Multiple players suspended and fined after brawl at mound, punches thrown
The most ancient and storied rivalry in baseball erupted into a schoolyard brawl Wednesday night — and it didn’t take long for those involved to get sent to the principal’s office.
It started in the third inning of the Yankees’ 10-7 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park, when New York infielder Tyler Austin came in with his spikes up sliding into Boston shortstop Brock Holt in the third inning.
Getting revenge for his teammate, pitcher Joe Kelly gave him a good old-fashioned fastball just a little bit inside, drilling him square in the back.
Austin dropped his bat, Kelly gave him the “come at me, bro” gesture, and hilarity ensued.
Major League Baseball wasn’t too thrilled, however.
The league announced multiple fines and suspensions Thursday in the wake of the incident.
Kelly got a six-game suspension; Austin got five games. Both players also received undisclosed fines.
The punishments weren’t limited to just the main participants; Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Yankees third-base coach Phil Nevin were both fined as well.
And because a bench-clearing brawl may be de riguer in baseball but rules still forbid players on the disabled list from entering the field of play, C.C. Sabathia of the Yankees and Xavier Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia and Marco Hernandez of the Red Sox all got fines of their own for violating that particular rule.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone shrugged off the severity of the incident, saying, “I think hopefully it’s something that’s behind us. We’re here to play and try to get out of here hopefully with another win. I would think it’s absolutely behind us.”
Kelly and Austin appealed their suspensions, which left them eligible to play in Thursday’s rubber match between the teams.
Neither player appeared in the game, however, which the Red Sox won 6-3 to win the series and push the Yankees back under .500 at 6-7.
Boston is 10-2 and off to one of the best starts in the 118-season history of the franchise.
Kelly has a 7.71 ERA in 4.2 innings for the Sox so far this season; his wins above replacement is an atrocious minus-0.2. But his actions Wednesday night made him a fan favorite.
retire joe kelly’s jersey immediately after the game
— abdul (@Advil) April 12, 2018
Joe Kelly gets free beers for life in Boston
— Grinnelli Hughes (@MikeGrinnell_) April 12, 2018
Austin, on the other hand, has been solid for the Yankees, hitting .265 and putting up a stellar .859 OPS in 39 plate appearances so far this season.
The Yankees and Red Sox next face each other at Yankee Stadium on May 8; that game will be on national television, where everyone will see if tensions once again come to a head.
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