Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez were great sparring partners in that epic 2004 Red Sox-Yankees brawl
2004 was a wild year for the Yankees and Red Sox. Coming on the heels of a 2003 ALCS showdown wrought with tension, high-stakes heroics, brush-backs and bench-clearings and a now-iconic Aaron Boone walk-off in Game 7, the series was essentially a forecast of what was to come.
And while the real drama surfaced when the two clubs met in the '04 ALCS (you may remember how that played out), there was a sneak preview on a particularly action-packed afternoon at Fenway Park. On July 24, the two American League East rivals engaged in a slugfest ultimately won by Boston, 11-10 -- but this one was much more than a box score.
In the sixth inning,
Both teams' rosters and bullpens then did the usual thing, skirmishing along the first-base line, each player and coach backing up a teammate or sparring with one from the other team.
Gabe Kapler was glaring:
Tanyon Sturtze was bloodied:
Speaking of sparring, the still image of Varitek and Rodriguez's tussle looks like a wrestling promo:
It's hard to say just where this one lands on a list of the most iconic moments of the rivalry in the early 2000s, but it's up there.
Theirs was (and is) a rivalry of a special degree, and this all happened before Boston staged an unprecedented comeback a few months later after Dave Roberts stole second base, stunning the Yankees by turning an 0-3 ALCS deficit into a thrilling (or heartbreaking, depending on your perspective) Game 7 victory en route to their first World Series title since 1918.
Adrian Garro joined MLB.com in 2016. Throughout his travels, both Bartolo Colon and Vin Scully have placed their hands on his shoulders. Not at the same time, though. That'd be amazing.