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Yankees, Tigers throw down in a big time brawl

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Fisticuffs broke out in Comerica Park this afternoon between the Tigers and the Yankees. And this was an actual fight, not the usual sort of pussyfooting around that we’ve come to expect.

It all started with Gary Sanchez getting hit by Tigers starter Michael Fulmer in the fifth inning. That hit, one has to assume, was out of frustration after Sanchez hit a homer earlier in the game, his fourth in the series. Then, in the bottom of the sixth, Yankees pitcher Tommy Kahnle threw behind Miguel Cabrera. The home plate umpire immediately ejected Kahnle and manager Joe Girardi. Aroldis Chapman came into the game.

Before Chapman could throw a pitch, however, Cabrera and catcher Austin Romine began jawing at each other. After Romine took his mask off, Cabrera shoved Romine and they were off to the races, complete with punches thrown:

Another view:

Watch Gary Sanchez earn what should be a suspension for coming in with this sucker punch into the pile:

 

My favorite part was the Yankees relievers hauling butt to join the fun:

They’re still untangling this one. Updates soon.

UPDATE: Cabrera and Romine were ejected. Since the only other catcher available for the Yankees is Sanchez, who was the DH, he’ll catch and the Yankees will lose their designated hitter.

UPDATE: Holy moly, in the bottom of the seventh, an inning after the heat had died down, Dellin Betances came into the game and beaned Tigers catcher James McCann in the head with his second pitch. McCann seems to be OK — he got right up — and everyone’s out on the field again. No one is fighting, though. Betances has been ejected, as has Yankees bench coach Rob Thomson. He’s complaining like it’s some injustice, but at this point it’s ridiculous to think that it was anything but intentional and, of course, warnings were issued.

UPDATE: And now Alex Wilson of the Tigers has plunked Todd Frazier, leading to more pushing and shoving. Wilson has been ejected, as has manager Brad Ausmus.

UPDATE: It’s not just Tigers vs. Yankees. It appears as if Justin Verlander and Victor Martinez got into it in the Tigers dugout, with Verlander flipping the bird to V-Mart:

Twitter scuttlebutt is that Verlander and others are mad at Martinez for standing next to Gary Sanchez during the brawl and not, I dunno, hitting him with a crowbar or something. Fun times.

Blue Jays shut down Steve Pearce for the rest of 2017

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The Blue Jays have shut down left fielder Steve Pearce for the remainder of the season following a lingering case of lower back stiffness. Pearce has not appeared in a game since September 8, when he was forced to exit in the first inning after experiencing back pain during his at-bat. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, he’s scheduled to return to Florida next week, where he’ll receive epidural injections to address the pain.

Pearce, 34, impressed in his first season with Toronto. He battled through a calf injury during the first half of the season and finished the year with a modest .252/.319/.438 batting line, 13 home runs and a .757 OPS through 348 PA. By September, the Blue Jays started testing the waters with outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, who shouldered the bulk of the starts in left field after Pearce was sidelined with back issues.

With the Blue Jays all but eliminated from playoff contention, however, there’s no rush to get Pearce back to the outfield. He should be in fine shape to compete for another starting role in spring, and could face stiff competition from Hernandez if the rookie continues building on his .278 average and three home runs this month. The veteran outfielder is slated to receive the remaining $6.25 million on his contract in 2018 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.

Brewers’ Julio Mendez remains hospitalized after hit by pitch

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Brewers’ minor league infielder Julio Mendez remains in “critical but stable condition,” club GM David Stearns announced Friday. Back in August, Mendez suffered a cardiac event after he was inadvertently struck by a ball from the Angels’ Austin Krzeminksi during a game between the rookie-level affiliates. The 20-year-old was removed to a Phoenix-area hospital for treatment following the incident and has recently been transferred to a hospital in his native Venezuela.

Mendez was in his fourth season with the Brewers’ organization. He spent the majority of his 2017 run with the rookie-level AZL Brewers, slashing .255/.294/.355 with 10 extra-base hits, 16 RBI and four stolen bases over 119 plate appearances. He currently holds a career .241/.324/.309 batting line, 33 extra bases and a .633 OPS through 668 PA.

Baseball is still on the back burner, however, as Mendez appears to have made little progress nearly a month following the hit by pitch. Thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.