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Amir Garrett rushes Pirates’ dugout as benches-clearing brawl ensues

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Yasiel Puig‘s last act as a Red will be his involvement in a benches-clearing brawl at Great American Ball Park during Tuesday night’s game against the Pirates. The two sides already have a history of bad blood, as their benches emptied back in April. (Amusingly, this would not be the only benches-clearing incident the Pirates would be involved in.) What happened on Tuesday night was on a whole ‘nother level.

Tension began in the bottom of the seventh with two outs when Pirates reliever Keone Kela threw a first-pitch 97 MPH fastball up and in to Derek Dietrich. Joey Votto wasn’t happy about that, exchanging words with Kela between innings. Home plate umpire Larry Vanover issued warnings to both benches during the break, to which Reds manager David Bell and his team took exception. Order was restored temporarily.

In the bottom of the eighth, Bell was ejected for arguing over a controversial strike call made by Vanover.

The Puig trade was announced on TV just as the top of the ninth inning began. Puig remained on the field while Jared Hughes took over on the mound. His first pitch to Starling Marte hit him on the hip. Hughes was immediately ejected. Amir Garrett entered the game in relief.

Garrett’s relief stint was subpar for himself and for the Reds, as he allowed a three-run home run to José Osuna, extending the Pirates’ lead to 11-3. After Kevin Newman grounded out, coach Jeff Pickler came out to the mound to speak to Garrett. Garrett and the Pirates’ dugout were barking at each other. Garrett threw his glove to the ground and charged the Pirates’ dugout by himself. He threw a bunch before he was swarmed by members of the Pirates as both teams’ benches and bullpens spilled onto the field. Along with pushing and shoving, more punches were thrown. Ultimately, Garrett, Puig, Chris Archer, Kyle Crick, and Francisco Cervelli were ejected from the game, as was acting manager Freddie Benavides.

The game ended without further incident 11-4 in the Pirates’ favor.

Expect many fines and suspensions as a result of this fracas, particularly for Kela, Hughes, Garrett, and Puig. The Indians have to be thrilled about their newest acquisition potentially being suspended for a week or longer.

Rumor: MLB execs discussing 100-game season that would begin July 1

David Price and Mookie Betts
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Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.

In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.

Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.

Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.