When two baseball teams battle it out with first place on the line, tensions are going to be tight. That’s what happened on Tuesday when the Cardinals and Reds got into a first-inning brawl, according to Capital Talk, ESPN, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Unfortunately for the Cards, their starting second baseman, Jason LaRue, has a mild concussion and some bruised ribs. To replace him in the meantime, the Cardinals have called up their AA catcher, Steven Hill from the Springfield (MO) Cardinals. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa expects Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto will be suspended and fined, in addition to other players involved in the seven-minute brawl.
How This Fight Stacks Up
Being rough and physical with opposing teams is expected in just about every major American team sport except baseball and maybe soccer. Football, basketball and hockey all thrive on physical contact. When things get out of hand on the baseball diamond, it can get ugly very quickly.
Many Cardinals players believe that the fight could have been worse as some spikes met with player’s backs and ribs. An entire mass of players was slammed up against the protective netting that protects the fans from errant foul balls. After the suspensions settle, the Cardinals will keep going upward while the Reds are going to falter since the Cards ended up sweeping Cincinnati.
The worst fight I can remember in baseball happened between the Peoria Chiefs and Dayton Dragons in minor league baseball in July of 2008. According to the Dayton Daily News, both teams got into in just the first inning, and a fan even got hit with a baseball. You can watch five minutes worth of the 10-minute brawl here on YouTube. The video does contain swearing and is basically unedited, so, if you live in a rated-PG household, you may not want to watch it. The Chiefs and Dragons are both Class A minor league teams.
The affiliates of the Reds and Cubs suffered 15 ejections between the two teams. The pitcher who struck the fan with a baseball, Julio Castillo, was sentenced to 30 days in jail. The fan he hit got a concussion. Castillo could have faced up to eight years imprisonment, according to ESPN, which would have effectively ended Castillo’s baseball career.
No one will be jailed due to the huge brawl between the Cardinals and Reds. At most, a few players will be suspended and videos of the brawl will be gone over to determine who did what. When the dust settles, some players will be fined but, with huge Major League Baseball salaries, it will amount to a slap on the hand for everyone involved.
Don’t think either of these teams will forget this brawl the next time they face each other. Perhaps this will begin a heated rivalry between two of baseball’s oldest professional clubs, much like the Red Sox-Yankees or Cardinals versus the Cubs.
There must be something in the drinking water in Ohio. Baseball teams seem to go a little nuttier this time of year in the Buckeye State.
ESPN, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Dayton Daily News all contributed information for this article.