UPDATE: The benches have cleared again, and this time the two sides were not messing around. Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly threw at Tyler Austin in apparent revenge for his questionable slide early in the game, prompting Austin to charge the mound. The teams poured from their respective dugouts as Kelly and Austin exchanged blows.
HERE WE GOOO!!!!! pic.twitter.com/wFIVduulND
— Bronx Pinstripes (@BronxPinstripes) April 12, 2018
Not long ago, benches-clearing brawls were a standard part of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. There was the Pedro Martinez-Don Zimmer fracas. There was the famous Alex Rodriguez-Jason Varitek dustup. Before that, there was the legendary Bill Lee-Graig Nettles clash. And along the way, there have been numerous other smaller tiffs that kept relations between the two teams eternally frosty.
And although the benches-clearing incident between the two teams Wednesday night will probably not go down in Red Sox-Yankees lore (it was not even the best brawl of the day), it was fun to see the teams mixing it up a bit.
Tension Wednesday began in the third inning when Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin slid into second baseman Brock Holt attempting to break up a double play. Holt was not happy with the play and let Austin knew it. As the players jawed, benches and bullpens from both sides rushed onto the field.
No punches (or even shoves) were thrown, but everyone on both teams got some exercise on a cold night.
Since we’re here, here’s another look at what did appear to be a pretty dirty slide from Austin.
— Mark Suleymanov (@TheMARKOut1) April 12, 2018
Old-timers will probably see a play like that and reminisce on a time when men were men and hard slides were part of the game, but the fact is baseball has outlawed slides out of the baseline, and Holt has plenty of reason to be peeved at a move from Austin that could have hurt him.
Holt also has reason to be peeved at his team’s performance tonight. As of this writing, the Yankees lead 8-1 behind two home runs from Gary Sanchez.