Video Archive 13
Rodriguez Vs. Varitek (7/24/2004)
Derek Jeter isn't the only captain to have issues with Alex Rodriguez.
Many years ago, Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez were Olympic teammates. They were drafted by the Mariners one year apart and—though never pro teammates due to Rodriguez' fast ascension—likely attended at least one Spring Training together.
They even famously held out from signing with Topps for years—Rodriguez until 1998, Varitek until 2007.
But when their respective Red Sox and Yankees squared off in mid-2004 and Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo got a little wild...familiarity couldn't ward off contempt.
Notes: Though bloodied—I believe he is seen at :20 ripping away/tackling the very sturdy Gabe Kapler and again at :30 curled up on the ground as Yankee teammates Derek Jeter (#2) and Gary Sheffield (#11) rush to aid—SP Tanyon Sturtze remained in the game post-brawl, but only for one more inning. Arroyo lasted 5.2 innings and left trailing 6-4 (he'd ultimately be charged with eight runs.)
For the longest time, this brawl had been filed in my memory under 2004 ALCS...until spotting Nomar Garciaparra's face at 1:05. The onetime Boston icon was traded a few days later.
Rodriguez is held at 1:08 by Yankee coach Don Mattingly and Red Sox coach Euclides Rojas #54—you can read his lips pre-fight telling Arroyo to "throw the ball over the f----- plate." The handsome jacketed fella staying with Varitek remains a mystery to me; I sorted through about 15 potential dudes without being able to confirm.
Everything went down with New York up 3-0 in the 3rd; Sheffield had just grounded into a run-scoring double play. Boston eventually won 11-10 on a three-run walk-off homer by Bill Mueller off Mariano Rivera.
Varitek and Rodriguez were ejected, replaced by Doug Mirabelli and Enrique Wilson, respectively. (Kapler and the Yankees' Kenny Lofton also were tossed.) Bruce Froemming is the home-plate umpire and crew chief.
A-Rod The Trespasser (4/22/2010)
In the wake of Alex Rodriguez' release by the Yankees, a who's-who of sports personalities have weighed in on his legacy, his future in the game, his Hall-of-Fame chances—everything. Their opinions and predictions greatly waver, as one might imagine.
But one thing they've pretty much all agreed on: Rodriguez was not, and never really was, a popular teammate.
Over the years, he's proven to be an equally unpopular opponent—as our previous, upcoming and current videos can all attest to.
On 4/22/10, after Rodriguez smacked a 6th-inning single off lefty Dallas Braden of the host Oakland Athletics, Robby Cano grounded into an inning-ending double play—and in the eyes of Braden, breached baseball etiquette by jogging over the mound en route to the Yankee dugout.
Usually, I'm outspoken against the enforcement of baseball's unwritten rules, but since Rodriguez was such a douche about the incident afterward...Braden's verbal attack on the Yankee superstar gets my official seal of approval.
Notes: Braden went on to win 4-2, allowing two runs in six innings. CC Sabathia took the complete-game loss, walking six.
As is well-known, Braden spun a perfect game three weeks later on Mother's Day—significant, as his own mother had died of cancer during Braden's adolescence. (To his credit, Rodriguez gave canned congratulations in response.)
Glen Kuiper and Ray Fosse are on the call. Daric Barton and Cliff Pennington help Braden complete the double play.
Braden was forced into early retirement after 2011 shoulder surgery and never again faced Rodriguez, who finished up 3-for-5 with a solo home run lifetime against him.
A-Rod Wants It (5/30/2007)
The "Roladex" of videos awaiting TSR posting was created months ago; by pure coincidence, Alex Rodriguez was ceremoniously let go by the Yankees just as one of his career lowlights waited in the TSR Videos on-deck circle.
We here at TSR are not fans of Rodriguez and didn't plan to acknowledge the end of his Yankee (and likely, MLB) career in any way—not on Videos, Card Of The Day or elsewhere as we've done with others.
But after this unlikely alignment of the stars, we opted to change course.
In the 9th inning of a Yankees/Blue Jays clash at SkyDome, Rodriguez stroked an RBI single off Scott Downs, putting New York up 7-5. Downs was immediately relieved by Brian Wolfe, who induced what should have been an inning-ending popup to 3B from Yankee catcher Jorge Posada.
Running on the pitch with two outs, Rodriguez made it all the way to third base as the ball was about to settle in the glove of Jays 3B Howie Clark—except Clark bailed at the last minute, allowing the popup to drop for an RBI single (Hideki Matsui was on 1B via fielder's choice.)
Immediately, Clark and Toronto SS John McDonald confronted the star Yankee, accusing him of yelling "HA!" or "MINE!" as he passed Clark in a successful act of duplicity—Clark mistook his voice for McDonald's and ceded to his veteran teammate. Toronto manager John Gibbons later described Rodriguez' act as "bush-league".
Notes: Heard, but not seen: McDonald had to be stopped from going after Rodriguez at one point. Clark's confusion is understandable—this was his first major league game in almost a year and the first time he and McDonald teamed up for Toronto.
The next hitter, Jason Giambi, drove home both runners for a 10-5 Yankee lead that held up. These would be the only hits/RBI of the game for both Rodriguez and Posada.
Rodriguez talks things over with 3B coach Larry Bowa. The 3B umpire was Chad Fairchild. Tyler Clippard started for the Yankees—not a misprint—and went five innings, but his Toronto counterpart Jesse Litsch didn't make it out of the first, giving up five runs on four hits and two BB.
Piazza's Plastic Pelt (5/25/2007)
In acknowledgment of the recently-completed Hall of Fame Weekend 2016, I wanted to post a video of Ken Griffey Jr. and/or Mike Piazza that was either unknown by most, long forgotten, or both.
My first thoughts were: a Griffey bunt, and/or a Piazza home run as a Marlin. Since we couldn't unearth the former, and the latter never happened...we have this.
After dominating the NL for 14 seasons, Piazza finished up with the A's in 2007 as a full-time DH. The 37-year-old had recently returned from 2½ months on the DL, and I suppose the clown he encountered here at Angel Stadium wanted to inflict further pain.
Notes: The idiot was soon arrested; Piazza rightfully pressed charges and his 23-year-old assailant was sentenced to a month in jail, plus extensive probation, a three-year ban from Angel Stadium and more. What can I say, some people are just stupid.
As for the game—which the Angels were leading 6-3 in the 9th—a young Nick Swisher was batting at the time; his groundout scored Oakland's 4th run.
Piazza did indeed take his at-bat as planned—the plastic bottle harmed him not. Representing the tying run, he singled off Francisco Rodriguez to extend the rally; Oakland tied the game two batters later! But LAA scratched out a run in their half and won anyway. It was K-Rod's third win of July, more than most STARTING pitchers.
Officially Injured (1/10/2015)
It's easy to forget that in team sports, athletes aren't the only ones moving around at top speed. On every power play, every fast-break, every pass over the middle, officials are in the background—at times sprinting just as hard as the players they're judging.
Given all this ref motion, combined with their ages (sometimes thrice as old as some players) and their proximity to hard-charging dudes twice their size, it's amazing more of them don't get hurt.
Every so often, they do get hurt—even officiating legends like 38-year NBA veteran Joey Crawford in 2015 at Staples Center, Los Angeles.
The 63-year-old, in the league since 1977, pulled up lame right after Mavs F Charlie Villanueva committed an out-of-bounds turnover.
Notes: Apologies for the ad at video's start.
The other two officials: Derrick Collins and Leroy Richardson. The announcer—who I can't identify and won't bother to because he kind of annoyed me—refers to the "old days" of the NBA using just two referees. Up until 1988, that was the case.
Crawford didn't return to this game (eventually won by the Clippers 120-100) or any others for months afterward, finally returning prior to the 2015 playoffs.
But his arthritic right knee continued to act up, and when he was slow to recover from December 2015 surgery, Crawford retired three months earlier than planned.
When The Streak Almost Ended (6/6/1993)
The scene: Oriole Park in Baltimore; Mariners visiting.
5th inning: Mariners catcher Bill Haselman homers off Mike Mussina for Seattle's first run of the game.
6th inning: Having already thrown behind Mark McLemore earlier, Mariners starter Chris Bosio does the same to Oriole Harold Reynolds. Considering Bosio was making his first start back after healing his broken collarbone...some command issues could have been expected.
7th inning: Mussina drills Haselman, and chaos ensues. This video is greatly condensed from the actual game footage—the game was delayed about 20 full minutes; several brawling players and at least one coach and one manager were left battered, bruised and/or bloody.
(In fact, Baltimore's finest was simply waiting for a green light from umps to break up the combatants...but said umps only requested they keep fans in the stands.) I love 0:18 Fernando Valenzuela standing around like, "You guys fight. I just got here, probably gonna get cut soon so..."
Notes: Mussina—whose batterymate is Jeff Tackett, FYI—took heat for chucking his glove down and gearing up to fight. What was he SUPPOSED to do, punk out and run away?
The red-hot Orioles at 0:42 appear to be #12 Mike Devereaux and #49 Brad Pennington. At 0:56 Baltimore's Alan Mills and Seattle's Norm Charlton go at it. Around 1:20 M's RP Jeff Nelson slams Pennington to the ground.
1:50 Reynolds (the same guy now with MLB Network) hops up with his jersey ripped open. 2:07 M's manager Lou Piniella and O's P Rick Sutcliffe are heated. 3:10 after some calm, Mills throws punches at Charlton (not the last time he'd do so in a brawl). 3:55 Leo Gomez bear-hugs veteran OF Henry Cotto.
In the end, Mills, Sutcliffe and David Segui of Baltimore were tossed, while Haselman, Bosio, Charlton, Piniella and Mackey Sasser of Seattle were thumbed—all except Piniella were also suspended.
Orioles star Cal Ripken, Jr. later reported waking up the next day with knee soreness he wasn't sure he could play through. By gametime, his knee improved enough to continue his 1,790 consecutive-game streak. Not as lucky: Bosio, who re-broke his collarbone during the fracas and returned to the DL. Mussina was not ejected, going 7.1 innings for the 5-2 win.
Enter At Your Own Risk (6/29/1989)
You've probably seen this clip in numerous highlight/blooper/MLB Network Countdown shows—but I doubt you've ever heard any kind of elaboration.
Candlestick Park, 6/29/1989: Though Giants ace Scott Garrelts has departed after two innings (hamstring pull while legging out a triple), rookie Jeff Brantley has stepped in with 3.2 innings of strong relief leading up to Mitch Webster's 6th-inning at-bat.
Hilarity ensues when Giants RP Craig Lefferts—stationed in the SF bullpen—is slow to react to Webster's first-pitch shot down the right-field line...
Notes: SF dropped seven 2nd-inning runs on the Cubs, and led 7-1 at the time of Webster's eventual double. The laughing Giants RF is Candy Maldonado. Webster was stranded, as Domingo Ramos followed with a flyout.
The Giants added five more runs in the 7th and eventually won 12-2.
Brantley went five innings for his first MLB win in 36 career games—then strangely earned five more wins in his next six appearances! Garrelts hit the DL and was out until July 16.
This game was nationally televised, and the announcer you hear is indeed Al Michaels.
EP Is A Tad Bit Short (12/3/2014)
It's rare for a guard to be plagued by poor foul shooting; Orlando guard Elfrid Payton is the rarity—it's just not his strength and never has been. (61% even as a collegiate)
So when the rookie missed both freebies after a foul by Clippers guard Jamal Crawford at Staples Center, no one was terribly shocked—after all, Payton entered the game shooting 49% on FTs in his first 20 pro games.
What got the crowd, and (later) the media buzzing—how he missed them. I obviously haven't seen every minute of Payton's career, but it's hard to imagine he's been more embarrassed on-court than this.
Notes: Payton finished the game 2-for-9 from the line, but was able to up his end season percentage to .551 (though he'd shoot 59% as an NBA sophomore.) He totaled eight points in 30 minutes off the bench.
This occured with about 4:00 left in the first quarter; Orlando trailed the Clippers 24-11 at the time and eventually lost 114-86, dropping them to 7-14.
Surrounding Payton at the line are teammates Tobias Harris (12) and Channing Frye (8), plus opponents Crawford (11) Blake Griffin (32) and DeAndre Jordan (6)—the latter of whom can fully relate to Payton's pain.