Baseball had a banner day on Wednesday, with two whole fights in one day. So many unwritten rules were broken in one afternoon. The legacy of the game had never needed protection more. Luckily for them and their #brand, the second of these two fights happened to take place between the Red Sox and the Yankees. As we speak, there’s some executive in Bristol, Connecticut trying to get the MLB offices to flex the rest of their games into 8pm Sunday slots. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a game like that from the Sox and the Yanks though, so let’s fire up ye olde media player and try and watch this as many times as we can before MLB takes it down:
1. This is about as obvious as a retaliation pitch as you’ll see. Joe Kelly legitimately steps towards Austin on the pitch. People who subscribe to the notion that there’s a certain way of doing this type of thing all seemed to think Kelly did it the “right” way, and I hate myself a tiny bit more for even writing that sentence. And then leaving it in here.
2. This is a STRONG reaction from Austin. He wastes absolutely no time letting everyone know exactly what’s about to happen. The most memorable baseball fights all have immediate mound-charging, and Austin slamming the bat is gravy. And then we get Joe Kelly beckoning too? Top-notch theatrics. Baseball fights are dumb, but if you’re going to do it, do it big.
3. Shout out to Christian Vazquez for taking his mask off, seeing Austin charge the mound, and immediately putting his mask back on.
4. Aaron Judge singularly moves entire piles of players. He just sort of picks up Joe Kelly and walks away.
5. Overall game strategy is probably the last thing on Joe Kelly’s mind at any given point, but Frequent Red Sox Tweeter @OverTheMonster has a point:
Always a good idea to waste a pitcher for petty bullshit in a game where you're already burning through your entire bullpen
— OverTheMonster (@OverTheMonster) April 12, 2018
6. What’s the rule about hitting guys? Do you have one pitch to do it? Kelly not only missed him with the first attempt, but hit Austin in his second at-bat after the aforementioned slide. People don’t forget:
The only thing I would had done different than Joe Kelly tonight, is I would’ve hit Tyler Austin at his previous at bat. Other than that, Kelly executed perfectly #YankeesvsRedSox
— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) April 12, 2018
Sorry but it’s very Joe Kelly that he missed the first time he tried to drill Tyler Austin.
— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) April 12, 2018
7. Joe Kelly won, right? It seems like Kelly definitely won.
Joe Kelly literally brough Austin to the ground but Yankees fans think he didn’t win the fight pic.twitter.com/SrBqJgpBRw
— . (@GetMeAnOffense) April 12, 2018
Joe Kelly just won an entire fanbase over again in one night. That’s impressive.
Header photo by Winslow Townson — USA TODAY Sports