By: Holly Horning
No doubt about it, last Thursday’s epic marathon bench-clearer will be remembered by everyone who saw it. We’ll even be telling our grandkids about this “brawlgame.” And it may just go down in history as the biggest hellacious baseball battle ever.
Personally, I lost track of how many fights broke out. How many times the dugouts emptied. How many pig piles of players were formed. And how many players got hit. I only remember how many got ejected and the list of names resembled a lineup card.
It’s taken me a few days to sort out this mess and try to make sense of it. As they say, “It’s complicated.”
But the skirmish on the field was about more than a player – or 2…… or 3……..or 4 or…. – getting hit. It may have also been about the Tigers’ frustration over having MLB’s worst August record of 5-16. Or maybe the simmering frustration over 4 years of futility. Or maybe the realization that the baseball bubble has officially burst for the Tigers and that dark days are ahead. Or all of the above.
Lots of layers to digest. And lots of players to address. And thus, I feel this blog needs to be a therapy session for all of us. So here are all of my observations and perspectives on the game. Some smack-on combined with a heapin’ helpin’ of irony and humor to help ease the pain. Let’s dig in…..
1. Fans got to see three sports on Thursday. They came to see a baseball game that broke out into a hockey match and segued into a heavyweight fight.
2. Fans got to see a free fight instead of paying for the Mayweather–McGregor fight. Gary Sanchez threw more punches than either of Vegas’ headliners.
3. After the fight, the Tigers’ Marketing Department quickly huddled to discuss future strategies. They were overheard describing the day’s game as “genius.”
4. Too bad that it takes a massive brawl to see some passion exhibited by Tigers’ players.
5. In the olden days, teams were reluctant to fight the Tigers because of the threat of Willie Horton. Too bad Bruce Rondon was back in Toledo.
6. Speaking of Rondon, he is wondering why he’s the one who got singled out about this double-standard of fighting.
7. Tigers’ broadcasters may want to rethink their promos for future games. Especially when they say “This weekend, the Tigers will battle the White Sox.” Let’s also re-think “The Tigers will take on Chicago.”
8. Announcers may also want to define the term “slugging” whenever they use it going forward.
9. I’ve never seen Brad Ausmus so mad in his 4 years with Detroit. He didn’t spit once for an entire 5 minutes during one of the on-field fights.
10. Who says Nick Castellanos doesn’t move his feet quickly? He was the first one to vault over the dugout railing when the first fight broke out.
11. Where was Justin Upton in any of the melees? Oh, that’s right, protecting his future paycheck.
12. The game was truly remarkable in that Gene Lamont was actually seen getting up from his seat, standing and walking. He even left the dugout once.
13. Maybe someone needs to really tick off Iggy every day to get him to field and hit the way he did in Thursday’s game. He’s never been more fired up.
14. There is the “game within a game” analysis. The Tigers have introduced the “fight within the fight” with their dugout dustup between VMart, Castellanos and JV.
15. Contrary to what some have written, JV did not extend his middle finger to VMart. He’s got Kate to do that.
16. VMart should really be fearing Kate Upton. She posts really mean tweets that tend to freely use the “f-bomb”.
17. Miggy may have thrown the first punch but he wasn’t the one who started it. Romine grabbing him in 2 different situations and then throwing down his mask was the challenge to fight.
18. As we’ve often seen this year, Miggy had a hard time connecting. This time with his fists to a face.
19. Dellin Betances didn’t intentionally bean James McCann? Riiight……
20. Even Brad didn’t think Betances’ beaning of McCann was intentional. Yet another example of exemplary leadership and astute analysis on display.
21. No fine or suspension for Betances? This is what happens when you have a former Yankee in charge of punishing current Yankees.
22. The dirtiest player in all the battles, Gary Sanchez, got only a 4-game suspension. What a wonderful message to send to kids, MLB.
23. Want to bet that Gary Sanchez will do this again? So much for offering teachable moments to the young guys in MLB.
24. Who didn’t see the unfair and unbalanced suspensions coming? A NYer based in NY ruling in favor of his NY team taking into consideration the hell storm Yankee suspensions would have caused among the media, fans and loss of tv revenue for MLB.
25. Another wonderful MLB life lesson for parents to try to explain to their kids. ‘Fess up and tell the truth and you will be punished like Alex Wilson. Lie like a rug despite the obvious evidence and you will get off scot-free.
26. MLB has set so many wonderful examples and teaching moments with their decisions for families to emulate. If MLB was actually a parent, Social Services would have visited by now.
27. Analysts blamed Brad for not controlling his players during the numerous brawls. Just another example of Brad not managing well. Tell us something new.
28. Andrew Romine was heard on the phone saying to his parents “But Mom…….. Austin started it!”
29. Do you wonder how long it took the umpires to hit the bar after the game? Or how many drinks each of them had?
30. The Tigers have redefined the role of spoilers and taken it to a new level. Upcoming opponents are quaking in their cleats.
31. And we think NYers are dirty and combative. Detroit has put the world on notice that MidWesterners can hold their own!
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