After Edwin Encarnacion and Aaron Hill were hit by New York pitchers during Toronto’s eventful 10-4 defeat of the Yankees last night, should Jorge Posada have well expected to be brushed back (at the very least) by Jays reliever Jesse Carlson in the 8th inning? Carlson and skipper Cito Gaston deny there was any intent, but either way, the Daily News’ Mark Feisand opines that Posada was “100% responsible for the bench-clearing brawl”. The Journal News’ Peter Abraham is equally adamant, reminding us this morning the Yankees have hit Blue Jays batters 8 times in 5 games this month, compared to a pair of Yankee plunkings. As such, “Posada was lucky he got a waist-high, off-speed pitch behind him and not a fastball at his noggin.” Writing immediately after Tuesday’s fracas, Abraham was unsparing in his critcism of the Bombers’ backstop.
Jesse Carlson is a two-bit middle reliever on a fourth-place team, a 28-year-old guy who has been with four organizations. No matter where he stands or what he says or anything else, Jorge Posada needs to avoid confrontation. Give Carlson a dirty look. Don™t give MLB a reason to suspend you.
At one point in the brawl, I saw CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett wrestling with assorted Jays and Mark Teixeira having his shoulders pulled back and even Derek Jeter getting agitated. The Yankees are an old and fragile team already, risking injury because Posada is mad at the likes of Jesse Carlson is not worth losing the World Series.
The Yankees lead baseball in hit batters, which is fine. Pitchers have every right to pitch inside. But if you™re going to play it that way, you have to expect retaliation from time to time. That is how the game has been played for 100 years.
Abraham makes several excellent points, and I look forward to future Yankee overreactions when and if they’re beaned by All-Stars and Hall Of Famers. Maybe if Armando Benitez gets a spring training invite from another club next year?