While Yankees manager Joe Girardi was offered an ample amount of time to voice his opinion on the benches-clearing brawl between his club and the Tigers at Comerica Park on Thursday afternoon, his message regarding the chaos and theatrics was eloquently conveyed in one simple sentence.
“It was handled poorly,” Girardi said emotionally to reporters following the Yankees’ 10-6 loss to Detroit.
The game — which lasted over four hours due to the fights and arguments — had a laundry list of ejections: Girardi, Yankees’ bench coach Rob Thomson, catcher Austin Romine, pitchers Dellin Betances and Tommy Kahnle, Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus, slugger Miguel Cabrera, and pitcher Alex Wilson. Soon, Major League Baseball will release fines and suspensions for all involved in the melee.
Although the incidents were ignited by Detroit’s Michael Fulmer pegging Gary Sanchez in the sixth inning, it was a scuffle between Romine and Cabrera that sent both teams running toward home plate.
“I wasn’t going to let someone be confrontational and throw punches at me,” Romine told reporters.
Girardi and other players’ reactions can be viewed below, courtesy of YES:
“It was poorly handled.” – Joe Girardi on today’s bench-clearing brawls. pic.twitter.com/0pH40NE3gg
Joe Girardi’s message to his team after a wild day in Detroit:
“Continue to fight together. On the field, and everything that we do.” pic.twitter.com/JQyKsVnnVc
“I wasn’t going to let someone be confrontational and throw punches at me.” – Austin Romine on his scuffle with Miguel Cabrera. pic.twitter.com/pziMDEGm7D
Gary Sanchez on his involvement in Thursday’s brawl: “At that moment, instinct takes over because you want to defend your teammate.” pic.twitter.com/HJXtqBMIwp
Miguel Cabrera offers his take on the brawls in Detroit. pic.twitter.com/91qgSEwZxp
Detroit pitcher Michael Fulmer: “I had zero intention of hitting anybody.” pic.twitter.com/5J6EbWGZ2U
Brad Ausmus: “I understood why the Yankees were upset” after Gary Sanchez was hit by Michael Fulmer. pic.twitter.com/b4V32rEr2z
“We’re not just going to lay down and let our best hitter right now get plunked.” – Todd Frazier on Gary Sanchez getting drilled. pic.twitter.com/CysUeujXD6
“We’re ready to get out of town.” – Brett Gardner following the Yankees-Tigers three-brawl game. pic.twitter.com/p3Ak3tqq4r
“That’s the last thing I wanted to do.” – Dellin Betances on hitting James McCann with a pitch on the head. pic.twitter.com/3p4e8JlLWj