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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.

Larry Walker to wear a Rockies cap on his Hall of Fame plaque

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I guess this came out the day he was elected but I missed it somehow: Larry Walker is going to have a Rockies cap on his Fall of Fame plaque.

While it was once solely the choice of the inductee, for the past couple of decades the Hall of Fame has had final say on the caps, though the request of the inductee is noted. This is done to prevent a situation in which a cap truly misrepresents history. This issue arose around the time Wade Boggs was inducted, as he reportedly had a deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to pick their cap on his plaque which, to say the least, would’ve been unrepresentative.

There have been some mildly controversial picks in the past, and some guys who would seem to have a clear choice have gone with blank caps to avoid upsetting the fan base of one of his other teams, but Walker’s doesn’t seem all that controversial to me.

Walker played ten years in Colorado to six years in Montreal and two years in St. Louis. His numbers in Colorado were substantial better than in Montreal. His MVP Award, most of his Gold Gloves, most of his All-Star appearances, and all of his black ink with the exception of the NL doubles title in 1994 came with the Rockies too. Walker requested the Rockies cap, noting correctly that he “did more damage” in a Rockies uniform than anyplace else. And, of course, that damage is what got him elected to the Hall of Fame.

Still, I imagine fans of the old Expos will take at least some issue here. Those folks tend to be pretty possessive of their team’s old stars. It’s understandable, I suppose, given that they’ve not gotten any new ones in a decade or two. Add in the fact that Walker played for the 1994 Expos team onto which people love to project things both reasonable and unreasonable, and you can expect that the Expos dead-enders might feel a bit slighted.

Welp, sorry. A Rockies cap is the right choice.  And that’s Walker’s cap will feature.