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History repeats itself in the Tyler Colvin, Jason La Rue incidents

Sep 20, 2010, 8:49 AM EDT

As I turned off the computer last night, I was pondering Tyler Colvin getting seriously injured with a bat shard and Jason La Rue’s career apparently ending due to an assault by a Reds pitcher. Then I picked up the book I’m reading about baseball in the 70s, “Big Hair and Plastic Grass.”  In the space of a few short pages I came across anecdotes of two incidents I hadn’t thought about in years:

  • The big brawl between the Reds and Mets in the 1973 NLCS, capped by a player — Buzz Capra — getting sucker punched by Reds pitcher Pedro Borbon; and
  • Dodgers catcher Steve Yeager getting hit with pieces from an exploding bat while standing on the on deck circle in 1976, piercing his esophagus, and requiring surgery to remove the shards from his throat.

Baseball is a sport which clings strongly to its past, but this is ridiculous.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    Love the 1977 Topps card of Yeager…ahhh, the good old days in baseball card collecting!!!

  2. Professor Dave - Sep 20, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    Do you think LaRue sues?

  3. Nick C - Sep 20, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    The Reds apparently have a long tradition of players acting like cowards.

  4. Old Gator - Sep 20, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    What is it with these Reds pitchers? Maybe I ought to put down the lab reports on horsemeat and velveeta sandwiches and start checking the data on that horrible chilli they make out there. The depredations of cholesterol are fairly well understood, but the neurological damage inflicted by Cincinnati chilli is just beginning to be researched.

  5. BC - Sep 20, 2010 at 10:19 AM

    I think it’s the fumes coming off the Ohio River….

  6. Michael - Sep 20, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    What I’d read elsewhere is that LaRue had considered taking civil action, but has dropped the idea.

  7. BC - Sep 20, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    Little known fact – Yeager played the Yankees’ closer in ‘Major League’.

  8. Old Gator - Sep 20, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    The guy who threw at his kid in a fathers-sons game. Yeah, he’s probably better known for that than for his baseball career. Among connoisseurs of this sort of thing, I mean….

  9. Buckeye2280 - Sep 20, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    What happened to Larue is just plain bad luck. He can sue all he wants or take whatever action he wants but nothing will come of it. Tell that to his 5 teammates that grabbed Cueto and threw him into the netting / wall. Tell that to the idiot Molina for tring to act all big and bad towards Phillips that started the entire mess. I swear, i wonder if the St. Louis Fans are just as big of B*tches as there team is. They whine and complain and got no heart and it has showed since that game.

  10. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    Couldn’t agree with the first part more. Every time I watch the video(and I have seen it at least 30 times), I see Cueto pinned up against the wall and netting trying to fight 5 Cardinals who are throwing him up against there. Yet nobody wants to admit what’s right there in front of their eyes. I wonder how many people who rip Cueto actually WATCHED the video and how many are just jumping on the bandwagon. And of course, if Molina didn’t act like a wanna-be Dirty Harry tough guy, the whole thing would not have happened in the first place.
    As for the second part, it does seem like the Cardinals fans are acting like a bunch of cry babies about the whole thing, when it was their catcher who started the physical fight in the first place. Phillips ran his mouth, but he didn’t start the actual fight.

  11. Nick C - Sep 20, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    Wrong. It was Cueto-pussy’s own teammates who pinned him. This was a premeditated act of cowardice. It was Phillips who started this by acting all buddy-buddy after taking personal shots at the Cards players. Let’s say I take out an ad in the paper and call your family a bunch of bitches. Would you be offended if I came up to you the next day and patted you on the back like nothing happened? You might not like that much I suspect….

  12. GoGigantos - Sep 20, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    I remember a certain Ozzie taking a rabbit style shot at a certain Thrill, and a very special, though hated in the end, CandyMan bloodying the lip of that Wizard. Card fans,,,, lots to remember, still remember and curse that CandyMan sliding and giving away game six, a gem pitched by some guy who now has one arm less. Los Gigantos, the only team to have a pitcher’s arm literally fall off.. Dravecky is still a beauty, it was a beauty series doomed to an Atlee finish and some guy name Ahkendoe,, this last brawl was kindergarten foolish and all should be ashamed, especially the schoolmasters Baker and LaRussa, they going at it escalated all to the point of pointlessness,, egos boys, men among children, or still children considering their dollars and contracts and percieved worth, tired of them both, and long have their acts played…. Baker to Aaron to Alston to generations,,, no doubt LaRussa the lawyer assigns fault and accepts none responsibility… all a shame on OUR game,, said to much, gonna put one flap down and shut up

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