New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers Get Into Insane Brawl

RealClearLife gets an eyewitness account from a fan in the stands.

August 25, 2017 10:49 am
Yankees and Tigers Get Into Insane Brawl
Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers fights with Austin Romine #27 of the New York Yankees after words were exchanged during a game at Comerica Park on August 24, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

If you were anywhere near Twitter yesterday afternoon and saw Detroit Tigers player “Miguel Cabrera” trending, you might’ve been interested and clicked on the topic as we did.

Had he hit a home run? Not likely. The two-time MVP has been having a decidedly down season, marred by injury and lackluster play. That, even given his career 69.5 WAR (Wins Above Replacement); this season, he’s got a pathetic -0.1 WAR, without question his worst year ever.

Back to Twitter, though. What came up when we clicked on Cabrera’s name was like something out of a spaghetti Western: a seconds-long argument, punches being thrown hither and yon, piles of angry men forming everywhere, relief pitchers sprinting in from the bullpen to defend their teams’ honor, expletives easily rendered by amateur lip-readers. It was a benches-clearing brawl of epic MLB proportions, and it was only just getting started.

Soon after, this video appeared in the feed.

As ESPN notes of the ballfields’ “casualties,” eight were ejected, including the aforementioned Cabrera (in the sixth inning); the guy he went after, Yankees’ catcher Austin Romine (also in the sixth); Yankees manager Joe Girardi and relief pitcher Tommy Kahnle (in a separate incident, also in the sixth); Yankees’ bench coach Rob Thompson and reliever Dellin Betances (in the seventh); and Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and reliever Alex Wilson (in the eighth). As ESPN explains, what likely caused the chain reaction of events was Tigers’ pitcher Michael Fulmer pelting Yankee Gary Sanchez in the fifth inning and not getting a verbal warning from the umpire—and staying in the game.

In all, the benches cleared on three separate occasions.

Interestingly, invasive species expert Nicholas Schroeck—whom RealClearLife interviewed on the topic last year—was at the ballpark with his father yesterday afternoon, approximately two-thirds of the way down the first-base line. He’s provided an eyewitness account of portions of the brawl that were unclear from the videos above. For one, Cabrera and Romine didn’t actually immediately start fighting each other as the video suggests. “[Cabrera] went over and stood by the dugout while there was the pitching change,” says Schroeck. (This, after Kahnle was thrown out.) “Everybody’s just talking, and we’re enjoying the nice day the baseball park … there was probably a 10-minute delay.” Then he says his dad noticed the brawl beginning, and all hell broke loose.

Schroeck provided RCLife with a trio of smartphone images he shot of the brawl from the stands:

Yankees, Tigers Get Into Insane Brawl
(Courtesy of Nicholas Schroeck)
Yankees, Tigers Get Into Insane Brawl
(Courtesy of Nicholas Schroeck)
Yankees, Tigers Get Into Insane Brawl
(Courtesy of Nicholas Schroeck)

What’s difficult to comprehend about the knock-’em-down-drag-’em-out is that the Yankees are just 4.5 games out of first place in the AL East and leading the AL Wild Card. In short, they’re still in it, unlike the Tigers, who sit 15 games out of first place in the AL Central. So given all the fighting and ejections—and likely, suspensions that will follow—the Yankees’ “contributions” will only hurt them in the long run.

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