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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.

Tim Tebow homers in spring training game

Tim Tebow
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Mets minor league outfielder Tim Tebow hit a two-run home run during Tuesday afternoon’s Grapefruit League game against the Tigers. It’s his first spring training home run since beginning his professional baseball career in late 2016.

Tebow, 32, is, of course, a former college football legend. He had a much-anticipated NFL career that ended up brief and disappointing, prompting a change of vocation. Tebow was passable with Double-A Binghamton in 2018, but the Mets promoted him to Triple-A for the 2019 season anyway. That was a mistake. Through 264 plate appearances, Tebow hit .163/.240/.255, ranking as the worst hitter in the minor leagues.

Tebow also walked along with the homer in three plate appearances on Tuesday. While it’s a solid early showing, Tebow participating with the other big leaguers or soon-to-be big leaguers in spring training is something of a sideshow. If he were a regular ballplayer working his way up the ranks, he likely would have been cut after last season. He certainly wouldn’t have been given an invitation to big league camp the next year.

There are aspects of the Tebow situation to respect: that he’s athletic and dedicated enough to attempt a professional career in another sport, for example. He moves tickets and merchandise. But one can’t help but wonder about the roster spot he’s holding that would otherwise go to a more deserving player.