photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Ha ha ha WHAT
No, there weren’t any punches thrown. But I still love that this escalated as far as it did.
The story, as near as I can make out (having not listened to the game):
–Josh Beckett walks people like a mad crazy walking machine. Sign number one that his control is not the best today.
–Josh Beckett hits Gary Sheffield somewhere nonvital but fairly high up (I think on the arm). Sign number two that his control is not the best today, and that he should, y’know, MAYBE STOP THINKING ABOUT PITCHING INSIDE, since it’s March and all.
–Josh Beckett hits Magglio Ordonez in the head.
–Everyone immediately has flashbacks to 2005.
–Magglio falls over and writhes for a bit, ‘though thankfully most of the blow is cushioned by his voluminous curls.
–Todd Jones comes in and stews lightly over Beckett’s lack of concern for humanity.
–Jonesy throws behind JD Drew which, OK, maybe not the best move, but it’s JD FREAKIN’ DREW. Even Boston fans are kind of wishing he’d gotten plunked.
–Jonesy gets ejected.
–Jim Leyland comes out to make the pitching change. Now, judging from some photos, it looks like Jonesy and Red Sox third base coach DeMarlo Hale were “exchanging information” before Leyland got onto the field (I would assume DeMarlo objected to Jones’ retaliatory instincts; honestly though, anyone who saw that business go down in ’05 should be aware that Tigers do not take headshots lightly), but most every writeup I’ve seen has described Leyland as a catalyst of the mess to follow.
–Regardless, Leyland comes on to remove Jonesy and somehow gets in the middle of a screaming match with DeMarlo Hale.
–Both benches clear.
–Everyone stands around squealing at each other, because it’s March and nobody wants to get Kyle Farnsworthed out there.
–Umpires dramatically restrain Leyland from going after DeMarlo and, who knows, kicking him in the shins with his cleats or something.
–Somewhere in all this, Leyland is ejected.
–At some point in the game, Beckett injures his jaw (!) by colliding with Sheffield at home plate (!!). I have no idea how this happened or when in this timeline it did, but I think it’s worth throwing in there.
–Near the end of the game, Travis Hughes hits Chris Shelton with a pitch. No one cares, because who the bollocks is Travis Hughes?
The moral of the story, as ever, is simple:
Don’t mess with Jim freakin’ Leyland, yo. He will bust your business up.