Cardinals vs. Reds: Ranking the 5 Most Intense Reds-Cards Rivalry Moments

Scott L. HutchinsonCorrespondent IJuly 10, 2012

Cardinals vs. Reds: Ranking the 5 Most Intense Reds-Cards Rivalry Moments

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    Major League Baseball boasts a long history of storied rivalries, but in recent years, few have been as heated as Cincinnati vs. St. Louis.

    Fueled by competitive on-field play, off-the-field banter and a very real sense of mutual hatred, the Reds and Cardinals have become bitter rivals—not only in baseball, but in the world of sports as a whole.

    With yet another showdown looming this weekend, here's a look at five of the rivalry's most fiery moments.

5. Coco's War of Words, 2011

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    When former Cincinnati closer Francisco Cordero threw a fastball a bit more high and inside than St. Louis superstar Albert Pujols would have liked, things got a bit testy between the two ballclubs in 2011.

    The Cardinals, who were under the impression that "Coco" had purposely buzzed their MVP slugger, made their displeasure known from the dugout.

    Cordero didn't exactly hold his tongue either, shouting right back as the Reds headed for the clubhouse.

    While cooler heads eventually prevailed, the war of words had fans from both sides on the edge of their seats.

4. La Russa vs. Brennaman, 2011

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    In a rivalry this hot, animosity isn't limited to the playing field. 

    When St. Louis ace Chris Carpenter made a remark questioning Cincinnati's grounds crew in 2011, Hall of Fame sportscaster Marty Brennaman didn't hesitate to fire back, attacking the Cardinals' nitpicky nature.

    Offended by the comments, former St. Louis manager Tony La Russa shot back, essentially telling Brennaman to mind his own business:

    "He earned the right to get into the Hall of Fame,” La Russa said, via NBC Sports. “And now he ought to keep earning that respect instead of abusing it."

    Naturally, the comments only added to Cincinnati's distaste for the Cardinals' skipper.

3. Snubbed, 2012

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    As if La Russa and the Reds didn't have enough to argue about, the 2012 All-Star vote only added fuel to an already blazing fire.

    Tempers flared once again when Cincinnati skipper Dusty Baker pointed the finger straight at La Russa when the former Cardinal decided to exclude Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips and Johnny Cueto from the National League roster.

    Claiming that La Russa had purposely excluded the two Cincy stars because of their involvement in the teams' notorious 2010 brawl (See Slide 1), Baker struck a nerve, and yet another war of words ensued.

2. Phillips Sounds Off, 2010

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    Every sports fan has that one athlete they love to hate, and the vast majority of Cardinals fans look no further than Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips.

    Already a nuisance for his strong on-field play against St. Louis over the years, Phillips took his villainous persona in Cardinals country to a whole new level in 2010, launching a personal vendetta against all things Red Birds in a 2010 interview.

    While Phillips' exact dialogue isn't exactly safe for work, let's just say his rant was strong enough to fuel one of the wildest on-field brawls in the history of the game.

1. The Brawl of 2010

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    So, what do you get when two of the MLB's most vibrant personalities face off at home plate? 

    A bench-clearing brawl, of course.

    When Brandon Phillips came up to bat just one day after his notorious anti-Cardinals rant, St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina decided to give him a piece of his mind.

    Then, what started as a verbal clash turned into one of baseball's most historic brawls. Members of both teams poured onto the field to take part in an all-out war at Great American Ballpark.

    As injuries and suspensions piled up, it became clear that the Reds-Cardinals rivalry had been taken to new, historic heights.