Photo By: USA Today
It was a somber Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and a baseball game is set to take place between the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburg Pirates. As the game progresses, the mood remains calm. You can hear children laughing in the stands while vendors yell “PEANUTS” at a loud, yet delightful tone. As the top of the second inning commences, Reds third basemen Eugenio Suárez draws a lead off walk. Next to dig his cleats into the batters box is 7 year major league vet, Derek Dietrich. Opposing Dietrich on the rubber, is Chris Archer, a wildly animated pitcher who is not afraid to wear his emotions on his sleeve. BALL 1! The umpire shouts as the first pitch runs high and tight to the lefty batter. Archer winds and set for the second pitch of the at bat, hurling a 91 MPH two-seam fastball down and in the middle of the zone. CRACK. The ball seemingly explodes off the bat, making its way straight to the Allegheny. As the ball continues to descend into orbit, Dietrich drops his bat, shifts his body in the box, and admires his work. This body language can be portrayed in script by saying “I just took your ass to pimp city.”
As the ball finally splashes down, Dietrich makes the slow and nimble trout around the bath paths. Archer, in clear disgust, as he just got showed up in the biggest of ways, was going to keep this AB stored in the back of his mind. Fast forward to the top of the fourth inning. The Reds are leading the ball game by a score of 3-2 and are looking to add-on some insurance runs. Archer is still out on the mound, as has settled into some sort of groove since giving up the blast to Dietrich in the second. Leading off the inning, would be none other than the man who showed Archer up just 2 innings ago, Derek Dietrich. As the lefty from Ohio digs into the box, he is greeted with a plethora of boos from Pirates fans scattered across the park. Archer who is clearly disgruntled by the whole situation, has revenge on his mind and is ready for round two to commence.
Archer delivers the first pitch of the at bat behind Dietrich, with the clear intent of hitting him in his backside. Immediately, the home plate umpire warns both dugouts, trying to put an end to these antics. Reds manager David Bell comes flying out of the visitor’s dugout, demanding that Archer be thrown out of this ball game. The benches slowly start to clear. The once calm setting, has quickly turned into a battlefield. As the two teams come to the point of contact, pushing and shoving quickly commences. Yasiel Puig, a new member of the Cincinnati Reds, was at the front of the skirmish, showing visible distaste and disgust at Archer. After a few more bumps and bangs are exchanged between the ball clubs, things began to seem like they were coming to an end. But Puig decided he was not done. Being held by an opposing player, Puig escaped from the arms of a Buc and began his wild bull rush towards Archer. He was then confroned by his teammate, Tucker Barnhart who was in many ways, the last line of defense between Puig and blood. Barnhart’s defense fell short, and Puig took on the Pirates 25-man roster by himself. Puig was finally detained and the melee came to a close. As a result of the skirmish, 3 Reds players and personnel, (Puig, Bell, Garrett) along with two Pirates players (Kela, Vazquez,) were ejected for their actions in the brawl.
So what lesson have we learned here today? That it is fun as hell to watch grown men act like school children on the playground? Maybe. But I also think it goes to show us, that you never know what is going to happen when you make your way down to the ole ballpark. One day you could experience a 15-10 slugfest, and the next you could experience fisticuffs between division rivals. That is what makes the sport of baseball so unique and is why going to the ball park, is a national pastime. Oh, and I forgot to mention, Dietrich sent his second ball of the day into the river during the top of the 8th inning. So who was the real winner at the end of the day? Stay hot king.