A little late, but I don't care. I'll keep it nice and simple, in numbered points:
- Bartlett putting his knee down in front of the bag when Crisp was sliding in head first is a shady play. You do that with the intent of hurting the other player somewhere on his body, and putting the knee down could result in something as small as a jammed finger or as big as a broken collarbone. I've seen both, neither are pretty. Legal, yes, shady, absolutely.
- Crisp slid hard into second base into Akinori Iwamura. No matter who it was, Crisp was sliding in hard. Retaliation for what he thought was a shady play, that's fine, I have absolutely no problem with it, and have no problem with a hard slide on either end if it's in retaliation for something.
- First at-bat of the game for Crisp, Shields throws at him. Yea, it hit him in the legs, yes, Crisp should've been expecting it, however, this incident could've been put behind us, but Shields instigated it further.
- Crisp charged the mound, thus pushing the issue even further. He should not have charged the mound, but he was unable to swallow pride and take his lumps because he felt he was right for what he did, which I believe he was with regards to the hard slide. He was not right for charging the mound.
- Shields can't punch. It will never cease to amaze me how many people still throw haymakers. I could just roll off a list of things to do when a haymaker is coming at you, it's just such a stupid move! In all honesty, if I was Crisp, in dodging the roundhouse, left hand would've gone up to block the punch, and the right hand would have went right into Shield's right bicep without hesitation. People that throw haymakers and don't get hurt are stupid and lucky.
- Navarro did what he was supposed to do, he got Crisp out of the way and took him down. That was enough for the brawl, what Navarro did was fine.
- Johnny Gomes is a punk and a wuss for hitting Crisp while he was being held down.
- Carl Crawford is a punk and a wuss for hitting Crisp while he was being held down.
- Even Akinori Iwamura took a few cheap shots at Crisp, and therefore, is a punk and a wuss in my book.
- Tampa Bay is building a reputation for itself, and not a good one. There is a reason they have been in 2 big brawls already this year (counting the Spring Training ones with the Yankees). You can call the people good teammates all you want, the fact remains that for hitting a man while he's being held down by a bunch of other people makes them sissies and nothing better than a typical street thug. I have lost ALL respect for them. Their performance was PATHETIC.
- Everyone that got suspended deserved to get suspended.
- This is not the last incident we will see between the Rays and Red Sox, and I would not be in the least bit surprised to see the Rays and another team get into a similar brawl because of the reputation they're building for themselves, especially Gomes and Crawford.
Now, onto the other incident:
People are saying that Youkilis called Manny out for not being in the brawl, and this is just not true for a few reasons.
- Camera's show that Manny was right where Crisp crawled out from under 4 Rays, trying to pull the pile apart
- If that's what Youk said to Manny, then he's a hypocrite, since in a big brawl you really shouldn't be focused on what someone else is doing and only focused on dealing with the person/people you're dealing with.
- There is NO way is a veteran ballplayer and Dominican that grew up in Washington Heights not going to be out there for a brawl.
The more likely thing was that after his at-bat, Youk brought his problems and aggrivation into the dugout, Manny probably told him to calm down, and Youk probably told him to buzz off, and then Manny overreacted. Both would be wrong in that case, but I hope it's in the past.