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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.

Sheldon Ocker named winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award

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The Baseball Writers Association of America has named Sheldon Ocker the winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown on July 29.

Ocker began covering the Indians for the Akron Beacon Journal in 1981 and did so until 2013, when he retired. He was national president of the BBWAA in 1985 and served as chair of the Cleveland Chapter 11 times. He named Ohio Sports Writer of the Year in 1997 and 2000 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.