Baseball fights are usually just pushing and shoving that’s why when a legit fight breaks out – remember Cincy’s Johnny Cueto kicking Jason LaRue last year? – and that’s why it was so great to see everyone overreact to Weaver, Guillen and Justin Verlander’s antics.
But the above video was one of the best baseball fights we’ve ever witnessed. How could we forget Darryl Strawberry sneaking around the crowd of players and seeing that Armando Benitez was all alone, threw a nasty sucker punch? There are numerous things to highlight between the Yankees and Orioles in this 1998 fight:
- Armando Benitez does not throw a single close-fisted (real man) punch the entire time.
- At the 0:41 mark Graeme Lloyd comes out of the bullpen firing punches at Benitez, a fellow reliever. It’s usually comical when the bullpens empty because the relievers have so far to run and by the time they get to the center of the diamond, everything is usually calmed down. Not this time. Lloyd turns things up to 11.
- At the 0:48 mark Scott Brosius is one-on-one with Benitez and like a typical baseball player, does not do a damned thing. Instead he waits and sees if anyone has his back.
- Brosius, then seeing someone much older than he and more his size, takes down 83-year-old Harold Baines at the 0:57 mark (just keep an eye on him).
- Darryl Strawberry, who wasn’t even in the lineup and is wearing his warm-up jacket, then comes out of nowhere for no explanation and completely blasts Benitez with one of the dirtiest sucker punches in baseball history at 1:45.
- At 2:34 you see Strawberry’s momentum from his punch carry him into the dugout and then a jerseyless Oriole pounces on him. Turns out it was Alan Mills who dropped a vicious punch on Strawberry (seen here at the 0:36 mark) leaving the Straw bloody.
- At 2:46 you hear the disembodied voice go “Ah, the beauty of VHS.” Sadly, no one knows what VHS is anymore.
- You can see a welt already on Strawberry’s face at 3:37. Mills jacked him up!
So Guillen, Weaver, et al, take note. That’s how a baseball fight should be.
Oh, and after the game, the Yankees were 29-9, 12 games in front of Baltimore, on their way to 114 wins and a World Series title. Not only did they dominate the O’s (save for Alan Mills) on the field and in the dugout, they destroyed everyone else that year.