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Baseball Brawl     Share

11 Aug 2010

A possible (one-way) conversation between a teammate and Brandon Phillips:

“Seriously?  Did you just say that?  What did you think he would do, high five you and agree?  Thanks, though, because in the middle of a playoff race what we needed was a big distraction.” 

To fill you in, Cincinnati Reds’ second baseman Brandon Phillips instigated a fight between his team and the St. Louis Cardinals with some comments before their three game series.  The Reds and Cardinals are locked in a playoff race (dead even before Wednesday’s game).  Some reporter asked him how his leg was feeling and about how he felt about the rivalry.  That guy hit paydirt!  Phillips ranted about hating the Cardinals, called them female dogs, whiners, and said he would play against them with one leg, whatever that means. 

After all of his publicized comments, he walked up to the Cardinals catcher, one of the Molina brothers, and tapped him on the shin pads as if to say, “What’s up, man?  Did you see my quote where I said I hated you?  We’re cool, right?”  The Molina brother that happened to be on the Cardinals (for the record, no sports fan is expected to know which Molina is which unless he is on your favorite team) took offense to the shin pad tap and got in Phillips’ face.  Some yelling happened and the benches cleared.  People milled around for a while and all seemed calm until Chris Carpenter, a pitcher on the Reds who used to be on the Cardinals, yelled at Cards manager Dusty Baker.  Apparently Dusty is on the no-yelling- at-list, because that sent the Cardinals over the top.  After some more pushing and milling about, one guy with long hair (Reds pitcher, Johnny Cueto), ended up with his back to the wall and started kicking anyone he could find. 

Only the managers were thrown out, but many fines will likely follow.  There will definitely be some drama in future games, too.  These teams are in the same division and they are in a dead heat.  They play each other three more times in September, too.  Oh yeah, the Cardinals won on Tuesday 8-4, and on Wednesday, 6-1. 

Some baseball fights basics: Almost always fights start after a hit-by-pitch and very rarely is a punch actually thrown.  If a punch is thrown it is usually right away (either the batter hits the pitcher or the pitcher and/or catcher hit the batter before he can get one in).  Sometimes multiple punches are thrown, but usually it’s much ado about nothing.  There are 25 players on a baseball roster and many of them aren’t even watching when the “benches clear.”  They just know they need to go out and get in the mob.  Sometimes it is especially humorous when players from the bullpen run into the fray beside the players from the other team’s bullpen.  As soon as they reach the crowd they turn and pretend to be really mad at the other people who weren’t watching what happened. 

One liner: "Phillips is a moron and his team probably hates him for dragging them into this mess."

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The Basics

Baseball is  has been labeled "America's Pastime" because during the late 19th and early 20th century it was the most widely played sport in the country. More...


Win (for a pitcher):  A pitcher must complete five innings of pitching and his team must be leading when he exits for him to get a win.  A pitcher with 15 wins in a season is doing well; 20 wins is the recognized plateau of excellence.

ERA:  Earned Run Average.  A statistic which measures how many runs a pitcher averages surrendering to opposing teams based on pitching nine innings.  For instance, a pitcher with an ERA of 2.00 would on average give up 2 runs over the course of 9 innings.  ERA’s are always measured to the hundredths.  An ERA of under 3.00 is considered good.  An ERA under 2.00 is excellent and only a handful of pitchers are able to sustain an ERA under 2.00 for an entire season.

Pinch Hit:  when a player that did not start the game comes in to bat for a player that did start the game. 

Batting Average:   How often a player gets a hit.  Batting average is calculated by dividing the number of hits by total chances to hit.   If a player walks or is hit by a pitch, such actions are not counted as a chance to hit in calculating the batting average.  A .300 batting average (getting a hit 30% of the time) is considered to be above average for a MLB player.

Mendoza Line:  A euphemism for a .200 batting average.  The term came from a reference to Mario Mendoza, a light hitting infielder in the 1970s that usually batted around .200.  A player that is hitting around the Mendoza Line is lucky to still have a job in the Major Leagues.