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David Ortiz charges mound as Red Sox-Orioles turns to brawl

Jul 8, 2011, 10:09 PM EDT

David Ortiz, Kevin Gregg AP

David Ortiz and Kevin Gregg sparked a benches-clearing brawl Friday night with the Red Sox spanking the Orioles for the second night in a row.

The Orioles called on their seldom-used closer down 9-3 in the bottom of the eighth.  After giving up a walk and an RBI triple to Josh Reddick, Gregg threw three straight inside fastballs to Ortiz.  The first and third both had Ortiz jumping out of the way.  Ortiz stared out after the first one and then took a couple of steps towards the mound following the third, causing the dugouts and benches to clear.

No punches were exchanged during the initial incident.  After the players returned to their positions, dugouts and bullpens, warnings were issued.

Gregg next threw a fastball over the plate that Ortiz popped up to shallow right for the second out of the inning.  Immediately as Ortiz popped up, Gregg started yelling at him to run it out.  Home plate umpire Mike Estabrook deserves credit for immediately tossing Gregg for the jawing, but Ortiz decided to charge the mound anyway and got off a couple of wild punches that failed to connect.

All in all, no real damage seemed to be done.  But now the Red Sox will likely have to do without Ortiz for five or six games.  Other players likely will face suspensions, too.  Gregg seems likely to miss a few games, and Red Sox hurlers John Lackey and Jonathan Papelbon were both involved in the scrum.

10:15 p.m. EDT: Orioles reliever Jim Johnson and Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, neither of whom were in the game, joined Ortiz and Gregg in being ejected.

10:20 p.m. EDT: As it turned out, Ortiz flew into a double play.  Reddick, who tripled prior to Ortiz’s at-bat, abandoned third base in order to take part in the fight and was called out, ending the eighth inning after a lengthy delay and several conversation between the umpires and managers Terry Francona and Buck Showalter.

10:25 p.m. EDT: The ninth proved to be uneventful, with Scott Atchison pitching a scoreless frame to end the game at 10-3.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jul 8, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Gregg is not the most likeable pitcher in baseball. Most fans in Toronto were glad to see his departure.

    • missthemexpos - Jul 8, 2011 at 10:57 PM

      As a Blue Jay fan,it was way too much anguish many nights watching Kevin Gregg try to close games for the Jays. Was really wanting to see Ortiz connect on one of those haymakers, alas it was not to be.

    • cur86 - Jul 9, 2011 at 12:04 AM

      Same deal with Gregg in Chicago too; Cubs fans were thrilled to be rid of him!

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 9, 2011 at 12:42 AM

        Why did you steal Cur’s handle with the cheesy 8 and 6 switch?

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 9, 2011 at 12:57 AM

        Doc, this jagoff sounds an awful lot like chickensh!t, er, I mean purdueman.

  2. Glenn - Jul 8, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    Gregg seemed to be the punk here, all be it a very large one who most of us would call “sir” to his face.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 9, 2011 at 12:45 AM

      I thought that at first too, but I have switched my viewpoint. He was pitching inside as he should with Ortiz and he got all pissy walking toward the mound and whatnot. Then, he swings at a 3-0 pitch while up 7 runs in the 8th inning and loafs toward first. Sure Gregg probably should have kept his mouth shut, but Ortiz played the bigger role in the blowup in my opinion.

      • misfit503 - Jul 11, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        C’mon man! Pitching inside is one thing… pitching 2+ feet inside on 2 of 3 pitches… that isn’t just “pitching inside”. Any batter seeing that sequence from the batter’s box would feel the same way and anybody who faults Ortiz for being upset with that pitch sequence obviously hasn’t been hit with a 85+ mph fastball.

        Gregg was upset that Ortiz swung at a 3-0 pitch, then was mad because he didn’t run it out? Make up your mind! Do you want Ortiz to play the game or not?

        Gregg’s post game comments says it all… and he calls the Sox a bunch of whiners? wow.

    • boxchain - Jul 9, 2011 at 1:59 AM

      The only pitch that was into the batters box was the 3rd one. Ortiz thinks he owns everything from the box to the outside corner, he’ll swing at anything in so that’s the good way to get him out.

      But it doesn’t matter what someone says to you, you can’t charge a mound, esp after a warning he was lucky to get. Taking the bait wasn’t smart.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 9, 2011 at 2:53 AM

        Gregg was clearly trying to hit him. That was what Ortiz was responding to (rightly). And when Gregg continued to jaw at him for… not being big enough to hit? Ortiz responded to that. (Poorly.)

  3. bigharold - Jul 8, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    The Yankees plunked him a few weeks ago, .. he takes a couple of inside pitches and he goes all Kevin Youkilis. He must be getting cranky as he gets older, .. or just hanging out with Youkilis too much.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jul 9, 2011 at 11:28 AM

      Roid rage.

  4. bgeclipper2 - Jul 8, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    5 or 6 games seems to much to me i was watching it live maybe 3 or 4 dont think it will be up at 6

  5. aceshigh11 - Jul 8, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    Ortiz actually charged towards something other than a hot dog stand?

    I love Big Papi, but that was too easy. You HBT people are bad influences!

    • cur86 - Jul 9, 2011 at 12:07 AM

      David has been known to run over anybody in his path when he’s trying to get to a KFC before closing time too!

  6. steveflack - Jul 8, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    One of the rare times David Ortiz ever stepped on grass.

  7. kiwicricket - Jul 8, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    Sure, Gregg needs to shut his mouth after the pop-up. But which guy was just trying to do his job, and who was being a bit of a baby? 2 pitches a few inches inside and he gets some verbal? Hmmm someone needs to take their tough pills(not to be confused with “Dominican milk-shakes”) and complain AFTER they get plunked.

    Neither are making the final of Ultimate Fighter.

    • Mark - Jul 8, 2011 at 11:42 PM

      For a big guy Ortiz has no idea how to fight. Those “punches” were just brutal. It looked like he was just flailing around out there. One hit with all his strength behind it would have knocked Gregg on his ass.

    • marinersnate - Jul 9, 2011 at 12:30 AM

      “not to be confused with “Dominican milk-shakes”

      Why in the heck would anyone bother with “Dominican milk-shakes”. Wouldn’t it be far easier to just hang out with A-rod’s cousin? Or hang out with Andy Pettitte? It would seem that NY is far more sophisticated in this area then poor ‘ol Papi.

      “But which guy was just trying to do his job, and who was being a bit of a baby?”

      You mean which guy is just trying to do his job by being at bat, and which guy is being a baby by trying to bean him because his team is being slaughtered again?

      “2 pitches a few inches inside and he gets some verbal?”

      Did you even watch this game? A few inches inside? And who got verbal in the end? Ortiz was simply trotting to first on a pop-up when Gregg went verbal. The home plate ump tossed Gregg before Ortiz could even start to charge the mound.

      Yes. You are correct. Someone is being a baby here.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 9, 2011 at 11:31 AM

        “Wouldn’t it be far easier to just hang out with A-rod’s cousin? Or hang out with Andy Pettitte? It would seem that NY is far more sophisticated in this area then poor ‘ol Papi.”

        Yes, it would be easier because they actually manned up and admitted to using- unlike Papi who got caught cheating and came up with the ridiculous excuse of “Dominican Milkshakes” to explain it away. Poor ‘ol Papi- cheating the game for almost 10 yrs now.

  8. kiwicricket - Jul 8, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    Britton should of been the one throwing punches about the place. Poor kid got absolutely abused by his defence and the scorers.

  9. cur86 - Jul 9, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    Imagine that… all those folks though they were going to see a baseball game and a hockey game broke out!!!

  10. pogodog7 - Jul 9, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    That is the fastest I have seen Big Sloppy move in a very long time. Gregg sucks but he was just doing his job of keeping Sloppy from falling all over the plate. If Sloppy gets mad at someone throwing inside, what is he going to do if someone actually tries to hit him? If anything, Sloppy and the rest of the Red Sox should just be happy that they get to beat up a very bad team (Orioles) before the all-star break.

  11. ernestbynershands - Jul 9, 2011 at 4:01 AM

    What a bunch of juiced up p–/–s!
    Brock Lesnar can pinch better.

  12. ditto65 - Jul 9, 2011 at 8:09 AM

    Ortiz should have been tossed after his third pitch posturing.

  13. dailyrev - Jul 9, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Dear fellow fans, be grateful to beisbol and to moments like these, which reveal so clearly for you the petty, stupid, unuttterably infantile reality of violence. In hockey, football, boxing, and that asinine “sport” known as UFC, violence can occasionally appear to have a certain penumbra of nobility or some twisted aesthetic form or validity: it is a darkness that seems to draw the light of urgency and vindication from inside us.

    But again, a petty, mindless tiff like this one exposes the reality of violence: it is just a moronic dance of two bumbling, unprofessional, childish dolts. In this case, we see a middling pitcher on a pathetic roster and an aging power hitter who still feasts on fastballs mainly because of the talent around him in the lineup: there is no nobility, no triumph, no glory, no greatness at all to it: just vapidity, as if in a dictionary illustration of the word.

    So thank beisbol for this gift of insight, just as Joe Torre is no doubt grateful that he finally has some real work to do now.

  14. drunkenhooliganism - Jul 9, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    I was an Ortiz fan–well maybe not fan, but I liked the guy more than I like most baseball players–before that spectacle last night. He whined about a pitch on the black, then when a pitcher had the audacity to throw a ball six inches inside, he threatens the pitcher. Weak Sauce.

    Then he wants to get his “revenge” for having a pitch thrown a few inches inside on him, so he decides to take advantage of the 3-0 meatball he’s about to get and follow it with a two minute tour of a home run trot while staring down the pitcher. But he fails pathetically and weakly pops up and can’t take a little heat from the pitcher that just got him out (and didn’t put one in his ear).

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