Major League Basebrawl, Round 4,700

On Friday night in San Francisco, the Giants’ pitcher, Ramon Martinez, hit Phillies CF Shane Victorino, which, in short order, caused a bench-clearing brawl for the forty-seven-thousandth time in MLB history. Martinez’s pitch apparently was no accident; rather, it was some sort of response to the decision by Philly’s previous batter, Jimmy Rollins, to steal second after his two-RBI single put the visitors up 8-2 in the sixth.

I don’t know whether this episode is dumber than the Angels-Tigers spat about which I wrote last week. It’s a tough call: benches didn’t clear in the Detroit incident (hardly an “incident” by that town’s standards), but the unwritten rules supposedly violated– admiring a home run and bunting during a no hitter– were much tougher to justify in the circumstances; in SF, benches did clear, but stealing second up six in the sixth at least is closer to jerk-move territory.¬† Keep reading…