Tuesday night, the New York Yankees got in a tussle with, of all teams, the Toronto Blue Jays after a couple of errant pitches and a poorly backed up Brett Gardner base hit. Jorge Posada brushed up against Jays’ reliever Jesse Carlson in the eighth inning, and all hell broke loose.
Lets get down to the details. Sergio Mitre hit Edwin Encarnacion on the hands, high and tight, in the top of the 6th with a runner on first and nobody out in a 5 to 2 game. He went on to give up a double and his night was done.
Mark Melancon relieved Edwar Ramirez in the 7th and the “its not the arrow, its the archer,” Melancon proceeded to do what he does best, miss the strike zone. He got out of the 7th, and got two outs in the 8th before hitting Aaron Hill between the numbers. At this point, Hill was 0 for 4 with a strike out.
In his outing, Melancon went 1 1/3 throwing 13 of 23 pitches for strikes. Of the non-strikes, 2 were wild pitches, one was a passed ball and one plunked Hill in the back. For the year, Melancon has hit 4 batters in 16 1/3 and walked 10 batters. That’s a WHIP of right around one if you’re just counting walks and beanings. So whether or not he hit Hill intentionally is really tough to judge.
With one out the next inning and no one on, Jesse Carlson threw behind Jorge Posada on the first pitch. Things got chippy and everyone was warned. It really looked like Carlson wanted to fight there, though. Posada made a few steps and said something to Carlson, but the lefty kept coming towards the plate as Posada went back to the box.
Benches had their 7th inning stretch, but it looked like your old run of the mill, West Side Story song and dance almost-brawl. Posada got to second on a Robinson Cano single, and Brett Gardner doubled to right. Thats when it got ugly.
On a base hit to right field, Carlson really should have made his way behind home plate via the third base-homeplate expressway, by going between home and first instead, and then just chilling in the oncoming runner’s (who happened to be Posada) running lane, Carlson made this situation a bit more fishy.
People are going to make a big deal about Posada extending his arm as he ran by, but it was nothing. He sort of pushed him off as they brushed up against eachother, and Carlson was relatively unmoved by the contact. Well physically unmoved, but emotionally, it seemed to get to him, because a second later he was rabid. Posada was tossed by the homeplate ump right away, and then Carlson initiated madness by yelling and going at Posada, and the Yankees on deck batters, Hip Hip Jorge made quick work of the homeplate umpire and it was on.
Jesse Carlson is a Connecticut kid like myself. He went to Berlin High School in a nice town not far from the capital of the Nutmeg State. As a rival in legion ball to Berlin I may be a little biased, as a Yankee fan I may be a little biased as well, but most Connecticut kids do not get much of a chance to fight growing up, and when we get our chance we act like tough guys only to get our heads welted up by people that may have actually grown up fighting. This leads me to believe that Carlson must have been drunk.
But honestly, Carlson should have let the situation go after he got to yell at the veteran catcher. When Carlson went and stood right in Posada’s line of sight and path behind home plate, he was asking for the situation to escalate, and he got his wish, and for that he got his head knocked in and most likely a fine and suspension. At this point, though, the suspension does not hurt the Jays, but losing Posada a few days could still hurt the Yankees.
The Yankees are up 6 1/2 games on the Sox after tonight’s loss which is a pretty hefty lead this late in the season, but we’ve seen the Mets choke harder. Both the Yanks and Sox are capable of going on long win streaks, and who knows what a little turmoil can do. Maybe Carlson, a New England kid, is still pulling for Boston in the division. I’m quite the baseball conspiracy theorist, and a firm believer in the magic-loogie theory.
Posada was out of line here, too, though. He has to understand that he can be the bigger guy, and walk away from all this after being walked. If they do not fight, Posada has all the ammo in the world to hurl at Carlson in the press, but now, Posada will probably be seen as the one in the wrong because everyone out there thinks he threw an elbow.
I liked it better when it was dumb College kids fighting, but its good to know that Toronto is still trying despite being 26 1/2 games out.