So… you think baseball is a boring, non-contact sport, do you?
Okay, granted: you’re typically right in this assessment.
But give Rougned Odor and Jose Bautista a chance to change your mind.
On Sunday afternoon Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, Rangers pitcher Matt Bush hit the Blue Jays slugger with a pitch.
So Bautista took first base.
Later that inning, he went in to break up a double play, sliding late and extremely hard into Odor just as the second baseman gathered the relay throw for a double play.
Odom bounced right up and went after Bautista, which is not an altogether unusual sight.
Major League Baseball recently instituted rules against sliding in such a violent manner and players have certainly brawled in the past as a result of this sort of maneuver.
But never like this before.
Because Odor went ahead and punched Bautista right smack dab in the face. And we mean it: The guy really landed his haymaker.
Bautista, who stumbled back but somehow remained upright, admitted after the game that he was trying to send a message with his slide.
“I had a hard slide at second base. I could have injured [Odor, but] I chose not to,” he told reporters. “I tried to send a message that I didn’t appreciate getting hit.”
Benches emptied both during this crazy altercation again later in the contest when Texas first baseman Prince Fielder was hit by a pitch from Jesse Chavez.
Odor and Bautista were both ejected, along with numerous other plays and coaches.
Expect plenty of suspensions to follow as well.
Oh, and the Rangers went on to win the game 7-6. But who cares about that?!?
“It was ugly and unfortunate,” Blue Jays manager Gibbons said. “To me, it was gutless."
Check out The Punch Heard ‘ Round the Sports World now: