Recent Beanball Incidents
Yankees and Blue Jays throw down
After Yankee pitchers hit Edwin Encarnacion and Aaron Hill, Jesse Carlson threw behind Jorge Posada. Posada responded with some angry words and took a few steps toward the mound, causing both benches to clear, but order was quickly restored. A short time later, Posada elbowed Carlson after crossing home plate and the two players got into a tussle, leading to a bench-clearing brawl. "It got pretty heavy and pretty thick pretty quickly," Alex Rodriguez said. "I think we're all fortunate and glad no one got hurt."
Rick Porcello hits Kevin Youkilis
The Tigers and Red Sox had exchanged beanballs the day before this incident. Then Junichi Tazawa hit Miguel Cabrera in the first inning, but it seemed like an accident. Porcello responded in the bottom of the inning by throwing an inside fastball to Victor Martinez, who was none too pleased by the pitch. In his first pitch of the second inning, Porcello hit Youkilis squarely in the back. Although Porcello's response made it seem accidental, Youkilis charged the mound, threw his helmet at Porcello and engaged in a tussle, causing both benches to clear. Both players were suspended for five games.
Prince Fielder postgame tirade
Brewers reliever Chris Smith hit Manny Ramirez in the seventh inning. With two outs in the top of the ninth and with the Dodgers winning 17-4, Guillermo Mota retaliated by hitting Fielder in the leg. Following the game, Fielder marched toward the Dodgers clubhouse and shouted obscenities before being subdued by teammates as a security guard held strong at the door. Both Fielder and Mota were fined, but not suspended.
Matt Garza intentionally plunks Mark Teixeira
Garza hit Teixeira after a Joba Chamberlain pitch sailed over the head of Evan Longoria. After the game, Garza was very open with his intentions. "They can take whatever they want from it, but I just kind of got tired of people brushing him back. It's about time someone made a statement," Garza said. "I hate to be that guy, but someone had to take a stand and say we're tired of it. You go after our best guy. Well, we'll make some noise, too, and that's what happened." Garza was fined an undisclosed amount.
Bobby Jenks throws behind Ian Kinsler on purpose
Jenks wasn't happy seeing his teammates get hit by Rangers pitchers earlier in the series, so he threw a pitch behind the Rangers' star second baseman. After the game, Jenks openly admitted that it was a purpose pitch. "I wanted to go in and send a message and I think that message was sent," Jenks said. "Our guys have been hit a lot this series, definitely in a one-run game didn't want to put anyone on base. Just wanted to send a message and say hey we can play that game, too." MLB handed Jenks a $750 fine.
Dodgers and Phillies play beanball in NLCS
Brett Myers nearly hit Russell Martin and threw a ball behind Manny Ramirez in Game 2. Then in Game 3, Phillies starter Jamie Moyer hit Martin in the knee in the first inning and reliever Clay Condrey nearly hit Martin again in the second. Hiroki Kuroda responded by throwing a fastball over the head of Shane Victorino. Victorino furiously gestured at Kuroda, but he did not charge the mound. After Victorino, he and Kuroda exchanged words and the benches cleared. Seven players were fined for the incident.
James Shields plunks Coco Crisp
One of many skirmishes in the ongoing feud between the Rays and Red Sox occurred at Fenway Park on June 5, when Tampa Bay's James Shields hit Boston's Coco Crisp in retaliation for Crisp's rough slide into Tampa Bay's Akinori Iwamura the previous night. Crisp charged the mound, and both players threw roundhouse punches that failed to do any damage. A bench-clearing brawl, resulting in three ejections, followed. Eight players were eventually suspended.
Joba Chamberlain vs. Kevin Youkilis
Chamberlain has made a habit of sending Youkilis to the dirt by throwing fastballs around his head. On August 30, 2007, Chamberlain threw two consecutive fastballs near Youkilis' head and was immediately ejected. A reliever at the time, Chamberlain was suspended for two games and fined $1,000.
Sean Tracey's failed retaliation angers Ozzie
After notorious head-hunter Vicente Padilla hit A.J. Pierzynski twice, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen sent Sean Tracey into the game with orders to hit Texas' Hank Blalock. Tracey failed to hit Blalock twice before getting him to ground out. Guillen immediately removed him from the game and gave him an earful in the dugout. The White Sox demoted Tracey to Triple-A the very next day.
Jose Mesa fulfills promise to hit Omar Vizquel
Jose Mesa and Omar Vizquel were teammates from 1992-98, but their relationship turned ugly in 2002 when Vizquel criticized Mesa's performance in the 1997 World Series -- which the Indians lost -- in his book, Omar! My Life On and Off the Field. Mesa was furious. "If I face him, I'll hit him. I won't try to hit him in the head, but I'll hit him. And if he charges me, I'll kill him," Mesa said after the book came out. "If I face him 10 more times, I'll hit him 10 more times. Every time." Mesa stayed true to his promise, hitting Vizquel on July 12, 2002. The two did not face each other again until April 22, 2006, when Mesa hit him again, but Mesa stopped after this plunking.
Tigers-White Sox Beanfest
One brawl wasn't enough for the Tigers and White Sox, who fought in the seventh and ninth innings of a 14-6 Chicago victory. Final tally: five hit by pitches and 11 ejections. "Bottom line is, we won the game and we killed them," Chicago pitcher Jim Parque said. "I hope they have enough guys so we can beat them again."
Armando Benitez drills Tino Martinez
After giving up an eighth-inning, three-run home run to Bernie Williams, Orioles reliever Armando Benitez drilled Tino Martinez in the back with a pitch, setting off a 10-minute brawl that included a wild sucker punch on Benitez by the Yanks' Darryl Strawberry. "It was the worst brawl I've seen in 25 years," George Steinbrenner said. The Yankees ended up trading for Benitez in 2003.