We’re not sure how Alex Rodriguez will fare when the New York Yankees battle the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, but we’re almost positive he’ll have a better day than the one he did exactly 12 years ago.
That day — July 24, 2004 — featured a matchup at Fenway Park between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, back when the teams’ bitter rivalry was at its peak. It also produced one of the most memorable moments in recent Red Sox history: catcher Jason Varitek shoving his mitt directly into A-Rod’s face, sparking a massive brawl between the teams.
It all started when Red Sox starter Bronson Arroyo drilled Rodriguez in the elbow with a fastball. The Yankees slugger didn’t take kindly to the beaning and had some choice words for Arroyo as he walked toward first base. That’s when Varitek intervened, stepping between the two players and barking back at A-Rod.
Rodriguez then urged Varitek to “bring it on,” which is exactly what the Red Sox captain did.
An absolute brouhaha ensued, but what Boston fans will remember most from the fight was the image of Varitek shutting up Rodriguez with a faceful of his catcher’s mitt.
Some argue that moment was a turning point for the 2004 Red Sox, who went on to win that game on a Bill Mueller walk-off homer and caught fire in the second half en route to their first World Series title since 1918.
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