, and would like to enter it with all of their limbs intact. But they took that risk, and it appears Joe Girardi actually got the worst of it. As a good manager should.
4. The YES announcers actually made a good point. We know! We were as shocked as anyone. But, as John Flaherty pointed out, on Gardner's double to right Carlson should have been behind home plate backing up, not in foul territory in front of the Yankees dugout. He could have just been out of position, of course, but he also may have been trying to provoke Posada. In which case, job well done.
5. Fans aren't welcome to participate. We're not sure what goes through the mind of the idiots who throw things on the field/court/ice at sporting events. And we're also not sure how hard one has to throw a bottle of soda to injure an umpire to the point where he has to leave the game, but that's what third-base umpire Derryl Cousins said happened to him during the melee. Not cool!