Baseball brawls ain’t what they used to be


If we learned anything today it was that relief pitcher is more likely to get hurt falling off a curb than he is in a benches clearing brawl. The former by virtue of the Jerry Blevins news, the latter due to this Brian Costa and Geoff Foster article in the Wall Street Journal about the lack of drama in the modern baseball fight.

They count up the number of “fights” since the beginning of last season and the actual number of punches thrown. Note: not a big number. There’s a funny line in there about the hats thrown too.

But the best part is about the bullpens who, as tradition dictates, empty out on the field as if they’re coming out to kick some butt in defense of their teammates. In reality, it’s not so dramatic:

When there is a single, shared stairwell through which pitchers exit the bullpens, pitchers from both teams merge politely into one line. “You’re running out of the bullpen with the guys you’re supposed to be angry with, and you’re all kind of filing through single file,” O’Day said, “and then you get out to the middle of the field and you’re acting tough.”

This fierce band of brothers will go to any length to defend a teammate’s honor, as long as they don’t trip and fall. O’Day recalled running down the bullpen stairs at Angel Stadium during one incident in 2008 and hearing another pitcher yell out, “Be careful on the steps!”

It’s like the “morning Sam,” “morning Ralph” coyote-sheepdog cartoons from back in the day. Except everyone is friendly with each other before AND after they punch in for the day.

White Sox slugger Jiménez sidelined with bruised foot

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez has a sprained right foot, likely sidelining the slugger for a pivotal season-ending series against the crosstown Cubs.

The White Sox had dropped a season-high five in a row heading into the weekend set, falling out of first place in the AL Central. They are hoping to get back on track heading into their playoff appearance since 2008, but the health of Jimenez is a concern.

Jimenez, who is batting .296 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs, was injured sliding across home in the seventh inning of Chicago’s 5-4 loss at Cleveland on Thursday. Manager Rick Renteria said the 23-year-old left fielder will need “to be off his feet” for a few days.

“There’s inflammation in there and they want to calm it down” Renteria said. “We’ll know more in a few days.”

The White Sox trailed the first-place Twins by a game heading into the series with the Cubs. They are just one ahead of the third-place Indians. The AL postseason begins on Tuesday.