Does baseball need a penalty box?
On Wednesday, not one but two games came to a halt when players and coaches cleared the benches and stormed the diamond for pile-on brawls — fights sports fans are used to seeing in hockey.
The first happened at Coors Field in Denver, where the Colorado Rockies were squaring off against the San Diego Padres.
In the bottom of the third inning — after two innings where players on both teams were hit by pitches, according to ESPN — Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado was sideswiped by a fastball thrown from Padres starter Luis Perdomo, charging the mound and throwing punches in response.
Perdomo fought back, tossing his glove at Arenado as the bullpens emptied and players joined in the fight.
Though their coaches tried to keep the two men separated, some players appeared to be there to get physical.
Padres catcher A.J. Ellis stood up for Perdomo by going after Arenado. Rockies starter German Marquez and Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra also got violent, reigniting the fury on the field just as it was settling down.
By the time everyone returned to the dugout, all five players were ejected from the game by umpires, ESPN reported. The Rockies would go on to win the game 6-4.
Meanwhile, at Fenway Park, longtime rivals the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees traded their own fisticuffs on Wednesday.
The combatant starting that battle was Yankees’ first baseman Tyler Austin, who slammed his bat down and stormed towards Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly in the seventh inning after Kelly lobbed a fastball at his side.
Austin’s blood had been boiling, as he nearly got into a fight with Red Sox shortstop Brock Holt in the third inning. Holt was angry his right ankle had been clipped by Austin’s spiked cleats while he slid into second base, and appeared to have no problem confronting Austin about it.
While the players took to the field to break up that conflict, there was no stopping Austin and Kelly. The two swung at each other, Austin missing his first punch and Kelly landing a few licks. Soon, everyone piled on the pair. Austin was left bleeding and Kelly, his uniform torn.
Both were tossed from the game.
“Stuff happens when you have real competitive athletes and they get locked in sometimes. Sometimes it’s warranted, sometimes it’s not, sometimes you react to something, sometimes you overreact to something,” Yankees SVP and general manager Brian Cashman told reporters after the game, as seen in video captured by the Yes Network.
“This is the second one today,” he added. “Made me wonder whether they were watching the Padres/Rockies braw and it planted the seed for them. I don’t know.”