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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.

Jake Arrieta was not a fan of Bryce Harper’s behavior last night

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As we noted, Bryce Harper was ejected in the Phillies-Mets game for arguing balls and strikes, punctuating the ejection with a fairly aggressive argument in which he sorta shoved his manager into the ump, had to be held back by teammates and may very well have earned himself a suspension.

We’ll see about the suspension part, but even if he didn’t anger Rob Manfred over all of that, he did annoy his teammate, Jake Arrieta, who was on the mound last night. Here were Arrieta’s comments after the game:

“Look, I mean, [Harper’s] got to understand we need him in right field,” Arrieta said. “I don’t care how bad the umpire is. He wasn’t great for either side. I’m out there trying to make pitches, and he misses some calls. So what? We need him out there. I need him in right field, I need him at the plate, and he wasn’t there. So that hurts.

“We were flat from start to finish. Two-hour delay, it doesn’t matter. We have to be ready to play. We weren’t, and it showed. The dugout was flat. The defense wasn’t good. Didn’t throw the ball well as a staff overall. We got beat. We started at 8:45. I don’t think our guys were ready to play. We’ve got to come out tomorrow ready to play.”

For Harper’s part he was contrite after the game, echoing Arrieta’s words about needing to keep a level head and about him being more useful in the game than in the clubhouse. Still, he got told by his teammate. And seems to know he got told.