March 1, 2004

Remembering A 28-Year-Old Brawl. Bill Lee, quoted at RallyCuff: "Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter." I don't know where this quote came from, though it does sound a lot like Lee. He once referred to Billy Martin and the Yankees as "that neo-Nazi and his Brownshirts." That comment might have come after a brawl at Yankee Stadium on May 20, 1976 when Lou Pinella tried to score on a sacrifice fly to Dwight Evans in right field. Pinella came in hard (he was tagged out) and he and Carlton Fisk rolled over and quickly began punching each other. Sports Illustrated had a picture the following week that showed Rick Burleson kind of hanging onto the side of the pile sideways. Lee was injured in the brawl after being sucker-punched by Graig Nettles. I think Yaz hit a home run or two in that game... I'm writing all this from memory.

Okay, I checked Retrosheet -- here is the box score and the play-by-play of the bottom of the 6th: "Munson grounded out (Lee to Yastrzemski); Chambliss lined to Doyle; Piniella singled to Rice; Nettles singled to Evans [Piniella to second]; Velez singled to Evans [Piniella out at home (Evans to Fisk), Nettles to second]; Bench clearing brawl, Lee and Nettles ejected; Lee injured shoulder; 0 R, 3 H, 0 E, 2 LOB. Red Sox 0, Yankees 1."

One mistake: the play began with a single and not a sac fly. Boston roared back (thanks to -- yes -- two Yastrzemski home runs and won the game 8-2. I notice that Thurman Munson ended the game playing right field.

Bronx Banter has a second Yankees Roundtable Discussion: Parts 1 and 2. This time the participants are: Allen Barra (Slate, Wall St. Journal), Jack Curry (New York Times), Steven Goldman (YES Network, Baseball Prospectus), Jay Jaffe (The Futility Infielder), Bruce Markusen (Baseball Historian), Rob Neyer (ESPN) and Tom Verducci (Sports Illustrated). ... The possibility of a Boston/New York brawl this summer is one of the topics. ... This is a fantastic idea (the roundtable, I mean). I'd like to try something like this next spring.

From Peter Gammons's latest column: "Last year, the Red Sox players shaved their heads. This year they're talking about adopting the Damon look. If they do, instead of the House of David, they'll be the House of Damon." Ed Cossette of Bambino's Curse says he'd "love to see the whole team go with that look for the season. It'd be nutty. Then again, some of the players do have the male pattern baldness thing setting it, so not everyone would look as prophetic as Damon." True. They would have to beware of Mullet Syndrome. ... Speaking of the House of David, check out these three websites.

Well, Damon's not quite there yet. Maybe the team can plan for 2005.

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