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Show Offs in Miami

Show Offs in Miami

Last Wednesday I saw the best almost-brawl I’ve ever seen on TV. My boyfriend and I often sit up late at night when we can’t sleep and compare brawls from the last sixty years to see who can find the best one. I think our reigning champ is April’s Dodgers-Padres brawl that left Zach Greinke with a broken collarbone


or possibly last year’s Rays-Red Sox brawl in which Luke Scott went after some Boston fans allegedly talking about his mother (mysteriously, or suspiciously you might dare say, I haven’t been able to locate a recording of this since I saw it live in my Grandma’s kitchen). Wednesday’s brawl may not have been nearly as violent; however, I think it was probably the most entertaining, most dramatic one I’ve seen.

The defining part of this particular brawl is that it spanned many innings. It was like a story, with build up, and a climax; it even had a denouement. To really give you the effect of what happened without sitting through a rerun of the 162 minute ball game, I will break down how this played out.

Jose Fernandez, the Marlin’s theatrical starting pitcher, was pitching a shut out against the Braves. Based on Miami’s year, and their less than redeemable record, this was clearly a big deal for the rookie. It was also his last game for the season.

Then Gattis comes up and clubs a baseball out just below the outfield window. Well out of the park. And here the troubles began…Gattis stood and watched the ball clear the wall, and then noticeably stared down Fernandez.

Chris Johnson stepped up to the plate and Fernandez shot him a fastball at 98mph. Johnson stepped back and shook his head seemingly communicating that he wasn’t impressed. Second fastball, fly out, and Johnson once again shook his head at Fernandez in that same seemingly condescending manner.

As Fernandez sat down with his pitching coach in the dugout he was clearly worked up and making no effort to hide his annoyance. At one point it appears he leads the coach to the tunnels to avoid the cameras capturing his behavior. Obviously I have no way of knowing what was said, but I would not be surprised to learn Fernandez was plotting revenge and his coach was cautioning him against it.

Then what happened next no one expected. As if this game was a scene from a fictitious classic sports movie, Jose Fernandez hit his first major league home run, to almost the same spot as Gattis, and put Gattis’s stare to shame with his lingering stare, lips slightly parted as if he was posing for a Calvin Klein ad, or looking at himself shirtless in the mirror. (On a side note: I’m pretty sure he was going to stare even if it was a fly out; I know Gattis knows what a homer feels and sounds like, but did Fernandez?)

As if that wasn’t crazy enough, as Fernandez is rounding third base Johnson (allegedly) spits at him, and Fernandez (allegedly) spits back.

Fernandez barely touches home before he and Brian McCann face off. Then, and this is my favorite part of the video, Johnson comes sprinting in crazy fast in the weirdest upright position like he’s ready to deck the kid, but he comes around with the umpire between them, when he could have easily grabbed Fernandez from the back. Good for him for holding himself back, we have to watch ourselves with October approaching.

Then, obviously, the benches clear.


At least two media sources reported that Chris Johnson said later that night he heard a whistle in the parking lot and turned around to see that it was Fernandez coming to apologize. I like to think that Chris Johnson returned the favor. Baseball is supposed to be classy, spitting definitely is not. I also like to think that Gattis didn’t intend any upstaging; we all know has had an unconventional rise to his position and is still just a rookie, and I’m sure someone sat him down for a reminder about road games.



Hayley felt like she was watching reality TV as this whole thing unfolded. Or you know… what she thinks reality TV would look like since she definitely never, ever watches it…