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Reds, Pirates benches clear after Chris Archer throws behind Derek Dietrich

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The Reds-Pirates series finale got a little heated on Sunday afternoon when Pittsburgh right-hander Chris Archer threw behind Cincinnati’s Derek Dietrich. The offending incident occurred in the second inning, when Dietrich spotted a 91.7-m.p.h. fastball from Archer and cranked a 436-foot, two-RBI home run all the way out of PNC Park — then took his sweet time admiring it before running the bases.

When Dietrich stepped up to the plate again in the fourth inning, Archer retaliated by throwing behind the batter. The benches quickly emptied and Yasiel Puig broke away from his teammates to take on the Pirates’ entire lineup, inspiring what may be the single greatest photo to come out of a dugout-clearing fracas:

Following the dust-up, Reds manager David Bell, right fielder Yasiel Puig, reliever Amir Garrett, and Pirates relief pitchers Keone Kela and Felipe Vázquez were ejected. It doesn’t appear as if any players were seriously harmed in the brawl, but any resulting suspensions have yet to be announced.

The Reds currently trail the Pirates 3-4 in the fifth.

Aaron Hicks would like to avoid Tommy John surgery

Aaron Hicks
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The Yankees’ 2019 run ended in heartbreak on Saturday night when, despite a stunning ninth-inning comeback, they fell 6-4 to the Astros and officially lost their bid for the AL pennant. Now, facing a long offseason, there are a few decisions to be made.

One of those falls on the shoulders of outfielder Aaron Hicks, who told reporters that he “thinks he can continue playing without Tommy John surgery.” It’s unclear whose recommendation he’s basing that decision on, however, as MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch points out that Tommy John surgery was recommended during the slugger’s most recent meeting with Dr. Neal ELAttrache.

Hicks originally sustained a season-ending right flexor strain in early August and held several consultations with ElAttrache and the Yankees’ physician in the months that followed. He spent two and a half months on the 60-day injured list and finally returned to the Yankees’ roster during the ALCS, in which he went 2-for-13 with a base hit and a Game 5 three-run homer against the Astros.

Of course, a handful of strong performances doesn’t definitively prove that the outfielder is fully healed — or that he’ll be able to avoid aggravating the injury with further activity. Granted, Tommy John surgery isn’t a minor procedure; it’s one that requires up to a year of rest and rehabilitation before most players are cleared to throw again. Should Hicks wait to reverse his decision until he reports for spring training in 2020, though, it could push his return date out by another six months or so.