The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox have a storied history. So let’s look at some of the greatest fights before this big series.Tonight, the New York Yankees embark on a pivotal series at Fenway Park which could easily make or break their season. But let’s be real … any game at Fenway is a big game for the Yankees.
The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is simply historical. There really is nothing else like it in the world. Sure, the rivalry has died down in the past few seasons but it is ready to get right back to where it was.
Ever since the beginning of time, the Yankees and the Red Sox have been mortal enemies. They’ve participated in numerous, nail-biting, long games and engaged in quite a few brawls in the meantime.
As they begin a new series, starting with Chris Sale on the mound, we’re going to look at the good old days, where players were free to throw punches and work through tensions on the field.
So, here we go! Enjoy these four great Yankees-Red Sox brawls and we’ll see if we can add another to the list after this weekend.
4. Fisk and Munson Get Dirty
Carlton Fisk and Thurman Munson were both incredible catchers. They are also at the heart of this brawl in 1973.
Sure, there were cameras but nothing was caught on video so you’ll just have to take my word for it. With Munson on third, Gene Michael attempted a suicide squeeze. After missing in his attempt, Munson was still barreling down the line. And Fisk was in the way.
Munson bowled over Fisk, dropping his shoulder in the process. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Munson stayed on Fisk, who then promptly kicked him off.
And thus, the benches clear and the battle had begun.
Once again, having video evidence of this would be awesome because I can only imagine the energy that went into that fight. That is an example of a good fight between these teams.
3. A-Rod Gets Hit, Hits Back
Really, the Red Sox got the last laugh on this one, seeing as how they went on to break the curse. But at the time in 2004, the Yankees and Alex Rodriguez were fed up with the Sox.
After getting nailed by a pitch from Bronson Arroyo (boy, they do have a history), A-Rod had some words before Jason Varitek stepped in his face.
Then the f-bombs were dropped, the punches were thrown and the brawl got quickly out of hand. There were multiple brawls happening at once … including Tanyon Sturtze getting into it in what might be his most memorable moment in a Yankees uniform.
It may not have been the most graceful of brawls, but it brought us back to what we love about baseball brawls: pure emotions running the show.
A-Rod was not born into the rivalry but he quickly became a part of it. It was an initiation and he passed.
2. The 2003 Massacre
I remember exactly where I was when this happened. And I remember my mom yelling at my sisters and I had to leave the room because this was just terrible. I remember we all cried after it was over, amazed that we could witness something so horrific on live television.
And now, we can at least look back and see this for what it is: one of the worst brawls we’ll ever see.
Of course, Manny Ramirez went into overreaction mode, charging Roger Clemens on the mound. During the 2003 ALCS, this was a big deal. Not only that, but Pedro Martinez (obviously) played a huge role in this, threatened Jorge Posada and did something else…but what was it?
Oh, how could we forget? He threw 72-year-old Don Zimmer to the ground. For that, I will never forgive him.
This fight was not just a fight. It reignited the hatred I felt towards these Boston Red Sox. It was despicable, disturbing and terrible. Yet, we can never forget it.
1. Don’t Sleep on Sweet Lou
Last but not least, we’ve got a treat for you. Let’s take you all the way back to 1976, where Lou Pinella and Carlton Fisk (again) had it out. And this made for one entertaining brawl.
As Pinella was rounding third, a perfect throw was made by right field right to Fisk. Easy out, right? Nah, Pinella decided to lower the boom on Fisk, knocking him right over.
Fisk wasn’t going to take that, so he shoved Pinella to the ground. Then, punches were thrown, the benches were cleared and the entire stadium was rocking.
What makes this so great is that it is truly an old school fight. Players were jumping on top of each other, throwing punches and scuffling for a long time. Now, you wouldn’t see that.
Fisk and Pinella gave us the fight of the century. If I didn’t know any better, I would say these guys just wanted to find any reason to fight. And honestly, that’s okay with me.
Tonight is when a new chapter of the rivalry is born. Will there be another fight? Maybe. Will there be an entertaining game? Absolutely. Let’s make this interesting, shall we?