Family Feud: Power Ranking the Top MLB Dugout Altercations of All Time
In sports and competition, sometimes adrenaline and frustration can combine for an ugly mix. Many times players just take out their frustrations on the water cooler. Other times, players take it out on each other. The result? Dugout blowouts caught by the cameras for everyone to see.
We saw two examples of that over the weekend as a pair of teammates in Chicago and Tampa Bay hashed out their differences in a less than cool manner. The ability to detect more dugout fights is thanks to the many new camera angles provided, and we thank these players and managers for giving us a look into their argumentative world.
10. B.J. Upton v. Evan Longoria
This brawl was rather benign in contrast to others on the list. Evan Longoria had some words for Upton which the Rays outfielder took exception to. The two were briefly nose to nose before teammates stepped in.
In fact, the worst thing about the entire altercation may have been Longoria's combination mohawk/mullet.
9. Matt Garza v. Dioner Navarro
The Rays battery mates are chumming it up in this photo, however the story was far different on June 10, 2008.
That day, Garza grew frustrated with Navarro regarding signals. So, Navarro decided to go to the mound and give Garza and up-close tutorial. Navarro pressed his mask to Garza's face and began barking at his pitcher.
The altercation continued between innings when the pair wrestled in the dugout and began exchanging blows. The two dismissed the fight after the game, but perhaps in hindsight their fight was a precursor of what happened this weekend in the Rays' dugout.
8. Manny Ramirez v. Kevin Youkilis
Perhaps the Garza and Navarro were just blowing of unused testosterone in their brawl which came just days after a Red Sox-Rays brawl which later featured Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis burning off their unused energy.
Two inning after the Sox and Rays went at in the middle of the diamond, Ramirez and Youkilis went after each other in the dugout.
Words were exchanged in the dugout and one camera angle picked up a shot of Ramirez taking a swing and/or slap at Youkilis. The two were immediately separated by teammates. Seven weeks later, Manny was in Los Angeles. It's no coincidence.
7. Carlos Zambrano v. Derrek Lee
Unfortunately for the Cubs, they know all to well that Carlos Zambrano has no problem going after his teammates. He did that again late last week when an explosive Zambrano endured another classic meltdown in the dugout. This time, it was directed at Derrek Lee who remain cool in the face of psychosis.
6. Prince Fielder v. Manny Parra
What was it about 2008 that made teammates go crazy on each other? On August 6 of that year, Prince Fielder decided to take out frustrations on pitcher Manny Parra. Rumor has that Parra instigated the encounter by making a crack about Fielder's weight. Fielder responded by giving Parra a piece of his mind and hands.
5. Billy Martin v. Reggie Jackson
It is arguably the classic dugout fight by which all future dugout fights are measured by. It was June 18, 1977 right during a key three-game series in Boston. Martin accused Jackson of not hustling to retrieve a ball hit by Jim Rice.
Wasting no time, Martin pulled Reggie right off the field and replaced him mid-inning. Jackson, bewildered by the move, went into the dugout a moment of shock mixed with anger.
Martin stepped right into Jackson's face, screaming at his outfielder, The two locked arms and jersey tugging ensued before coaches and players could pry Martin off Jackson. The fact that the game occurred during the MLB Game of the Week's turned the clip into the epitome of the "Bronx Zoo" years in New York.
4. Barry Bonds v. Jeff Kent
Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds made no bones about the fact that they flat out disliked each other. Their conflict boiled over in June of 2002 when the two former MVPs went at it in what later became called the "Slugout in the Dugout."
The story went that Bonds was standing up for third baseman David Bell who was the focus of Kent's ire. Bonds approach Kent, heated words were exchanged and eventually Bonds had his hand latched around Kent's throat.
Kent dismissed the fight after the game, but this fight lands high up the list because it was the rare time we saw players which genuinely disliked each other come to blows on camera.
3. Carlos Zambrano v. Michael Barrett
The Cubs are no strangers to Zambrano's blowups and that largely has to do with his fight with Michael Barrett back on June 1, 2007.
The shoving match began in the dugout, but the fireworks truly happened in the clubhouse where the two came to blows. Zambrano popped Barrett in the lip, sending him to the hospital for stitches. The Cubs, meanwhile, were simply left embarrassed. They hoped it was a one-time thing. They were wrong.
2. Billy Martin v. Ed Whitson
Billy Martin had his words with Reggie Jackson in 1977, but eight years later Martin had his worst fight with a player. It did not happen in the dugout, but rather in the hotel lobby.
Martin, who was reportedly in one of his famous stupors, supposedly cold-cocked Whitson in the hotel bar before it spilled into the lobby and eventually upstairs. Martin may have started the fight, but he took the worst of it. He left the brawl with a couple broken ribs and a broken arm.
1. Lou Piniella v. Rob Dibble
Back on September 17, 1992, "Sweet" Lou was asked for his thoughts on the severity of the shoulder injury to closer Rob Dibble. Dibble had previously stated that he thought Piniella was overblowing the injury to the press. Piniella told Dibble he was not used in that night's game because of the shoulder injury.
Dibble, with his pride hurt, lost his temper and approached Piniella. The manager and the closer got entangled in a wrestling scrum in which they hit the floor and Piniella accused Dibble of being the liar.
The site of the manager and his player engaged in a drag out brawl in full view of the press corps is still unrivaled by anything more recent.