So it was an old fashioned “Base-brawl” at Yankee Stadium Tuesday evening and it could have been avoided had Jorge Posada realized that the post season is more important than precipitating an altercation with a game that meant nothing. Because the Yankees are heading to post season play and the Toronto Blue Jays are just playing out the schedule
Wednesday evening at Yankee Stadium it was baseball again. Yankees manager Joe Girardi had little evidence of the brawl left that left him n with a black eye and cut. The end result of an ugly brawl was Bob Watson, the Major League Baseball Vice President of On-Field Operations handing out the expected suspensions.
Yankees Catcher Jorge Posada and Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Carlson have been suspended for three games. Shelley Duncan, the reserve gets a three-game suspension, Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long and pitcher Edwar Ramirez were handed undisclosed fines. All warranted of course because Posada, a family man with morals should have known better.
Posada took his own action, thought about putting an elbow at Carlson when he rounded the bases Tuesday evening before coming home. He will accept the repercussions, because at this of year, when the only significance left was Yankees home field advantage in the playoffs, there was no need for retaliation about a close pitch Carlson threw in the top of the eighth inning.
All was calm in the Yankees clubhouse before they took the field and won a 5-4 bottom of the ninth walk-off win over the Blue Jays, their 14th such win of the season and Major League leading 48th comeback win. “There were no warnings issued from the umpires before the game,” commented Girardi. “They obviously thought it was over.”
And thankfully it is over and that the Yankees and Blue Jays don’t meet again until next June up in Toronto. Now the Yankees embark on a late season west coast swing that takes them to Seattle, and then three with the Angels out in Los Angeles, a possible post season opponent.
“We have put it behind us,” said Yankees pitcher Mark Melancon who drilled Toronto’s Aaron Hill in the top of the inning Tuesday evening, a pitch that was not intentional. Then Carlson in the bottom of the inning threw a pitch behind Posada that may have been retaliation.
But we should not be talking about brawls on the field this time of year. Instead it should be about pennant races. Both teams on the field, and this time it is 35 men with expanded rosters. Not even the best boxing judge could score this one, a reason why Watson handed out the appropriate suspensions and fines.
“I was there to be a good teammate,” said Ramirez who grabbed the chest protector of Toronto catcher Rod Barajas who was on the bottom of a pile of players at home plate looking to avoid injury.
So the Yankees will adjust without Posada the next few days. Girardi seems fine with using Jose Molina and Franciso Cervelli. “It’s nice to win a game and feel like you can put what happened behind us,” said the Yankees manager. Cervelli put all of the fireworks of the night before to bed with the walk-off single win through the hole at short that scored the speedy Brett Gardner who got on base and stole second.
Some will say the Yankees are the bad guys. Posada certainly left that impression with his actions in a game that was meaningless in the standings. Oh, one more point of interest. The rival Boston Red Sox come to the Bronx next week.
And if Boston continues to win ballgames, like they are doing now, and if the Yankees hit a tailspin on this late season west coast swing, well there could be a late season pennant race but hopefully not another “base-brawl” at Yankee Stadium.
e-mail Rich Mancuso: [email protected] .