Posted by Bob Biscigliano in Detroit Tigers
First of all this photo I got off of Detnews.com looks like a painting of a well chiseled Michelangelo figure hugging another while getting his head pounded in by a youngster with a yellow little tike hammer.
What started the bench clearing brawl that centered around Gary Sheffield and Fausto Carmona?
Sheffield was hit in the elbow by Cleveland pitcher Fausto Carmona on the first pitch two batters after Miguel Cabrera hit his 2nd mammoth home run off of him. Carmona proceeded to get rookie Matt Joyce out before plunking oft favorite target, Sheffield. Sheffield glared at Carmona the entire way to first. After Sheffield took a modest lead from first, Carmona stepped off the rubber and made "not his best" move to first. A very annoyed Sheffield immediately barked at Carmona to throw the ball to home plate. Carmona was not afraid to yelp right back at Sheffield. As Sheffield put it in his interviews, you call me out, I'm coming. Sheffield claims he got a punch in but I don't really see it in the replays. All I see is him bear hugging Carmona, who in turn takes Sheffield, gives him a good ole fashioned noogie and a few meager pops to the temple. No big deal.
Two players from each team were ejected for the bench clearing brawl. Carmona and Victor Martinez from Cleveland and Sheffield and Polanco from Detroit. I have no idea why Polanco was ejected though. He doesn't know either. Either he punched someone in the knee when no one was looking or his massive head stuck out to someone when they were looking for an extra Tiger player to eject. Beats me.
Another thing I would like to touch on is the Cleveland Indian announcers. I was watching this whole thing unfold on MLB.TV and because the Tigers are on the road, I have the misfortune of missing out on Mario and Rod (although I have learned now that MLB.TV has upgraded so I can click on the Detroit FSN). Anyway, the Cleveland announcers were not very fair in their commentary. While the fight began and benches cleared, they claimed that this ENTIRE thing was instigated by Sheffield. How? Did Sheffield hit himself on the elbow and go to first base after somone hit their 2nd dinger of the night? Miraculously, a pitcher who was having very good control all game, loses control for one pitch and hits Sheffield? It wasn't the first time he has hit Sheffield either. I guess if you want to be technical though, he did instigate the benches clearing because he charged Carmona first. He wouldn't have charged though had he never been hit in the first place. I think the only good point the Indians announcers made was made an inning later when they said that if Sheffield was going to charge the mound, he should have done it as soon as he got hit by the pitch. I'm not sure, but I think he was trying to restrain himself as soon as he got hit and then felt he had to say something when Carmona made a meaningless pickoff attempt. Carmona didn't back down and called Sheffield out and that's when the dance started.
Another note, I wonder how many mediocre outtings its going to take Verlander before he starts opening up to coaching because he should be a lot better than this. I guess I should have listened to my former college coach in 2006 when he coached Verlander in the Olympics when he told me that Verlander was not coachable, arrogant, and works way too quickly to make any sort of adjustment. I hope he slows it down and makes them this off season so we can be talking Tiger baseball into November in '09.