Somehow, the big-league Yankees avoided a brawl this weekend with Alek Manoah and the Toronto Blue Jays in town.
A betting man would've placed a hefty wager on some nonsense going down in the Bronx, especially after slugger Vlad Guerrero Jr. was plunked by reliever Greg Weissert late in the opening game. Against all odds, though, Manoah kept it classy and simply shoved on Saturday, ultimately watching a walk-off loss from the comfort of the dugout.
The Yankees' Single-A affiliate, though? Not so lucky, and things got fairly nasty in the blazing Tampa sun on Sunday afternoon.
Taking exception to a (likely inadvertent) hit-by-pitch, Clearwater Threshers manager (Philadelphia Phillies Low-A affiliate) Marty Malloy escalated things by throwing a punch at Tampa Tarpons pitching coach Gerardo Casadiego (who's reportedly ok following the fracas, as is hitting coach Rick Guarno, who ended up tackled on the ground).
Yankees Minor League Brawl with Phillies: Full Video
The full video is quite nasty, and came as an unfortunate follow-up to Saturday's action, where 2022 fourth-round pick Anthony Hall slugged a walk-off homer.
Sunday's game was marked by this massive throwdown, as well as a brutal outing from lefty Justin Lange, who we'd just pegged as a potential breakout. On Sunday, Lange allowed a single hit and struck out three in 1+ innings. Unfortunately, he threw just 48% of his pitches for strikes, walked four, and was charged with five runs before exiting.
In Lange's wake, righty Alex Bustamante also had trouble corralling his pitches. After a run-scoring HBP, he drilled a second batter. Apparently, the complete lack of control from the Yankees' arms was intolerable to Clearwater and perceived as something more sinister.
While it's comforting to know everyone involved is recovering nicely, this never should've happened, and it's quite embarrassing to see a grown man as the central figure in a brawl full of near-teenagers.
Without Malloy escalating the trouble, we never would've had two Tarpons coaches laid up and decked. Can't believe we're saying this, but he should learn a lesson from Manoah.