But Boston could use both of them on the roster — as long the Brewers’ slugger remembers he gets paid to hit baseballs on the field, not other players off it.
Fielder attempted to crash the Dodgers’ locker room after the Brewers' 17-4 loss to the Blue Crew at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night. Milwaukee’s All-Star first baseman was upset that Guillermo Mota hit him in the leg with two outs in the top of the ninth inning. The plunking was payback for Chris Smith hitting Manny Ramirez with a pitch two innings earlier.
Fielder is better than bush league. He doesn’t need to behave like a raving lunatic.
What happened to charging the mound, clearing the benches and taking care of business between the lines?
Pitchers have been drilling opposing batters in response to having their batters beaned since before Cy Young was throwing strikes at the Huntington Avenue Grounds. Provided the retaliatory pitch isn't head-hunting, protecting your own is part of the game.
If it leads to a donnybrook on the pitcher’s mound, so be it.
But even a brawl has rules of engagement. There’s a code of conduct to follow. With the Red Sox and Yankees set to renew their rivalry in the Bronx, let’s review the etiquette of the old brawlgame — just in case Joba Chamberlain forgets the strike zone isn’t between the 2 and 0 on Kevin Youkilis’ jersey, or Josh Beckett brings a housewarming gift for Derek Jeter.
No biting. This isn’t kindergarten. This is the Show. Please act accordingly.
No spitting. Unintentional spittle while unleashing a machine-gun blast of angry obscenities happens. It might be disgusting, but it isn’t despicable. Hocking a loogie in someone’s grill is the pinnacle of insult, much more offensive than a right cross to the chin or straight jab to the nose.
No weapons. Let the fists do the talking. Baseball has enough sideshows on its plate. The last thing anybody wants to see is a metal detector sitting next to the bubble gum and sunflower seed buckets in the dugout.
No headbutts or eye-gouging. Unless Moe, Larry and Curly are on the roster, save the yuck-yuck-yucks for the Three Stooges.
Put down the bats. In 1965, Giants pitcher Juan Marichal attacked John Roseboro at home plate, leaving the Dodgers’ catcher with blood streaming down his face. This should serve as a cautionary tale for anyone thinking of using a Louisville Slugger for anything other than squaring up baseballs.
Keep the spikes on the ground. No matter how many times a player practices Daniel LaRusso’s crane technique in the mirror, it is not suitable for the diamond. Leaving the feet only can lead to a legacy of blooper reel highlights. Ask Izzy Alcantara or Chan Ho Park.
Fight on the field. Jimmy Piersall, one of the most colorful characters in Red Sox history, once fought Billy Martin under a Fenway tunnel. While this kind of go-getting is admirable, paying customers are deprived of seeing some great action when it happens underground. And when the free-for-all rolls into the stands, players and fans are at risk of serious injury. Remember, it’s all fun and games until somebody breaks an iPhone.
Stay above the belt. Life’s not fair. Does that mean brawling has to be, too? Avoid rabbit punches and low blows. Follow the lead of Nolan Ryan, put someone in a headlock and pummel away at their head. If it’s good enough for a Hall of Famer, it should be good enough for anyone wearing a uniform.
Baseball hasn’t had a good melee since the Red Sox and Rays battled at Fenway last spring. With the AL East race heating up, anything is possible when the Sox and Yankees get together.
Ding. Ding. Come out swinging for the fences.
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