It pisses off the purists, but we have to admit that we kinda get a kick out of Baseball's Interleague Games. Now in its 13th season, the national pastime's cross-league
promotional stunt bonanza kicks off this weekend with some really cool matchups: Mets vs. Red Sox, Phillies vs. Yankees, Dodgers vs. Angels, Blue Jays vs. Braves (ok, maybe the last one not so much).
And even if the AL squaring off with the NL is like mixing vodka and milk (hardball White Russian anyone?), at least it's good for a few fights each year, as you'll see with our History of Great Moments in Interleague Play...
July 11, 1999: Dodgers and Mariners Brawl for 15 Minutes
• This intra-coastal interleague game featured one of the all-time great fights in MLB history. With the Dodgers ahead 12-3 after a Trenidad Hubbard three-run double, Seattle reliever Frankie Rodriguez buzzed Mark Grudzielanek. Tempers flared, but the situation seemed to be under control until the bullpens got involved, setting off a wild melee which included players, coaches, running sucker punches and dog piles. Altogether, seven players were ejected.
July 16, 2000: Carl Everett Headbutts Umpire Ron Kulpa
• In a matchup against his former team (the New York Mets), Everett went a lot 7:30 on umpire Kulpa when the man in blue gave him a warning for stepping out of the batter's box in an at-bat against Mike Hampton. It was suggested that the Mets had complained about their former teammate crowding the plate prior to the game. It's also been suggested that dinosaurs once roamed the earth, but if you haven't seen 'em yourself, can you say for sure?
May 20, 2006: Michael Barrett Sucker Punches A.J. Pierzynski
• In this Windy City Series game, the Cubs and White Sox catchers got into a dustup after the South Side Sox' Pierzynski bowled over the North Side Cubbies' Barrett in a collision at home. Benches cleared and both receivers were ejected. It's referred to as a "sucker punch" because a) Pierzynski was hit unawares, and b) Pierzynski is a sucker.
July 8, 2000: Roger Clemens Beans Mike Piazza
• Sick of having Piazza hit home runs off his steroid-taking (abcessed) ass, Clemens plunked the Mets catcher in the head in the second inning of a Subway Series get-together. The fallout from Clemens' head-hunting reverberated through that year's World Series (when Clemens chucked a shard of broken bat at Piazza), all the way to another interleague game two years later...
June 15, 2002: Shawn Estes Brushes Clemens...Forward?
• With the American League Yankees visiting the National League Mets where, under NL rules, Clemens would be required to hit, the Metropolitans had a perfect chance to finally exact revenge on the Rocket. The only problem? The Mets' pitcher that day happened to be Shawn Estes, the kind of guy who doesn't throw out sour milk 'cause he's afraid of hurting its feelings. So when Clemens came to bat, Estes wound up...and promptly threw the ball behind him. Which sorta explains 40+ years of Mets frustration (minus a couple high points) in a nutshell.