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Today in Bluebird Banter History: A Brawl with the Yankees

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Joe Robbins

I haven't done one of these in a while, I like looking back at posts from the past.

Two years ago:

I wondered if Brett Lawrie could learn from his mistakes, in "The Ballad of Brett Lawrie".

Brett had had a tough game the night before and I didn't like the answers he gave to questions asked him by John Lott. And I must have been in a bad mood.

In the top of the fifth, with two out, Mauro Gomez hit a routine ground ball to Brett. Instead of throwing to first, Brett decided to try to tag Aviles running from first to second. Aviles did a spin when Lawrie lunged at him and then ran on to third. It was a bad choice. The reason you make the throw to first is because first base can't avoid the tag. But if you are going for the runner you have to get in front of him, then if he dodges around you he'll be off the base path and you'll get the out. Lunging for him and missing put Brett off the base path and, well, you saw.

Lott asked him why he didn't throw to first and he said:

"Out of the corner of my eye, he's running full speed at me, so I figure I can just go tag him and just run right into the dugout. I wasn't thinking too much about it," Lawrie said.

Too much of the time "I wasn't thinking too much" explains a lot about Brett Lawrie.

Later in the same game:

Right after that Yunel hit a ground ball to short, right in front of Lawrie. The rule is 'don't try to move up if the ball is in front of you'. Well, Brett did and was put out easy.

Asked if he regretted that one, Brett said"

"No, because Escobar ended up getting on first base and then got to second on a passed ball so it's the exact same thing," Lawrie said after the game.

Which, of course wasn't the exact same thing.

Anyway, I think that Lawrie has learned, he is a much smarter baseball player, well, when he plays.

The problem now is that he's been injured far too much. I'm not sure that is a problem that he can get over.

Four Years Ago

Kyle Drabek made his MLB debut. Hugo did the recap (I loved how Hugo used lyrics from songs I never heard of in his post titles). About Drabek, Hugo said:

Kyle Drabek showed good and bad in his debut, but I was encouraged. Drabek walked 3 in 6 innings and made a few mistake pitches, some of which leading to the 9 hits against him, but he also struck out 5 and induced 11 ground balls while only 3 were of the aerial variety. The O's don't have the best team in the world, but he made it through 6 innings in his pro debut and that's good.

It's four years later and Drabek has pitched in 39 games, making 30 starts. In 172.1 innings, he's walked 111 batters. His future doesn't look as bright as it did back then.

Five Years Ago

The Jays beat the Yankees 10-4.Travis Snider had 2 home runs, Roy Halladay pitched 6 innings. But, none of that is the reason I remember that game. This is:

In the top of the 8th inning Aaron Hill was hit with a pitch, before that Encarnacion was hit with a pitch. Likely neither was intentional, but the Jays have been hit a ton lately. And you'll likely remember the Yankees hit Randy Ruiz in the face their last series together. Jays have been hit something like 15 times so far this month. In the bottom of the inning Jesse Carlson threw behind Jorge Posada. Posada wasn't happy. I'm not a big fan of hitting one of them because they hit one of yours but we've been hit so much lately it really was time someone stood up for our hitters.

Anyway, Posada walked and came around to score. After he scored he brushed past Carlson. He was ejected right there and then. But he came running back at Carlson and the benches emptied. They fought for quite a while. Even Cito almost took a swing at someone. Carlson came out of it with a large bump on his head. I'd imagine there will be suspensions. Posada for sure. Carlson maybe. I'll admit I admire Carlson more after this. Posada, not so much. Posada has been playing for years, he knows what was going on and he didn't get hit. He knew Hill got hit in the ribs. Maybe he could act like a veteran. Maybe.

Apparently, according to Jordan Bastian, writers following the Yankees say that John MacDonald punched Yankee manager Joe Girardi. I kind of doubt it, but Girardi looked to have the start of a shiner.

It was an interesting game.

The next day I wrote a 'thank you' post to Jorge Posada for "reminding my why I hate the Yankees".

If anyone ever needed to wonder why I dislike the Yankees so much, Jorge Posada gave a perfect demonstration of what I dislike about them. The sense of entitlement. In the four game series last week in Toronto, Yankee pitchers hit 6 Jays, including Randy Ruiz in the face. Yesterday Edwin Encarnacion hits a homer, his next time up to bat he is hit with a pitch. In the 8th Aaron Hill is drilled in the ribs with a pitch. In the bottom of the inning Jesse Carlson throws behind Posada. Behind him. The ball's about thigh level, not head level, not rib cage level, not even shin high. Right at the level you throw to make a point, without the worry of injuring someone.

And Posada throws a temper tantrum. How dare they throw towards me? A Yankee? Just cause we are using your players for target practice? "You don't want to do that", he yells at Carlson. Now I could understand that reaction, if say the pitch was at his head. Or even at his ribs. Or perhaps, if it were in retaliation for a homer hit in the last at bat. But no, that reaction was just because he is a Yankee and God forbid you come close to hitting one of those. You would think that Posada having been in the league for years would know that if you hit half a dozen or so of the other team's players, intentional or not, sooner or later a pitch will come towards you. Take it like a man.

Yeah, it sort of looks like I was inviting the trolls that came along. I still think Carlson did the right thing, your team gets hit a bunch, sooner or later you have to throw at one of their guys. And Posada was being a jerk.

Six Years Ago

Hugo answered 5 questions that Richard Griffin asked in a column in the Star and did a very nice job of it. Back in the day we seemed to have a thing for pointing out when Griffin was being less than less than bright (did you know he was one the PR guy for the Expos?). As Hugo said:

By the way, I know Griffin was trying to stick to questions that would be answered during this season (although he was unable to stick to just those), but these questions were terrible.