Tim Benz: Pirates-Reds brawl more comical than cantankerous
The Pirates and Reds had another skirmish in the ninth inning of Tuesday night’s 11-4 Bucs win.
But, at least, this one had some punches thrown as opposed to the chest-puffing pillow fights that occurred earlier in the season.
In case you missed it, the two teams clashed on the field after Reds pitcher Amir Garrett was ejected from the game in the top of the ninth inning.
The Reds' and Pirates' benches have cleared. pic.twitter.com/za8hYc0zuX
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) July 31, 2019
It all started when Keone Kela went up and in on old friend Derek Dietrich — he of the extended home run trots against the Pirates.
This, by the way, is entirely ridiculous to do by Kela. Entirely.
— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) July 31, 2019
After the game, Kela didn’t shy away from the fact that Dietrich’s history against the Pirates may have had something to do with that pitch.
“The reason I went up and in was strictly to show my intent of my pitch and to let Dietrich know that I didn’t necessarily agree with the way things went down,” Kela said. “People can say it was overdue. But this is baseball. And I felt I needed to protect my teammates and I had to do what I feel is right. Not only that, but you have to pitch in. That’s part of this game. And the day you aren’t allowed to pitch in, is the day this game forever changes.”
Then former Pirate Jared Hughes hit ex-teammate Starling Marte in retaliation and got ejected.
All that happened before the brawl in the ninth when Garrett lost his mind.
Let’s consider the comedy that occurred during the course of all this.
First of all, it’s the Reds and Pirates. And there is a lot of history there this year. This is at least the third dust up this season between the clubs.
Fourth, if you count the broadcasters.
Never before have two teams so inept fought this often. The two clubs are a combined 20 games under .500. They are, by far, the two worst teams in the NL Central.
— Charles Tommarello (@grunge777) July 31, 2019
Then there was Garrett swinging and missing with all three punches he threw at Trevor Williams.
— 𝐍𝐒𝟗(@NorthShoreNine) July 31, 2019
Boy, he sure showed the brim of Williams’ cap who was boss, huh? For a guy with nine walks in his last 9 ⅔ innings, we shouldn’t be surprised with that lack of control.
Also, in Kela’s postgame comments, he referred to Hughes as “Phil” Hughes. That’s precious. I’m not sure who should feel more insulted by that, Phil or Jared.
Then there is the fact that Kela, who started the whole thing, came out of the shower to dive back into the fight. He didn’t even know it was going on. He was in flip-flops at the time of the fracas.
Let’s factor in, as well, that Cincinnati outfielder Yasiel Puig kept the skirmish going longer than anyone. He needed to be restrained multiple times.
Puig was reportedly traded to Cleveland mid-game. Imagine what the Indians were thinking watching that.
“Great, we traded for a guy. And now he’s going to get suspended.”
Plus, Puig got traded for Trevor Bauer, who recently had a temper tantrum of his own.
These were Trevor Bauer and Yasiel Puig's final on-field moments before being traded. pic.twitter.com/wHwHCwsSmb
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 31, 2019
Even better? Look at how some of the Reds players found out about the trade … from the fans in the outfield.
— Daily Baseball (@VideosBaseball) July 31, 2019
Folks, you can’t make this stuff up. It writes itself.