Let's re-watch 10 of MLB's most memorable benches-clearing dust-ups
One hundred sixty-two games is a long season. Tensions rise, tempers flare and occasionally the benches clear for some extracurricular activity on the diamond. Baseball isn't hockey, but it's not bocce, either.
Just ask Yordano Ventura, Jeff Samardzija, Lorenzo Cain and Adam Eaton, each of whom played an integral role in April's Royals-White Sox fracas.
With that recent dust-up fresh in our minds, we waded into the archives to dig up some footage from those times in the last 30 years when diplomacy failed and the baseball diamond turned into a boxing ring.
Braves vs. Padres - Aug. 12, 1984 - Pascual Perez was on the mound for the Braves and he got this contest started off with a bang ... by drilling Padres leadoff man Alan Wiggins. Perez got his in the bottom half of the inning, prompting a nine-inning fight occasionally broken up by some baseball.
Reds vs. Mets - July 8, 1989 - An MLB Network documentary detailed the exploits of a group of relief pitchers who played for the Reds in the early 1990s and came to be known as the "Nasty Boys." When Rob Dibble plunked Tim Teufel in '89, the dugouts cleared three times before play resumed and culminated in NYPD officers having to break up a fourth tussle ... in the tunnel beneath Shea Stadium.
Mariners vs. Orioles - June 6, 1993 - Mike Mussina. Omar Vizquel. Randy Johnson. Cal Ripken Jr. Jay Buhner. Harold Reynolds. Fernando Valenzuela. Brady Anderson. Tino Martinez. Edgar Martinez. This afternoon skirmish featured pretty much every ballplayer to ever have his picture in an issue of Sports Illustrated for Kids. Even Ken Griffey Jr. and Jamie Moyer get tied up for a bit. This is also the tussle that almost cost Ripken The Streak as he was injured in the melee and thought he wouldn't be able to play the next day. He did, though, and the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that ...
White Sox vs. Rangers - Aug. 4, 1993 - Perhaps the most infamous headlock in MLB history came after 27-year veteran Nolan Ryan plunked young whippersnapper Robin Ventura and cleared the benches. Ventura hadn't even been born yet when Ryan made his MLB debut and, well, sometimes there's no substitute for experience.
Orioles vs. Yankees - May 19, 1998 - This brouhaha gets bonus pointsis remembered for clearing the benches ... and then spilling back into them. Orioles pitcher Armando Benitez hit Yankees first baseman Tino Martinez and turned it into a whole thing. The bullpens emptied and the playing surface couldn't contain all of the, um, passionate opinions being exchanged.
Yankees vs. Red Sox - Oct. 11, 2003 - If Ventura vs. Ryan isn't the most well-known fracas in MLB history, this one probably takes the cake. The scene was already fraught with tension when Yankees hurler Roger Clemens threw Manny Ramirez some chin music. Benches cleared and Don Zimmer unsuccessfully charged at Red Sox starter Pedro Martinez.
Yankees vs. Red Sox - July 24, 2004 - Get ready for round two. Less than a year after the Pedro-Zimmer fiasco, Alex Rodriguez and Jason Varitek stirred tempers and emptied the benches one more time (just a few months before they'd make history in the ALCS).
Cubs vs. White Sox - May 20, 2006 - White Sox backstop A.J. Pierzynski tagged up and scored on a fly ball to left field while running over Cubs catcher Michael Barrett in the process. Pierzynski slammed his hand on home plate for emphasis and appeared to shoulder past Barrett a second time en route to the dugout. That's when the fists started flying.
Nationals vs. Marlins - Sept. 1, 2010 - It's one thing to charge the mound; it's a-whole-nother thing to do it with the enthusiasm of Nyjer Morgan. Morgan came calling for Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad came up-and-in, but only got a single punch in before first baseman Gaby Sanchez entered the fracas with authority.
Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers - June 11, 2013 - Tempers started heating up when Yasiel Puig wore a pitch up and in during the early goings, but Ian Kennedy's beanball at opposing starter Zack Greinke tipped the scale in this one. Pay particular attention to that old man strength on display courtesy of Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire and D-backs skipper Kirk Gibson.
If we neglected to include your most memorable baseball bout of the last 30 years, we invite you to plead your case by tweeting to @Cut4. Fight nice, everybody!