The September 19th game between the Tigers and the Indians we saw the bench clearing brawl that Detroit fans have been hoping for all year. Not that we, Detroit fans, wanted to see ejections and suspensions, we were looking for frustration and heart to show through...and Gary Sheffield gained some respect from me.
It was the seventh inning of a 5-2 Tigers lead when Gary Sheffield came to the plate. What seems to be a 2-Seam Fastball rode in on Sheff and stung him right in the middle of the back. Sheffield, being Sheffield, stood in the box staring at Fausto Carmona, the Indians pitcher, then slowly made his way down to first base glaring at Carmona the whole way.
After Sheffield got to the base, the first move from Carmona was not another pitch but, a pickoff attempt at Gary. That's when Gary said something in the vacinity of "Throw the ball home." Caroma didn't like it and said something back, then we had the brawl we were looking for.
Sheff came to Fausto and attempted to tackle him. Fausto then got some punches in on Gary. After that moment both benches and bullpens had been cleared.
After not actually seeing the incident live and hearing about it from a text message, I went home and saw all the videos I could on YouTube and Tigers.com.
What I saw on Tigers.com was an article written about the incident with a video from the Cleveland Indians broadcast company. The Indians announcers Matt Underwood and Rick Manning were completely out of line. If you watch the video in this article you will see what I mean.
The 2-Seamer from Carmona was obviously intended to hit Sheffield. The pitch started inside that slid right into Gary. After he was hit Carmona showed no remorse, at all.
The Indians announcers were saying things like "It wasn't intentional", "get down to first base" and "this was all instigated by Sheffield". Even if it wasn't intended to hit Sheff, he is still frustrated about the season so cut the guy some slack...it was Sheff's last straw.
I back up Gary on this, not just because I'm a loyal Tigers fan, but he is just frustrated just like the rest of the Tigers roster and coaches. I'm glad that Gary didn't hold back his emotions that night. This also comes a few days after Jim Leyland was suspended for showing his frustration to umpires and getting a three game suspension.
What do you think?