If you didn't see the live version of it last night, I would hope you've seen it in highlights today. I'm talking about the all-out brawl between the Yankees' Ivan Rodriguez and the Angels' Torii Hunter.
Who was involved? I don't really care. Who started it? Not a concern either. What really irks me here is the reaction in the aftermath of the event.
As it's been said, Pudge and Hunter are supposedly friends off the field and later made amends for the act. I doubut I'd have the same reaction if I went to pounce on one of my friends. Who knows, maybe I would if we were REALLY good friends.
-- "Torii is a nice guy. We apologized to each other," Rodriguez said. "He's a very professional player and so am I. I've been in baseball for 18 years and I've never started a fight. I compete and I compete hard. And sometimes when you compete hard, things like that happen."
HUMMMM, I'm not so sure I buy that either. I don't recall Michael Phelps fighting the French swimmers after their smack talk in Beijing during the Olympics on his way to a record eight gold metals. I could be wrong though, but I don't think so.
And from Hunter -- "It happened so fast...I don't know if Pudge thought I pushed him. He pushed me. It just got frustrating."
To me, that statement sounds like it comes from someone who is trying to prove he didn't do anything rather than truly apologetic for the incident - faulty or not.
The AP reporter descirbed manager Joe Girardi as, "glad to see some feistiness in his team."
Girardi even said, "It's not something that you want to see happen, but it's emotion...Pudge was showing emotion, and I'm OK with that. Emotion is a good thing. It's baseball. Boys being boys."
This is when I really am in awe. I didn't realize baseball rules included emotion leading to fights in the rulebook as okay. And "boys being boys" -- these aren't boys. They're men. And, they should set an example for the boys who look up to and admire them. If my son got in a fight at a Little League game I certainly wouldn't tell him, "it's okay - it's just boys being boys." and I wouldn't expect a coach to condone it either.
I'm not saying that these things don't happen sometimes. Like Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, "It was an unfortunate incident." -- And it certainly was. I just think that it should not have been blatenly condoned by coaches or the players.
Update: So Pudge and Hunter were suspended for two games each. I agree with the judgement, do you? It all seems fair although but both players were previously scheduled to sit out one of the games anyway. What about Girardi? Do you think his original comments were worthy of any ramifications? I would have to say that's stretch, but i still don't agree with it.
Torii said the most respectable thing after the punishment was handed down, "I figured it would be like a game, but two? I didn't expect that... You do the crime, you got to do the time.." -- Good for you Torii,
Pudge's reaction you ask? Is he truly sorry or willing to take responsibility for his actions? You be the judge:
"That was just part of the game," he said. "It was just two players that love to play the game, that play the game hard and it happens. I'll just take it now, so I can be ready Saturday."