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Hang Time
By Steve Stockmar
Daily Courier sports editor Steve Stockmar gives you the cheat sheet for today’s top sports stories.
Friday, June 14, 2013

3 great things about the Diamondbacks-Dodgers brawl

By Steve Stockmar

Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press
Young fans make some light of their baseball heroes at Dodger Stadium the night after Tuesday's brawl.

Major League Baseball's jury spoke on Friday. In the wake of Tuesday's wild brawl between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers, eight suspensions and a dozen fines resulted from the bench-clearing melee.

D-backs pitcher Ian Kennedy, who is rightfully taking the brunt of the public blame for the whole deal, also took the brunt of the punishment. MLB suspended him for 10 games on Friday.

Don't expect that to settle things down when the two teams hook up again in Phoenix July 8-10.

"No, it's not over yet, not at all," Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario pledged. "I don't think anybody thinks it's over."

The brawl did give the rest of us some great moments, though.

1) Yep, as sickos we all dig it. One early TV ratings report on the follow-up game - an otherwise pedestrian Wednesday evening matchup on the schedule - posed a serious ratings run on Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals pitting the Bruins against the Blackhawks. In other words, viewers actually tuned into a baseball game more than a hockey game for brawl mojo.

Diamondback catcher Miguel Montero, who was fined but not suspended by MLB on Friday, said what we all secretly believe was going on in that scrum: "We both went at it, and it was kind of fun."

Plus, the rest of us get to dissect exactly what part of baseball "code" says that it's OK for Kennedy to throw a retaliatory ball at Zack Greinke but not OK to throw at his head.

That's great mid-June baseball conversation.

2) The best old-timers day at the park ever. Seriously: Mark McGwire, Kirk Gibson, Don Mattingly, Alan Trammell, Matt Williams, Davey Lopes, Steve Sax, Don Baylor. We're talking 39 career All-Star selections between that bunch alone. If a baseball scene ever starved for Tommy Lasorda, it was that one.

Watching that group of former All-Stars-turned-coaches mix it up like it was 1986 was once-in-a-lifetime, and definitely supplants Pedro Martinez jackhammering Don Zimmer as the best old-guy baseball dust-up of all time.

If only Mattingly and Gibby had still sported their 80s 'staches during the brawl, it would surely have gone down as Chavez Ravine Time Machine.

3) Vin Scully. The 85-year-old Dumbledore of Dodgertown in his career has called Don Larsen's perfect game in '56, Hank Aaron's 715th home run, Rick Monday's rescue of the American flag from protestors in the outfield, and Bill Buckner's boot in the '86 World Series. Not to mention Gibby's historic Series homer on the same Ravine green in 1988.

TV viewers were fortunate enough to match Vin's voice with the images on Tuesday, but a radio call would've done just fine.

Some highlights from Vin, the picture of calm: "And then the boys started to go after each other ..."; "And they are still knotted up. No sense calling off names - they're all there"; "All the pushing, the shoving, the grabbing, the tugging ..."

Only Vin could restore order.

"Now Williams kinda slapped Cruz on the back as if to say 'OK get over it, let's calm down.'"

Related Links:
• Vin Scully's brawl call

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Tim Callahan

I want your job! Dissecting the baseball code...Great work, love it!

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