Hopefully you survived Part I of our retrospective on baseball’s wildest brawls. Dig your spikes into the dirt and get ready to dodge some umpires because it’s go time as we explore our second and final installment of the best fights in MLB history.
June 19, 2003 – Kyle Farnsworth delivers a powerbomb
Reds starter Paul Wilson was trying to bunt when Cubs reliever Kyle Farnsworth threw a fastball high and tight. Wilson said something to Farnsworth, who charged toward home plate, flipped off his glove and slammed Wilson to the ground before landing a haymaker to the face. A pileup quickly ensued on top of the two pitchers.
October 11, 2003 – Down goes Zimmer
During a Pedro Martinez-Roger Clemens showdown in Game 3 of the ALCS, Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer, 73, lunged toward the Red Sox right-hander and ending up with a faceful of Fenway sod. Later in the game New York reliever Jeff Nelson and right fielder Karim Garcia got into a fight with a Fenway Park groundskeeper after he cheered for Boston in the Yankees’ bullpen.
July 24, 2004 – A-Rod gets a facial
Red Sox captain Jason Varitek didn’t appreciate Alex Rodriguez’s staring down Red Sox starter Bronson Arroyo after getting hit by a pitch. Varitek and A-Rod squared off, with Varitek shoving the Yankees star in the face. Both dugouts and bullpens emptied, and both players were ejected. The inspired Red Sox rallied to win the game on Bill Mueller’s ninth-inning homer off Mariano Rivera.
May 20, 2006 – The Sucker Punch
Cubs catcher Michael Barrett didn’t take too kindly to being run over at the plate by his counterpart, White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski. After Pierzynski slapped home plate and got up, Barrett grabbed him and punched him in the jaw. “He grabbed me and said, ‘I didn’t have the ball’ and then he punched me,” Pierzynski said. “I was trying to pick up my helmet.”
June 5, 2008 – Shields Up
The latest skirmish in the ongoing feud between the Rays and Red Sox occurred at Fenway Park on June 5, when Tampa Bay’s James Shields hit Boston’s Coco Crisp in retaliation for Crisp’s rough slide into a Tampa Bay player the previous night. Crisp charged the mound, and both players threw roundhouse punches that failed to do any damage. A bench-clearing brawl, resulting in three ejections, followed.