BRONX, N.Y. — After sparing the AL East standings the two previous years, the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles were clearly headed in different directions in 1998. The rivalry reached its boiling point on this date in 1998 and Armando Benitez was public enemy number one in New York.
Trailing 5-3 in the eighth inning, the Bronx Bombers stormed back. A three-run blast to right by Bernie Williams, off Benitez, made it 7-5 Yankees. The ensuing batter, Tino Martinez, was plunked square in the back. Martinez was incensed. Benitez was tossed. All hell broke loose.
Both benches and bullpens cleared for a full out brawl. Darryl Strawberry got hit cuts in. Seemingly the whole Yankee bullpen, Graeme Lloyd, Jeff Nelson, and Mike Stanton all took their swipes and swings at Benitez.
Whenever it appeared as though the scuffle was dying down, it reignited multiple times. It got so intense that Straw came over the top with a nice left hook and the teams poured into the Baltimore dugout. Ex-Yankee and O’s reliever Alan Mills punched Strawberry and had to be restrained.
Absolute pandemonium. Sheer bedlam in the Bronx. The camera shot panning to David Cone at the end is priceless because that brawl looked exhausting too.
When play finally resumed, Tim Raines took ex-Yankee Bobby Munoz deep to right for the 9-5 capper.