Brawlin’ Out



Jamison Amerine, Sports Editor

The Rangers and the Blue Jays settled their seven-month beef this past Sunday.

And by no means was it peaceful.

Back in October, during a decisive game five of the American League Divisional Series, Jose Bautista blasted the game-sealing home run that shook the Rogers Centre like a sizable earthquake.

That, however, is not what angered the Rangers.

The prolonged admiration of the home run, and the aggressive bat flip toward the Rangers’ dugout broke two unwritten rules in baseball. That—mixed with the ‘protest’ of the game after a correct ruling on a scored run by the Rangers put them ahead, and Toronto fans throwing trash on the field in disapproval of the umpires—created a nice steaming bowl of hatred.

A hatred that escalated to its peak in a catastrophic manner.

Their matchup yesterday was the last one of the regular season. Jose Bautista, the infamous outfielder, came up to the plate for what would seemingly be his last at bat against the Rangers this season, barring any postseason appearance.

Newly called up pitcher Matt Bush, who had spent a little more than three years in prison after being the first overall pick in the 2004 draft by the San Diego Padres, finished his outing by pinning Bautista in the ribs with a 98 mph fastball, much to the approval of the 41,327 in attendance.

Bush was pulled from the game afterwards and received an astounding standing ovation. Bautista was not pleased, and it showed in the next sequence. Former Ranger Justin Smoak came up to bat and hit into what looked to be an inning ending double play. Andrus threw over to Rangers’ second baseman Rougned Odor for the first out, but on his attempt to Moreland to complete the double play, Bautista came in aggressive on a slide way past the second base bag, disrupting Odor’s throw.

Odor didn’t like that.

Bautista got up into the grill of Odor, where he endured a powerful shove. The two squared up, but only Odor actually fought, as he landed a Mike Tyson-like right hook to the jaw of Bautista, sending his helmet and sunglasses rocketing into a third dimension, and the fans at Globe Life Park in Arlington into a frenzy.

From there all hell broke loose.

The benches and dugout cleared, as Odor continued to throw haymakers at any blue jersey he saw. Third baseman Adrian Beltre detained Bautista, much to Bautista’s appreciation I would expect, as Odor landed another vicious punch against the also hated Josh Donaldson, third baseman of the Jays.

How’s that for poetic justice?

It’s safe to say Rougned Odor will forever have a special place in Rangers’ fans heart, and maybe a statue out front when it is all said and done.

After that, a bunch of pushing and shoving occurred, along with a verbal altercation between managers Jeff Banister and John Gibbons.

This scuffle resulted in six ejections, including Odor, Donaldson and Bautista, and a ten-minute delay in action. Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Chavez was also ejected after he sent a fastball into the thigh of Prince Fielder in the bottom of the eighth.

Were Odor’s actions justified?


Sure, I’m biased, being a die-hard Rangers fan, but Bautista broke some of the unwritten rules of baseball, and there’s no way the Rangers weren’t going to hand him his retribution.

Oh and a quick word of advice to Joey Bats: Don’t square up if you don’t actually expect to fight. That’s how you get your bell rung.

By baseball standards, this riff between the two clubs should be settled. But something tells me that if these two teams meet up in the playoffs again, the intensity will only escalate.

Congratulations baseball, the Rangers-Blue Jays rivalry has just begun.

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