This is the kind of thing that doesn’t happen nearly often enough in baseball. According to, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged 3B Shea Hillenbrand to a fight shortly before the Jays cut Hillenbrand on Wednesday.

Gibbons has acknowledged that he challenged Hillenbrand to a fight, saying, “He had a chance yesterday to defend himself in front of his coaches and his teammates. He chose not to.”

Apparently, Hillenbrand had gotten in the habbit of writing inspirational messages on the team bulletin board, the most recent of which said, “The ship is sinking.” Gibbons didn’t take kindly to the sentiment.

If the front office felt differently than he wins and I lose, and I would be the one out of here,” Gibbons said. “I mean it. It was either him or me.”

Asked if Hillenbrand did it because he wanted out, Gibbons said: “I know he wanted to get out. That’s no secret. To be honest I don’t think he really wanted to be here for the last two years.”

“You’re either with us or you’re not,” he said. “He got his wish. It’s that simple.”

The only thing that could have made this story any better is if Hillenbrand and Gibbons actually did duke it out, a la Rocky vs. Tommy Gun in Rocky V.

And the prospect of a dugout brawl got me thinking: what other baseball players would I like to see come to blows? Of course, there will never be another Pedro vs. Zimmerman. But here’s a list of fights that would be fun to watch:

1. A-Rod vs. Curt Schilling. I don’t particularly care for A-Rod. He’s always seemed like a guy who takes himself just a little too seriously. But if A-Rod strapped on a set and beat the snot out of Curt, and then winked at the portly pitcher as he was lying on the ground, bleeding profusely from his anke, I think I would like him a lot more. A LOT MORE.

2. David Wells vs. Bob Wickman. Because, I’m pretty sure they’re the same person. It would be just like watching the Coors Light twins slap each other around, except, you know, totally different, because these are fat, bald men with awful facial hair.

3. Barry Bonds vs. Ken Griffey Jr. Griffey takes Bonds to task for ruining the game and stealing his spotlight. “I should have been the greatest!” Griffey screams at Bonds as he sweeps Bonds’ leg and delivers a flying elbow to Bonds’ chest cavity.

Which baseball fights would you like to see happen?

10 Responses to “Fight!”

  1. That’s Zimmer, not Zimmerman. But he does have an alias–the Gerbil. (He looked a lot more like a gerbil when he was managing–at least, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, who coined the nickname, evidently thought so.

  2. Lou Piniella vs. the current D’Rays 25-man roster. Now that black belt Joey Gathright has been dealt to the Royals, Lou (the angriest being on earth) would have to be considered the favorite in a fight to the death.

    Andy Sisco vs. Chris Young They’re both 6’10” beasts. If people spent a decade paying big bucks to watch John Ruiz lumber around a ring, there would have to be interest in watching baseball’s two largest fireballers throw down.

    Ryan Howard vs. Josh Beckett. Recall the Spring training episode when Josh Beckett started bitching that Howard took too long rounding the bags after Howard mashed a 500-footer off of him? Beckett reacted until the Philly behemoth emerged from the dugout. I’m a sox fan, but I never liked the way Beckett provoked Howard- who didn’t deserve the flack- and then continued to insult the slugger from the safety of his own dugout after the matter should have been finished. If a jerk like Beckett feels it neccessary to try to distract attention from his propensity to surrender bombs, then he should have to face a scary dude like Howard after he begs for the confrontation.

    Brett Myers vs. A-Rod. Whatever happens, we win.

  3. Another:

    Baseball fans everywhere vs. Taylor Hicks This jackass’ incessant crooning, “I GET WHAT I WANT, I GO WHERE I PLEASE, POSSIBILIITIES!” Is the only thing I’ve come across that can make me ditch watching a baseball game on TV. You hear it no less than 50 times during the course of a game on those damn Ford commercials. Can we gang up and get this guy?

  4. Sarah Green says:

    What about A.J. Pierzynkski vs. Taylor Hicks. (I don’t really want to get in a smackdown with the silver-haired crooner. I’m a lover, not a fighter.)

    Here’s the pay-per-view scenario. A.J. and Hicks are placed in a tank of lemon juice and armed with sharp slivers of paper. First man to cry gets punched in the face by Julian Tavarez.

  5. I think any hug by John Kruk would immediately be deemed “inappropriate”.

    I wonder if there was one of those mixups where Harold chose the wrong side to “hug on” and ended up with the always-uncomfortable facial space violation. Obviously, I’m a Harold -is half “not scuzzbag” kind of optimist.

  6. I just consulted with a few co-workers. Sadly, this list wasn’t available to Harold Reynolds on Tuesday.

    1. A male-female “appropriate” hug must never involve parallel hip/pelvic regions between co-huggers. That is, it is the male huggers responsibility to provide an angled, non-threatening hip/pelvic environment for comfortable “friend/co-worker hugs.”

    2. Any sort of pelvic motion is strictly prohibited to achieve appropriateness.

    3. Two and a half seconds is the legal maximum fot an appropriate hug. Anything more is punishable by law/HR.

    4. If male co-0workers are to hug, reassuring “friend-pats” must be offered to confirm masculinity. Any scratching, or audible indication of pleasure is strictly prohibited.

    5. Hand placement: Appropriate-ness is breached if hands make contact below the 5th vertebrae.

    6. Transfer of bodily fluids may indicate a level of inappropriate-ness.

  7. Okay, gents, here’s the deal with innappropriate hugging.

    Ask yourself: Am I firmly caressing her back with my hand(s)? Am I pressing against her back with my fingers or thumb(s)? Am I giving her back a pseudo-massage, rubbing in either a vertical or circular motion?

    Are you pressing the lady firmly to your chest? Are her breasts squooshing up against your sternum? Are her breasts, in fact, touching you at all? Have you, in short, failed to “lean in”?

    Are your hands creeping up to her neck? Are you fondling her hairline? Or, perhaps, are your hands drifting down—anywhere below the bra strap? Have you unfastened her bra?

    Have you allowed one hand to rest on her derriere, as if hoping she would not notice? Have you, in fact, gone for a little booty-pinch? Is your hand down her pants? Is it inside her underwear? Is it inside *her*?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, gentlemen, your hug is innappropriate. You *are* the weakest link. Goodbye.

  8. Obviously the woman never heard the Outback Slogan “No Rules, Just Right.”

    And honestly who picks Outback Steak House to harrass someone? Private Office? Yes. Stairwell? Yes. Company trip/party/retreat? A time honored tradition. But Outback? Pure stupidity to have witnesses Harold.

    I would’ve fired him too, but 10% of it would be for doing it in a stupid place.

  9. I’d like to see a tag-team match where 5’3″ 100 lb. David Eckstein and 5’5″ 112 lb. Chone Figgins dominate 6’4″ 425 lb. David Ortiz and 6’11” 350 lb. Chris Young.
    Figgins bites Chris Young’s ears off, ala Tyson/Holyfield and Eckstein bends and twists “Big Poptart’s” sore wrist until he cries “Uncle!”

  10. I’d like to see every Cub fan give Milton Bradley a chili cheese dog and a hot fudge sundae.
    After getting a knuckle crow sandwich from Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds sprays paint and changes his name to Vanilla Ice.
    Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza go butt pirate on each other before this year’s All Star Game home run hitting contest.

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