Rarely do baseball fights between two teams mount to very much.
Most on-field quarrels between two Major League Baseball teams feature lots of screaming and a little pushing. Players can be seen running on the field from everywhere. Bullpens empty. Dugouts empty.
The melee between the Cleveland Guardians and Chicago White Sox August 5 was the real deal. It was a fight. Punches were thrown. Damage was inflicted.
This old scout had a great view from the press box, above Progressive Field.
The Guardians were losing the game when Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez hit a double down the first base line.
Ramirez slid head first into second base. White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson took issue with the way Ramirez slid. Words were exchanged. Heated words.
When Ramirez rose to his feet, Anderson stood in a typical fighter’s position, fists poised to strike. It is reported that Anderson challenged Ramirez to a fight. He even flicked his finger, striking Ramirez.
Ramirez retaliated. He threw one right hook, and Anderson went down. In a blink of the eye, Anderson was on the ground.
What may have been a kerfuffle turned into a brawl.
Just when the umpires thought order was restored, Guardians manager Terry Francona and White Sox manager Pedro Grifol started barking at each other near the pitcher’s mound.
Little skirmishes erupted among other players.
White Sox first baseman Andrew Vaughn literally carried the dismayed Anderson to the White Sox dugout.
The brawl lasted 17 minutes.
In all, Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez, pitcher Emmanuel Clase, coach Mike Sarbaugh, and manager Terry Francona were ejected from the game.
Anderson, and Grifol were ejected from the White Sox side of things.
The brawl August 5 was a sequel to an incident between Anderson and Guardians rookie Brayan Rocchio from the previous game.
On Friday, August 4, Rocchio was called safe when trying to steal second base.
Anderson pushed Rocchio off the base, and tagged Rocchio.
The White Sox challenged the initial safe call by second base umpire Malachi Moore.
The safe call was reversed. Rocchio was called out. A Guardians rally was snuffed out.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona argued that Anderson pushed Roccio off second base, then tagged him. It didn’t fly. Francona was ejected.
Francona had harsh words for umpire Moore, among other things, suggesting he needed more practice as an umpire.
The White Sox and Guardians conclude their play for the year with the Sunday afternoon, August 6 game.
The teams won’t meet again until spring training.
The rivalry has been losing steam lately, but things have now changed.
It is quite possible Ramirez, Anderson, maybe Clase, and possibly Sarbaugh and both team managers will be suspended by MLB.
But in this old scout’s years watching baseball, the brawl August 5 was the most intense. The closest to a real fight one could ever witness at a baseball game.
Even though White Sox designated hitter Ely Jimenez could be seen limping away from the fray, nobody was seriously hurt.
But Tim Anderson is probably a bit embarrassed by being sent to the ground with one quick, powerful punch to his jaw from Jose Ramirez.
And oh, by the way, Ramirez is compact and strong at 5-9, 190 pounds.
Anderson is taller and leaner, at 6-1, 185 pounds.
Both are baseball players. Neither make their living throwing punches.