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Newsday (New York)

 

BOSTON — The Yankees and Red Sox had a bench-clearing brawl on Wednesday night that brought back memories of the rivals' most passionate days. On Thursday, the bill came due.

Red Sox righthander Joe Kelly, who drilled Tyler Austin with a 98-mph fastball, got a six-game suspension and a fine. Austin, who charged the mound, got a five-game suspension and a fine. Both players are appealing the judgment made by MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre and can play while the appeals are pending.

Six other members of the teams were fined. Boston manager Alex Cora and Yankees third-base coach Phil Nevin were fined for their roles in the fracas. CC Sabathia of the Yankees and Xaver Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia and Marco Hernandez of the Red Sox were fined for going on the field while on the disabled list.

"They have a job to do," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said of MLB. "I have no qualms with anything that happened on our side. It's not something we caused, it's not something we created. We just kind of got dragged into it. It happens."

The fight marked the second time the benches and bullpens emptied. After Austin clipped Brock Holt low on the calf with his spikes while sliding on a forceout in the third inning, Holt accused him of a dirty play. When Austin stepped toward Holt, players streamed onto the field but no punches were exchanged.

It was a different story in the seventh.

Asked if he would have done anything different, Austin replied, "I'd rather not answer that question, to be honest with you."

After the seventh-inning brawl, Nevin charged back onto the field as Boston reliever Brian Johnson was warming up. Video replays showed that Nevin gave an earful to Cora and that Cora then yelled at Nevin from the dugout. Cora made several dismissive hand gestures at Nevin, with one suggesting Nevin get back in the third-base coach's box.

"Tell somebody to get back in their little box. Everybody saw that. It was pretty unprofessional," Nevin said. "When I was on the field, I did say something to him absolutely, right to his face and a couple of their coaches. I just let them know how I felt about what happened with Austin and that was it. At the time, there was zero response, maybe a little backpedal if you will. When I was on the other side, I saw a gesture made to me . . . and that's what set me off."

Cora said further review of Austin's slide into Holt cemented his opinion that there was intent to harm him. "He's trying to beat the throw? I don't buy it," Cora said. "If you're trying to beat the throw, either you go headfirst into second or straight through the bag . . . you don't go sideways to the bag. I still think he overslid the bag and the spikes were up."

Cora said he "took exception" when Nevin initially made accusations, though he believes he could have responded better.

"I don't want to say I overreacted," he said, "but that's not me. If we're going to let everybody be screaming in situations like that, and it wasn't a good situation from the beginning, it can be worse. I don't manage their team. I manage my team. I don't want any of my coaches screaming at Aaron Boone or any of their players . . . I made a signal, I know everybody saw it. Out of character for me, but I still didn't like the fact he was pointing at me and screaming at me."

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April 13, 2018
 
 
 

 

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